Public voice and participation

  • Mark Bennett and Joel Colón-Ríos “Public Participation in New Zealand’s Regulatory Context” in Susy Frankel and Deborah Ryder (eds) Recalibrating Behaviour: Smarter Regulation in a Global World (LexisNexis 2013). This paper presents the reasons for and against more participation in regulatory processes in New Zealand. Public participation is often viewed with a degree of scepticism by some regulators however its existing and potential value is outlined clearly in this paper through examples including the electricity industry. The electricity sector example demonstrates the conclusions of the paper, including that governments and regulators should aim to increase the level of public participation that informs and influences their decisions and should do this in a way that avoids or mitigates the reasons against public participation particularly special interest capture, technocracy and apathy to regulatory decisions. The paper suggests mechanisms that could be used to increase participation including citizen’s juries, citizen advisory committees and consumer advocacy groups. Overall the paper outlines the benefits of public participation and gives a good basis as to why a more engaged and informed citizenry is desirable for regulation.

  • See also Mark Bennett and Joel Colón-Ríos “Public Participation and Regulation” in Susy Frankel (ed) Learning from the Past Adapting to the Future: Regulatory Reform in New Zealand (LexisNexis, 2011).