Centre for Citizenship Education(CCE) Prospectus
Many people in New Zealand today stand to benefit from obtaining a better
understanding of the principles and procedures of our evolving pluralist
democracy, from coming to appreciate more fully the role and responsibilities
of the individual citizen, and the opportunities inherent in our system.
They should welcome the diversity of communities, large and small, all
over time adjusting to each other and all contributing to the New Zealand
The Centre for Citizenship Education (CCE) is able to contribute to policy
formation and educational development, with publications and other means
When in 2003 we celebrated
the launch by the Speaker of the Guide to Parliament and Government we
were still pulling together some disparate activities that, whatever their
origins, all had the same fundamental purpose. Now we can say with some
confidence that our overall approach is appropriate to the needs of New
Zealand today, which is a very different place from the New Zealand of
only a few years ago, a constantly evolving society needing to apply good
Kiwi common sense to building on its multi-ethnic foundations. The importance
of good citizenship, responsibility, accountability and good governance,
has never been greater.
Our process is to work as an independent umbrella organisation which will
always be interested in issues which advance citizenship education. We
cannot implement all of them alone. We have valuable relationships and
alliances. We very much appreciate the cooperation of governments, international
institutions and non-governmental organisations, including businesses,
publishers and others in civil society, and the financial sponsorship
they have very generously provided.
For the most part the CCE relies for funding on fees for consultancies
which we undertake as part of major projects, and for core and supplementary
sponsorships for associated publications.
In the first quarter 2003 the 115-page fifth edition of the DecisionMaker
Guide to Parliament and Government in New Zealand, prepared in consultation
with the Centre for Citizenship Education, was launched by the Speaker,
Rt Hon. Jonathan Hunt, with a foreword by the Governor-General, Dame Sylvia
Print copies (6000) and CD-Roms (4000) were distributed to and by parliamentarians,
central and local government managers, schools and universities, libraries
and some non-governmental organisations.
It was followed in the second quarter 2003 by How Participation Works,
which went into more detail about the relationships of the individual
and the family with the institutions of central and local government.
In the first quarter 2004 a flyer was sent to selected social studies
teachers on available and prospective citizenship education resources
– a practical way for DecisionMaker Publications and the CCE to
acknowledge the achievement of 150 years of Parliament in New Zealand.
The secondary school social studies curriculum stresses the need to teach
students to understand how systems of government are organised and affect
In the second quarter 2004 the Directory for Citizenship Education, which
was a section of the DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government
in 2003, was updated to catch up with recent changes. Its future development
should contribute to managing cultural diversity by introducing migrants
and citizens with other ethnic backgrounds to host society service providers.
In the third quarter 2003 a booklet entitled Pacific Citizens emphasised
the many linkages and common interests between communities in this country
and our Pacific neighbourhood, the need to work together and to understand
each others’ values. This took a regional view of the issues facing
We work with cities to strengthen civics education and help their citizens
handle local issues. The Guide to Local Government was published in the
third quarter 2004, extending publishing services on handling local issues
and assisting others to publish. In their daily lives people probably
have more frequent contact with their local authorities than with central
government. And indeed it seems that some elected officials are themselves,
initially at least, unsure of their place in the system. It was launched
by Hon Chris Carter, Minister of Local Government.
This edition introduced our multilingual online service in association
with the Department of Internal Affairs, in which in Samoan, Chinese,
Korean and Arabic we provide selected articles to assist migrants to participate
in local government. It also showed our support for the Kids Voting programme,
in association with Auckland City, and the Walking Bus programme, in association
with Auckland Regional Council, which in different ways foster participation.
The Justice and Electoral Committee resolved to initiate a 2005 inquiry
into the 2004 local authority elections, and showed continuing concern
about an issue also of concern to the Centre for Citizenship Education.
The Parliamentary Committee terms of reference include, in Participation
and elector turnout “Assess whether a school civics education programme
might affect election turnouts and encourage greater participation in
The 2004 triennial Parliamentary Appropriations Review spoke of “a
closer link between the parliamentary agencies and the Centre for Citizenship
Education”. The Centre is studying ways in which the DecisionMaker
Guide to Government and Parliament, published in print, web and CD-ROM
formats, can be developed to address the Review’s priority recommendation
– the making of a video on Parliament.
As will be apparent, the CCE cooperates with Asia Pacific Economic News
and others to publish quarterly editions, usually online, but also in
print, CD and other appropriate formats. Those people and institutions
who are likely to be interested, potential contributors, advertisers or
possible sponsors can expect a series of quarterly publications.
