This consultation policy sets out the principles of WorkSafe in relation to written consultation.
WorkSafe is developing a broader stakeholder engagement framework. This framework will outline WorkSafe’s wider range of topics, issues and projects, based across a spectrum of engagement activities and approaches similar to that articulated by the the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).1 It is anticipated that this Policy will later be revisited as part of this framework.
WorkSafe was established as a Crown entity under the WorkSafe New Zealand Act 2013 and is New Zealand’s primary health and safety regulator. WorkSafe’s primary objective is to promote and contribute to a balanced framework for securing the health and safety of workers and workplaces.
WorkSafe regularly engages with a range of stakeholders to carry out its wide reaching functions. There are particular mutual obligations between WorkSafe and our social partners. Effective consultation enables us to better serve our stakeholders by ensuring participation in our range of regulatory intervention products, and to help us better understand and meet the needs of end users.
This Policy is intended for internal operational use. It outlines WorkSafe’s approach to written consultation.
It provides principles to guide WorkSafe staff on how to develop fit for purpose consultation approaches.
There is also separate Consultation Process Guidance (the Guidance) which includes timelines for consultation.
Where legislation specifies the way consultation shall be undertaken we will follow the statutory process and guidance set out in the Cabinet Manual.
This Policy covers written consultation carried out by WorkSafe. We define this as where we seek feedback in the form of analysis, alternatives and/or options on our products. Our regulatory products include:
- Guidance and education products such as Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs), and Energy Safety information, for example, Energy Safety alerts.
- Regulatory instruments like Safe Work Instruments (SWIs) and gazette notice requirements.
For products where statutory consultation is required, this is done according to process provided in the Guidance.
This document covers the following:
- principles that describe good consultation
- high level guidance on how to consult.
Out of scope
This document does not cover the following:
- Engagement and consultation on WorkSafe strategies, harm reduction programmes of work and initiatives.
- Informal, ad-hoc contact with stakeholders (including social partners) such as informal phone calls.
- Day-to-day engagement by WorkSafe staff within direct reporting lines and between peers.
- Budgets, funding and the resourcing of consultations.
- Operational procedures and processes for undertaking consultation.
Objectives of consultation
WorkSafe undertakes consultation to:
- Gain effective and efficient feedback at various stages of development to help WorkSafe develop fit for purpose and better products, policies and guidance.
- Build our understanding of ‘what works’ for different audiences in a range of situations.
- Build and maintain productive relationships with stakeholders.
- Share the development process of products, policies and guidance with our partners and stakeholders.
- Understand any potential barriers to successful implementation.
- Open up communication channels ahead of implementation.
- Meet its own responsibilities, including WorkSafe’s mandatory consultation requirements.
Principles of consultation
In making decisions about who to consult with, when and how, we will be guided by the following principles:
|Principle||How we will do this|
|Consulting where appropriate||
|Meeting mandatory consultation requirements||
|Meeting obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi||
|Meeting agreed ways of working with key stakeholders||
|Identifying our audience||
|Proportionate and tailored consultation||
We will decide on the size and type of consultation by considering:
|Being accessible and timely||
|Acting in good faith||
|Being open and transparent||
Table 1: Principles of consultation
Planning your consultation
When WorkSafe decides to consult, then we will make every effort to act in accordance with the principles outlined in this Consultation Policy.
In our planning, we will also factor in any time and other operational constraints.
Refer to the Consultation Process Guidance for further information on how to consult.
Other relevant documents
Other relevant documents include our Safe work instruments policy.
Review and publication of this policy
The WorkSafe Operational Policy team will review this Policy as needed.
This Policy is part of WorkSafe’s practice framework and is available externally.
Policy owner: General Manager, Better Regulation
Policy approved by: The Senior Leadership Team of WorkSafe
Policy reviewed and approved: September 2018
Next review date: As needed
Distribution: This policy will be published on the WorkSafe website and intranet.
 - Spectrum source: International Association for Public Participation