education can make a difference - and public policy now more clearly
acknowledges this for New Zealand. It can help people know their rights,
have their voices heard, choose representatives to govern on their
behalf and participate more effectively in their community. Citizenship
education is not only important for each of us as citizens. It is
also important for those who influence how citizens can participate
in educational, Parliamentary, governmental, legal or other services.
The 6th New Zealand
edition, online and in CD Rom, of the DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament
and Government coincides with clearer, stronger Parliamentary
and government committment to citizenship education.
Speaker Margaret Wilson is keen to get as much information as possible
into the public domain about the functioning of Parliament and our
system of government. She is an advocate of three main projects underway
to achieve this:
- one integrated
new website with information about Parliament and the Parliamentary
process for launch later in 2006
- the establishment
of a Parliamentary television service providing coverage from the
debating chamber and selected Select Committee rooms, and
- the extension
of the radio broadcast feed to some of those areas currently unable
to receive the service.
2005 versions of the essence statment and achievement objectives for
New Zealand social science make, as Education Minister Steve Maharey
says "students' understanding of their role as citizens explicit
at every level of the curriculum".
Select Committees reported to Parliament in August 2005,
calling for more citizenship education. The Centre for Citizenship
Education October 2005 scoping
document distills the preferences of people consulted in Parliament,
government and education.
citizenship education editions, with supplementary resources built
up since 1990 with many public and private sector participants, enabled
us to expand understanding of how Parliament, government and the law
works. Each DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government,
since Asia Pacific Economic News developed the titles in consultation
with New Zealand‘s Parliamentary Service in 1990, has incorporated
The 2000 edition introduced The Big Picture to support an
embryonic whole-of-government approach.
The 2003 edition expanded citizenship education online, and, supported
by Cabinet, built on these foundations, providing more public-good
content and a coherent structure.
The Directory for Citizenship Education, one of the magazines
that make up this composite DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and
Government, draws together information from a number of sources to
provide a list of contact details for services useful to those exercising
the rights of citizenship.
The Directory on Cultural Diversity, launched in 2005, helps
deliver citizenship education to new settlers and other people who
should not be overlooked, and helps them and members of the host society
find each other. The Directories, like all DecisionMaker publications,
are available online – on www.decisionmaker.co.nz.
continues to build on its past editions such as How participation
works – incorporating perspectives on best New Zealand
and international practice in citizenship education. It reaches out
to public servants, offering a professional development resource that
helps them provide integrated government information and services
for new settlers and other citizens.
We are building on our Pacific Citizens edition, which in
turn have a pedigree reaching back to the major period of self-determination
and growth of responsible government in New Zealand's neighbourhood.
The first qtr 2006 release of the 6th post election edition of the
DecisionMaker Guide to Parliament and Government, as well
as embracing the new technology in multi media context, will be followed
by an increasingly active schools, new settlers and workplace focused
citizenship education programme online at decisionmaker.co.nz.
The Governor-General has encouraged DecisionMaker and social science
educators to work closer together, and they are, in developing teaching
resources with a focus on citizenship - such as "MMP, the journey".
We remain committed
to the view that information is not in itself knowledge, but only
a resource from which knowledge can be extracted - helped by good
tutors and the new technology shaped as e-democracy and e-government
Electronic search engines allow those in the know to find information
they're looking for; publications such as ours allow people to discover
both knowledge that they need (whether or not they were looking) and
its relevance and context.
also marks stepped up cooperation with the Centre for Citisenship
Education, a charitable trust, and the citizenship education network
which lifted off in New Zealand in 2005.
DecisionMaker continues to improve its publishing service with partners,
and facilitates the development of policy planning to improve citizenship
education in schools and communities – sharing experience with
New Zealand and international best practice.
Haas, publisher, Asia Pacific Economic News Ltd.
above, Speaker Margaret Wilson
below, Parliamentary complex, Wellington
citizenship education can make a difference - and public policy
now more clearly acknowledges this for New Zealand.