About rural proofing
The Government's rural communities portfolio recognises the importance of our rural communities. We need to focus on the unique challenges they face so that they can be vibrant, resilient, and sustainable.
The rural communities work programme aims to help rural people to:
- have a higher quality of life
- have access to social and economic opportunities
- be just as able to reach their potential as urban New Zealanders.
"Rural proofing" aims to achieve this. It's about taking into account the particular challenges faced by the rural sector when designing and implementing Government policy.
Strong and vibrant rural communities support the success of our major export industries and growth in international visitors.
Rural proofing policy – Beehive media release
Rural Proofing government policies – Cabinet paper [PDF, 481 KB]
Rural proofing guide for policy development and service delivery planning [PDF, 960 KB]
What does rural proofing mean?
Rural proofing means:
- understanding the unique aspects of rural communities
- identifying the impacts of policies on them
- ensuring the policy outcomes are fair and equitable.
Rural proofing is most effective when considered early and throughout the policy process. This means building a rural lens into the full cycle of our policy development, implementation, service delivery, and evaluation of policy effectiveness.
Successful rural proofing will lead to a more tailored policy and operational design. The aim is to have policies that are practicable and reflect the aspirations, values, needs and capabilities of rural communities.
How to rural proof your policy
Add a rural lens to your normal policymaking process. You should consciously remove any urban bias as you think through potential rural implications of policies.
- Confirm policy or programme objectives and desired outcomes.
- Recognise the unique challenges faced by rural communities.
- Identify and assess potential impacts.
- Engage with stakeholders who live in, or are familiar with, rural communities.
- Consider mitigation measures.