Education Knowledge Bank
Likewise, allied institutions may from time to time be in a position to
help us build up the Knowledge Bank on www.decisionmaker.co.nz/cce
website, which covers current developments in the broad field of citizenship
education, and what is seen as international best practice. Access to
the Knowledge Bank has been free for many years.
Some of the information collected by founders of the Centre is represented
in Turnbull Library holdings – particularly on political developments
in the Pacific and multiculturalism in New Zealand.
Along with this programme
of publications, the Centre has been exploring ways of explaining the
ideals of good citizenship and good governance to communities such as
those in Manukau City, perhaps our most multi-ethnic urban complex, working
with the Manukau Pacific Islands Advisory Council and the Auckland Regional
Migrant Services Trust. While it is important to have information and
advice available in printed publications, much is best achieved by direct
communication, by training programmes or targeted consultancy services
- which CCE can provide.
Discussion of the challenges faced in Auckland might well in due course
be seen to have application elsewhere, not only in this country.
Looking at our Pacific region, they would be in some ways relevant to
a major project on citizenship and governance in Samoa which we have designed
in consultation with senior figures in Apia. This opens up the possibility
of developing similar projects in cooperation with the Secretariat of
the Pacific Islands Forum, or perhaps other Island governments. In their
recent meetings in New Zealand Island Leaders have placed great emphasis
on the need for improving the quality of governance, and exploring ways
of securing greater integration. The Centre’s knowledge of a number
of countries in the Pacific and Asia can be applied to design and develop
multi-media educational resources.
Over the years the Centre has also been developing relationships with
specialists at Victoria University of Wellington such as the School of
Government, where its experience can contribute to research and teaching.
There is shared interest in reaching out to citizens – whatever
community they belong to – who can benefit.
The Centre’s interest in how New Zealand manages multiculturalism,
and in following up earlier writings and oral archives such as Being Pakeha
and Being Pa’alagi with a programme on Being New Zealanders, has
led to cooperation with the Stout Research Centre, the Treaty of Waitangi
Research Unit, the New Zealand Futures Trust and others.
The Centre is discussing with the Race Relations Commission the design
of a programme which would show how the diversity of cultural groups in
this country, where most people are of mixed ethnicity, contributes to
the evolution of the New Zealand identity. The 1984 book and film People
like us, for which Anthony Haas was responsible, illustrates what can
The Centre has experience of facilitating government, business and research
circles working together both between Pacific economies and within the
Japan-New Zealand relationship. This is proving valuable in current discussions.
There is widespread recognition that a good citizen should be concerned
about a range of communal issues in fields such as health, education,
or sustainable development, and should understand the implications for
themselves or family members. We have taken a particular interest, through
our Horizon Programme, in assisting the sight-impaired, and have provided
voluntary service in the blind and sight-impaired community. On a consultancy
basis we now are providing professional service in blindness prevention,
facilitating a partnership between consumer, eye-care professional, and
government interests to increase the effort put into a currently under-resourced
The CCE is a non-governmental organisation established on the basis of
a quarter century of experience, involving for example contacts with the
Pacific Islands Forum, Australia’s Centre for Democratic Institutions,
and Transparency International, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United
It is serviced by a secretariat in Wellington, provided since establishment
by Asia Pacific Economic News Ltd, and has the benefit of comment from
advisory panel members who likewise have wide connections, both in this
country and internationally. Anthony Haas, the Establishment Director,
is a 2004-2007 Honorary Fellow of the School of Government, Victoria University
Asia Pacific Economic News Ltd’s representation in the Parliamentary
Press Gallery helps the collection, evaluation and dissemination of information
and knowledge for citizenship education.
The Centre is greatly assisted by its general and specialist Advisory
Panel members. These include Professor Gary Hawke, Roger Peren, Hon Hugh
Templeton and others with particular interest in certain projects.
Since 1990, when the first edition of the guides to Parliament and Government
was published in the DecisionMaker series by Asia Pacific Economic News
Ltd in consultation with Parliamentary Service, citizenship education
has been supported by successive Speakers of Parliament.
If our democracy is to thrive, we need an informed and responsible electorate.
Former Speakers said in 1988 in Restoring public confidence in Parliament
• The media should see themselves as major participants in maintaining
the relevance of Parliament for the people
• Civics education should be introduced into the school curriculum
• The public must take responsibility for participation in our Parliamentary
Much still remains to be done to build an informed public, as was said
in the November 2004 report on Resourcing Parliament.
Find out more:
Centre for Citizenship Education
Secretariat: P O Box 3978, 5 Maurice Tce, Wellington
Mobile: O27 242 2301, Fax: 04 3850238
Last updated in February 2005