Thursday, September 19, 2013


New Zealand will be joining the Open Government Partnership:

At the request of the UK, New Zealand will formally express its intention to join the Open Government Partnership (OGP) later this year.

The UK is the current lead co‑chair of the OGP – a grouping of 58 countries and nine civil society organisations committed to transparent and open government, combatting corruption, and harnessing new technologies.

“The OGP’s goals are consistent with New Zealand values and with our goals for international economic and social development, and I was pleased the UK invited us to join,” Mr Key says.

But while this is good news, the way it has been done and announced is symptomatic of the entire process. When the OGP was launched, New Zealand missed the meeting because Foreign Minister Murray McCully was "busy" - likely watching a rugby game. In the intervening period, the government has not regarded it as a priority. And it speaks volumes that we've only joined this organisation (which is "consistent with New Zealand values and with our goals") on a specific request from the UK. I guess National doesn't really care about those values of transparency and openness until someone it wants to toady to asks them about them.

Still, we'll be in. Which means we might see further progress towards transparency and proactive openness in the future.