Policy development often involves engagement with citizens and/or interest groups to gather views on issues and options.
Any non-government consultation process should be discussed with the Minister’s office before proposals are developed for Cabinet. Consultation with outside interest groups may, in some instances, be more appropriate after Cabinet’s consideration of the policy.
The Department of Internal Affairs' Engagement and consultation guidance provides useful advice on good practices for engagement with citizens and community organisations.
Some Acts prescribe the consultation that a Minister must undertake before making certain statutory decisions. The Minister and department should ensure that, in such cases, adequate consultation has taken place in accordance with the Act.