As part of the Government’s regulatory management strategy, ‘Building effective regulatory institutions and practices’, the major regulatory departments are expected to publish information on the regulatory systems in which they have a major role as a regulatory steward.
The two key objectives underlying this requirement are to:
- facilitate and increase engagement between regulatory departments and government and non-government stakeholders with interests in the regulatory systems about actions likely to improve the performance of regulation, and
- encourage departments to think practically about how they will meet their regulatory stewardship obligations, including what internal systems or measures they need to put in place to understand the condition and fitness-for-purpose of their regulatory systems and to use this information to prioritise improvements.
The departmental regulatory stewardship strategies were first published in 2016. In 2017, the seven major regulatory departments and the Treasury worked together to create more consistent frameworks for developing and presenting the 2017 strategies.
The departments have started to assess the fitness-for-purpose of their regulatory systems using common dimensions of effectiveness; efficiency; durability and resilience; and fairness and accountability.
In addition, departments have made greater efforts to take an end-to-end view of the systems in which they have stewardship roles. This includes seeking input and views from other agencies with roles in the systems. In some instances, the assessments reflect the views of external stakeholders, most often via surveys, formal evaluations or recently completed policy reviews.
The departments continue to improve their regulatory system assessments by working together and with other agencies and stakeholders.
Adjustments to reporting since 2018/19
In 2018/19 regulatory stewardship reporting transitioned from requiring a departmental strategy, to instead encourage a greater focus on the regulatory systems in which the departments have stewardship roles.
This adjustment built on departments’ progress to date by making existing information on regulatory systems more accessible, and sought to more strongly encourage system assessments that are owned by more than one agency.
Moving the information out of a strategy document makes it easier for departments to update the system information. Departments are encouraged to update the information periodically and as new information is available.
Departments are also asked to update information on forward plans for regulatory and operational improvements to each regulatory system by a particular date each year.
2020 Regulatory System Reporting
The regulatory stewardship reporting departments have been working to update and add to their information, understandings, and plans for the regulatory systems they steward. They have been, or were preparing to, periodically update this information on their websites, eg with links to current or recent reviews of these systems, findings from system assessments etc.
They were also preparing to update the forward plans for regulatory and operational improvements to each system by 30 April 2020.
Much of this ongoing stewardship work has been disrupted by COVID-19, as have the forward plans for regulatory and operational improvements to each system. Urgent changes were made to address the level 4 lockdown, and further work has or is being done to prepare different regulatory systems to operate at other levels and to help with recovery.
In these circumstances, it is not realistic to publish forward plans. We have asked the reporting departments to progress regulatory stewardship approaches as far as possible in the current climate, and to update and add to the published information on the regulatory systems they steward as and when they can.
We will be working with these departments to jointly reflect on what the experience of Covid-19 has taught us about regulatory stewardship practice, where it has helped, where it needs improvement, and what areas we should focus on for the future; in particular, what aspects of stewardship will contribute the most to helping with New Zealand's recovery and the future resilience of our regulatory systems.
You can find the published descriptions and assessments of regulatory systems through the following links.
- Ministry for the Environment (MfE)
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
- Ministry of Transport (MoT)
- Department of Internal Affairs (DIA)
- Inland Revenue (IRD)
- Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
- Ministry of Justice (MoJ)
- Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)
- The Treasury
- The Ministry of Health (MoH)
2017 departmental regulatory stewardship strategies
The Minister for Regulatory Reform welcomed the publication of the first of the 2017 regulatory stewardship strategies. The relevant media statement from August 2017 can be found on the Beehive website here:
- Hon Paul Goldsmith, Minister for Regulatory Reform: New departmental regulatory strategies released
You can find each department’s 2017 regulatory stewardship strategy here (note, links will be added once each strategy has been published):
- Ministry for the Environment (MFE): Our Regulatory Stewardship Strategy 2017
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE): Information on MBIE's 2017/18 Regulatory Stewardship Strategy
- Ministry of Transport (MOT):
- Department of Internal Affairs (DIA):
- Inland Revenue (IRD): Regulatory Stewardship Strategy
- Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI):
- Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
We invite stakeholders to use this information to engage with departments on the general direction of their regulatory strategies, and to become involved in identifying regulatory problems and areas where the costs of regulation could be reduced.
The departmental regulatory stewardship strategies were published for the first time in 2016.
The Minister for Regulatory Reform welcomed the release of MBIE’s regulatory stewardship strategy in August 2016, the first of the departmental strategies to be published. The relevant media statement can be found on the Beehive website here:
- Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Regulatory Reform: New MBIE regulatory strategy released (18 Aug 2016)
You can find each department’s 2016 regulatory stewardship strategy here:
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE): Stewardship
- Ministry of Transport (MOT): Four Year Regulatory Plan 2016-19
- Department of Internal Affairs (DIA): Regulatory Strategy 2016/17
- Inland Revenue (IRD): Inland Revenue regulatory management
- Ministry for the Environment (MFE): Our regulatory stewardship strategy
- Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI): Regulatory stewardship