Is the Aotearoa New Zealand Policy Process: fit for purpose?


  • Sonia Mazey University of Canterbury
  • Jeremy Richardson University of Canterbury



Policy failure, Deliberation, Policy commissions, Implementation, Ministers, Public servants


New Zealand is generally thought to be well governed by international standards, with low levels of corruption, innovative policies in some sectors, and high levels of trust in the system of government. But all is not well in the public policymaking system. Rather, the system resembles an endless conveyor belt of unsolved, or partially solved, policy problems that have a tendency over time to become bigger ‘crises’. Effective public policymaking is hard and policy ‘stuff-ups’ happen worldwide. But New Zealanders should not accept policy failures as a fact of life. Our central thesis is that, via a series of reforms, the policymaking process could become much more effective in achieving successful policy outcomes.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Sonia Mazey, University of Canterbury

Sonia Mazey is principal of Arcady Hall and an adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury.

Jeremy Richardson, University of Canterbury

Jeremy Richardson is an emeritus fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and adjunct professor at the University of Canterbury. They are the co-editors of Policy-making under Pressure: rethinking the policy process in Aotearoa New Zealand, recently published by Canterbury University Press.