Course 2:

The insider’s guide to policy and law-making

This course takes you through the whole policy and law-making process. From beginning to end. Ambitious, but extremely useful.

The beauty of the course is that you will get a complete overview of the Cabinet and parliamentary processes in one day.

Too often people have to rely on bits of knowledge they pick up on an ad hoc basis, but they never get to see the ‘big picture’. This course will fast-track your learning and give you a springboard to further your knowledge in these key areas.

Course overview

This course provides a unique overview of the policy and law-making process within central government.

You will examine the factors that drive new policy, and look at the Cabinet decision-making process, including Cabinet papers, Cabinet Committees and policy consultation between agencies. You will also understand the difference between regulations and Acts of Parliament, and why one form of legislation is used over the other. The course also examines how government bills are passed by Parliament, plus who the main players are in the policy process (for example, the Policy Advisory Group), and the influence they all have on policy proposals and legislation.

This course is beneficial as part of an induction process so that new staff get to understand the policy and political environment in which they operate. The course is also ideal for staff who have moved into more policy-orientated roles, those with responsibility for contributing to Cabinet papers, departmental lawyers, and managers.

The course throws light on the often murky and confusing world of Cabinet and Parliament. Participants will become familiar with all the key documents, the relevant legal and constitutional principles, and the informal political ‘rules’ that determine how Cabinet and Parliament actually operate.

Agencies with staff that are well-trained in this area are better equipped to serve their minister. They also have an advantage in advancing policy and legislative proposals.

At the end of the course you will have a good understanding of:

  • the sources of government policy
  • the difference between primary (Acts of Parliament) and secondary legislation (regulations)
  • the policy issues ministers must bring to Cabinet
  • the main players in the policy process (including the Prime Minister, ministers and their departments, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet Office, the Policy Advisory Group, political advisers, government caucuses, and support parties)
  • critical policy documents including the LAC Guidelines, the Cabinet Manual, the ‘CabGuide’, Regulatory Impact Statements, plus the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 vetting process
  • the Cabinet decision-making process
  • what the Parliamentary Counsel Office does
  • the Executive Council and regulations
  • how the government’s Legislation Programme works
  • the stages of a bill’s passage through Parliament
  • select committee scrutiny of legislation
  • monitoring and reviewing policy post-implementation
In-house workshop

This course is available only as an in-house workshop. Please get in touch to discuss options.

This is a very comprehensive course that provides a valuable insight into the process. Not enough officials fully understand these aspects and I would recommend it to officials – both new and experienced.

course participant

Loved it! Very informative and lots of laughs.

course participant

The course was exactly what I wanted, which was to get a practical overview of the process of policy and legislation making. I really enjoyed meeting everyone, the course size was just right and I felt interested and engaged all day. Thank you Ryan. The course was well planned and informative.

course participant

The most important things I learned were the Cabinet processes, alternatives to bills and regulations, and the importance and reasons for consultation.

course participant

Lots of interesting background info and actual situations that have arisen to learn how this works in practice. Accessible presenter who was engaging and able to pitch at the right level.

course participant

Great value. A real world understanding of process in less time than it would have taken me to study this, if at all.

course participant

Engaging discussion throughout the day. Good use of examples to explain concepts and processes.

course participant

Learned a lot – and stayed awake!!

course participant