The Cabinet Manual is the primary authority on the conduct of Cabinet government in New Zealand. It covers Cabinet procedure and provides guidance for Ministers, their offices and those working within the public service. It is part of New Zealand's constitutional arrangements, documenting the executive's view of how it functions and the main conventions that operate within government. The Manual provides guidance rather than prescribing rules, and generally contains settled understandings of government practice rather than leading change. The first item of business on the agenda of successive governments has been to endorse the Cabinet Manual as the basis on which they will operate.
This 2023 edition incorporates changes made to government processes since the previous version was published in 2017, including updated guidance on the importance of privacy, the modernised principles governing the public service, and changes to legislative processes following the passing of the Legislation Act 2019 and Secondary Legislation Act 2021.
Cabinet has approved the content of the Cabinet Manual 2023. I encourage all those working in government to consult the latest version and follow the guidance it contains.
Rt Hon Chris Hipkins