Richard Shaw And Chris Eichbaum's Public Policy In New Zealand

1528 Words 7 Pages
The purpose of this essay is to use the policy cycle discussed in Richard Shaw and Chris Eichbaum’s (2011) ‘Public Policy in New Zealand’ to explain the development of a current New Zealand policy. The policy cycle Shaw and Eichbaum discuss includes agenda setting, policy formation, decision-making, implementation and evaluation of the policy. I will be using the 2015 increase of the minimum wage as my policy example. Throughout I will identify the key policy stakeholders. Both internal policy actors such as ministers and other governmental officials and external stakeholders such as firms, organisations and unions.
The policy development cycle is not a static and straightforward process (Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011). The consideration to increase
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These people scrutinise the minimum wage policies of previous years to assess whether the currently available options are appropriate (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2014). The main evaluation was undertaken by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment and the Honourable Michael Woodhouse Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2014, Woodhouse, 2014). This evaluation with recommendations moves the issue to the agenda setting period as the recommendations require consideration and ultimately authorisation from the executive council (Woodhouse, 2014, Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011). This shows how “ministers are arguably the most powerful policy actors” (Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011, p.6) because it is a minister who is in the centre of policy formulation as Michael Woodhouse is responsible for initiating and compiling The Minimum Wage Review for 2014 (Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011, Woodhouse, 2014).
The agenda setting stage is usually where policy stakeholders all compete to get government attention (Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011). However, due to the nature of the Minimum Wage Review it is unnecessary for stakeholders to lobby and fight for attention as there will be thorough consultation and information gathered for the policy to go
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NZCTU recommended a wage of $19.08 for 2015 with an increase to $20.30 for 2017 (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2014). Unite Union on the other hand accepted the increase but wanted to government to increase the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage instead of around half (Stuff, 2015).
Business NZ on the other hand presented the opinion that “increases to the minimum wage create unnecessary artificial inflationary pressures” (Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment, 2014 p. 30). Business NZ argue that the minimum wage should be only increase at a rate that is lower than the rate of inflation and should not be more than 25% of the average national wage (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 2014).
Ministers as part of the internal policy actors will take advice from, and consult with various external stakeholders during the policy formulation stage. This is to assess the points of view of those who will be affected by the policy. This consultation happens before any decisions are made, even though the minister is not obligated to “act on the advice they receive” (Shaw & Eichbaum, 2011

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