Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Academic’s study shows need for a Ministry of Public Input

Academic’s study shows need for a Ministry of Public Input

A book by Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment recommends the creation of a Ministry of Public Input to collect, process and communicate the publics’ ideas to government.

The University of Auckland’s political marketing expert says the new department would ensure that people’s ideas on government policy reach decision makers such as Ministers and MPs, thereby greatly improving democracy.

Currently governments spend a vast amount of money and resources seeking views from outside government. But it often goes unseen, is uncoordinated, dispersed and unchecked.

“We need to find a way to ensure this money is spent much more effectively within the realities of government and leadership.

“Much of the official public input currently collected is organised without decision makers and results in suggestions that are unusable by our leaders because they fail to take into account the realities and constraints that government presents.”

Associate Professor Lees-Marshment, of the University’s Department of Political Studies and International Relations, has interviewed 51 ministers in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the United States. Local ministers include Finance Minister Bill English, Justice Minister Judith Collins and Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.

Her interviews found that political leaders acknowledge the limits of their power and knowledge and seek a diverse range of constructive and conversational input from inside and outside government which they integrate into their decision-making.

“By improving public input systems; acknowledging the limits of their own power and knowledge; and devolving solution-finding to others, politicians achieve change that lasts beyond their time in power. Public input is not irreconcilable with political leadership; it is essential to it.”

“The expansion and diversification of public input has the potential to inform and influence our leaders’ decisions, strengthening citizen voices within the political system and thus improving policy outcomes and enhancing democracy.”

Associate Professor Lees-Marshment released a report summarising her findings at the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) held at the University’s Business School on 15th August.

Tomorrow she will present the report at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University,12.30-1.30pm, and at the IAP2 Wellington branch at the Community Room, Mezzanine Floor, Central Library, 65 Victoria Street, Wellington from 5.30-7.30pm.

The report is published on http://leesmarshment.wordpress.com/books/the-ministry-of-public-input/

The book, The Ministry of Public Input, will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in early 2015.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Housing Issues: Homelessness On The Horizon For Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers who have held down jobs and contributed to the well-being of New Zealand through their taxes may yet become homeless in late middle age or early retirement without urgent Government action, says The Salvation Army. More>>


Treasury Has Doubts On Christchurch Rebuild And... Auditor-General Follows Up On EQC

Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions... Although the programme is nearing completion, EQC needs to provide the best service possible for the home owners whose homes are still to be repaired. More>>


Man Who Banned 'Into The River' Out The Door: Appointments To The Film And Literature Board Of Review

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced seven appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review... “The new members of the Board... will provide a strong mix of skills and experience to help the Board carry out its functions, while representing a cross-section of society.” More>>


Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news