So… what is Policy?

When people talk about ‘Policy’, they’re really talking about a series of steps, or a process.

This process usually includes:

  • identifying a problem
  • coming up with options for solving that problem
  • consulting with the people of Aotearoa
    (including young people!)
  • providing advice to decision-makers on the best way forward.

After the policy-making process has finished, the outcome could include:

  • a law being passed
  • a change in the way things are done
  • an action plan or strategy to help solve a problem.

Policy makers work for government agencies, like the Ministry of Education, and are often experts in a particular field. Policy is politically neutral and involves providing advice based on evidence.

Why is youth voice important to policy?

The voices of young people can improve policy by:

  • Ensuring the challenges facing young people are heard and understood
  • Suggesting different ways of solving these challenges
  • Helping policy makers understand which solutions are likely to help, or cause harm