Hon Chris Hipkins
Minister of State Services
18 September 2018
Government to proactively release Cabinet papers – and Open Government Action Plan to be issued
Cabinet papers will be proactively released, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins announced today.
The move is part of the Government’s wider plan to improve openness and reflects its commitment to the international
Open Government Partnership.
The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in
place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019, Chris Hipkins – who is also responsible for Open Government – said.
“This change is about being an open and accountable government.
“It will also make it easier for the public to understand government decisions and bolster the accountability of
decision makers and advisors.
“Cabinet papers will be released within 30 business days of the Cabinet decision unless there is good reason not to
publish. If we can publish it, we will.”
The policy introduces a non-statutory process for providing information, separate to but in the spirit of the Official
Information Act 1982.
“Although we continue to rank at the top of most international measures of trust in government, we can always do better
and New Zealanders expect nothing less.
“This change is consistent with the spirit of the OIA which states that information should be made available unless a
good reason exists for withholding it.
“Proactive release of official information promotes good government and transparency and fosters public trust and
confidence in government and the public agencies.”
Individual ministers will have responsibility for releasing Cabinet papers, which will be subject to an assessment to
decide if there are good reasons to withhold any of the information. For privacy reasons Appointments and Honours papers
will be excluded.
Proactive release includes publishing a wide variety of official information, without any request from the public and
publishing the same or edited information that has previously been released to an individual requester under the OIA.
New Zealand’s draft Open Government Partnership National Action Plan 2018-20 will be released for public comment by the State Services Commission on Thursday.
The draft plan responds to three themes: participation in democracy, public participation to develop policy and
services, and transparency and accountability.
to Cabinet papers related to proactive release and action plan.