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2021 New Zealand Symposium

The New Zealand Symposium brings together engagement practitioners, community development practitioners, communications and marketing professionals and academics to explore the diverse and challenging topic of community and stakeholder engagement.


The 2021 New Zealand Symposium was held in Auckland in late May. You can read more about this event with our wrap-up from IAP2A director, working group member and attendee, Jo Wilkins, here.

IAP2 Australasia members can now view the event presentation recordings. These are available via the IAP2 ANZ resource library, make sure you log in to be able to view.

Tip: You can browse the recordings via the Conference category or searching for the presentation name in the search bar within the member resources library (once logged in).

Keynote Presentation: Pathways to good engagement practice by government.

Diane Owenga, Programme Director and Jayne Foster, Principal Advisor, The Policy Project, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

There is a clear rationale for government undertaking good community engagement. This enables decision-making that delivers more robust and legitimate policy outcomes – and is integral to building a relationship of trust between the government and the public. The challenge for government has been how to build pathways to good community engagement practice.

The Policy Project, a unit within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, has a role to lift the policy capability of government departments – including the community engagement skills of the public service.  Under the Open Government Partnership 2018 – 2021 National Action Plan, the Policy Project developed a suite of resources for policy advisers. These aim to assist the New Zealand public sector to develop a deeper and more consistent understanding of what good engagement with the public means – right across the Spectrum of Participation of the International Association of Public Participation. Diane and Jayne’s address introduces each of the community engagement resources – which align with the IAP2 Spectrum and New Zealand’s unique cultural context – and how they contribute to good practice. Uptake of the resources to date, and some recent developments that could extend their reach, are outlined.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Promoting Ethnic Diversity Engagement through partnerships with local councils.

Bernard Gomes, Senior Diversity and Engagement Advisor, Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) and Fungai Mhlanga, Senior Diversity and Engagement Advisor, OEC.

This session covers the programmes the Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) is involved in with local councils in advancing acknowledgement and celebration of diversity and creating social cohesion and sense of belonging by ethnic people within these organisations and the wider communities. It also covers ways of enhancing civic participation and leadership within the vulnerable communities.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Engagement during Crisis – Ethnic Communities response during COVID -19.

Amrit Melant, Senior Diversity and Engagement Advisor, OEC, Fungai Mhlanga, Senior Diversity and Engagement Advisor, OEC and Sean Lim, Diversity and Engagement Advisor, OEC.

The Office of Ethnic Communities (OEC) share the initiatives that were implemented to ensure the ethnic people in the Northern Region were engaged and supported with COVID-19 information and resources particularly during lockdowns. The presentation covers how the communities contributed to the response and key learnings of effective ways of supporting the diverse ethnic communities during crisis.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Keynote Panel: Engaging with Diverse Communities in a post-COVID-19 world.

Eddie Tuiavii, Senior Advisor Deliberative Democracy, Auckland Council (MC), Nandita Mathur, Regional Manager Community Engagement Northern at the Office of Ethnic  Communities, John Henare, Manager Public Sector Capability and Engagement at Te Arawhiti, Sarah Colcord, Co-founder of Auckland Youth Voice, Hainoame Fulivai, Co-Chair, Pacific People’s Advisory Panel, Auckland Council and Communities of Practice Lead, The Cause Collective.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has added another layer of inequality and inequity for some of our communities. The economic, social, cultural, mental and physical struggles and challenges faced by these groups have exacerbated the status quo. How do we as engagement practitioners ensure the barriers to public participation for these groups are reduced or eliminated?


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Keynote Presentation: What meaningful child participation can look like in Aotearoa in 2021.

Judge Andrew Becroft, Children’s Commissioner.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Engaging with the other.

Chris Mene, Director, Mene Solutions and Anne Pattillo, Founder and Director, Pattillo.

How do you prepare yourself to engage with people who are not like you, not like “us”?

This challenge is more important than ever for engagement practitioners.

The aim of this presentation is to stimulate, provoke, and support participants on the next step of their inner engagement journey.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

How can we get great outcomes, when working at pace after a disaster?

Aimee Brock, Steve Mutton, Daryl McIntosh and Joel Rowan, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.

This year, public service engagement professionals all over the country have been tasked with working quickly to roll out projects and services to help with our economic recovery after COVID-19.

This session shares some of the new ideas and lessons learnt at Waka Kotahi that we are using to try to make sure great engagement practice, public participation and awesome community outcomes aren’t lost in the rush, in the hope that these might help others too. Drawing on a number of case studies including the Kaikoura earthquake response, which won the Prime Minister’s choice award in the 2020 Spirit of Public Service awards.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

I have all this digital engagement data. What do I do with it?

Michala Lander, Technical Director – Social Planning  and Georgia Smythe, Communications and Engagement Consultant GHD.

Within the engagement sector, 2020 was a year of many challenges, yet it also led to many opportunities. Over night many of us had to convert engagement campaigns into COVID safe activities seeing a significant shift from traditional to digital techniques. It is certainly an exciting time for all of us as digital tools have become the norm. They are now a standard expectation from our clients and also the broader community.

This session explores the various digital tools that are now available to us and the data that they provide. Rather than focusing on the interface that the community experience, we will look at the back end of each tool to investigate the data they produce.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Walking the talk: Community wellbeing at the forefront of project planning.

Julie Boucher, Principal – Social Sustainability and Planning and Rachel Maas, Principal – Social Scientist, Just Add Lime.

All too often, a full appreciation of the impacts of a public infrastructure project on the community is not gained until a project team is narrowing down design options, or starts to think about applying for consents.

This usually means that a community engagement professional is put in a position where they are engaging with the community on a proposal that has already been formed up, in isolation of the community it is meant to be serving. This subsequently limits the scope of the engagement to finding out what people do and don’t like about it, or can and can’t live with, or to identify ways people might adjust to it.

This session discusses examples of projects in New Zealand and Australia that have bought forward targeted engagement with the community much earlier than traditional planning processes specify in their ‘rule books’.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.

Pecha Kucha sessions

Engagement with communities in the Marshall Islands: Lessons and Challenges.

Ashlie Carlyle, Senior Associate – Planning & Engagement, Beca Limited.

Ashlie shares her experiences with stakeholder engagement in Ebeye, the Marshall Islands second largest urban centre and the most densely populated island in the Pacific. Hear how a small team can make a large impact by partnering with their client and inspiring change for a sustainable future.

Old dog, new tricks. Applying the IAP2 model as a late-career practitioner.

Anna Mickell, Programme Manager, He Ako Hiringa.

Setting up a new service for clinicians to drive medicines access equity required extensive stakeholder engagement. A seasoned practitioner, Anna describes how she turned her back on the ‘shoulder tap’, instead using the IAP2 model to design a stakeholder framework that delivered a diverse advisory group with over 50% Māori and Pacific representation, as well as other elements that drive contribution of stakeholder experts in resource design and delivery.

Te Arawhiti Engagement framework and guidelines.

John Henare, Manager Public Sector Capability and Engagement at Te Arawhiti.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording for these three sessions here.

Keynote Presentation: Engaging on Climate Change Adaption.

Dr Paula Blackett, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).

Serious games are an emerging approach that create an opportunity for players to navigate adaptation choices in the face of uncertain rates of change (e.g. sea-level rise, changes in flood frequency, drought), contested alternatives, flexibility of responses and budget constraints.

This session discusses the application of games in community engagement regarding climate change adaptation, overview what it takes to construct and game and finally demonstrate one of NIWA’s simple serious games.


IAP2 Australasia members, log in and watch the recording here.