Effective engagement is at the heart of the Business Case Approach (BCA). The support of stakeholders is critical to making successful investments, whether the stakeholders are internal or external. In the context of a business case, a stakeholder can be any individual, group of individuals, organisation, or political entity with a stake in the outcome of the investment being considered.
Who are stakeholders?
In the context of a business case, a stakeholder can be any individual, group of individuals, organisation, or political entity that has an interest in, may be affected by or may impact on the outcome of the investment being considered. Stakeholders may be internal and/ or external to your organisation.
Some stakeholders may be involved because they hold specialist knowledge of the matters being considered in the business case.
Where there is a high level of impact or interest and/or statutory obligations, stakeholders can also include partners. Partners are those who share co-funding, statutory or decision-making responsibilities with Waka Kotahi in the activity being engaged on. In some cases, a formal memorandum of understanding (MOU) or other agreement may be in place to support the partnership.
Waka Kotahi is committed to engaging Māori as Treaty partners. Te Tiriti o Waitangi provides the foundation of the special partnership relationship the Crown has with Māori.
For more information on defining and engaging with stakeholders, read the following information sheet.
Point of entry: relationship management information sheet [PDF, 72 KB]
A key expectation is that business case developers will undertake a journey with stakeholders, to the extent appropriate, as a business case progresses from start to finish.
For many business cases, this will mean creating genuine opportunities for stakeholders to influence the shaping of an investment from the early stages, not simply be invited to comment on a limited range of options towards the end. This is especially important for stakeholders who:
Public service organisations have a commitment to partner with Māori to taking appropriate account of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as well as our legislative requirements. Understanding the impact a business case may have on issues of significance to Māori is crucial at the outset. Understanding Māori aspirations and the impact and opportunities for Māori will help set direction for later conversations at either the partnership or operational engagement levels.
Our vision for BCA engagement is that:
'Throughout the BCA, engagement is genuine, meaningful and targeted in each step of development to support great transport outcomes for all New Zealanders.'
The BCA is a principles-based approach, because it needs to support development of fit-for-purpose business cases for a diverse range of investments. Business cases are guided by five key principles that apply to all business case work.
Business Case Approach principles
In keeping with this principles-based approach, we have developed the following engagement principles to guide the development of business cases from inception to implementation. They support and are consistent with the key principles of the BCA, but they are not intended to replace them.
Our principles support BCA engagement practice:
These principles are intended to build on, not replace, the principles for consultation included in legislation, including the Land Transport Management Act 2003 (LTMA) and the Local Government Act 2002. They are designed to support the process of scoping and developing a business case under the BCA.
Land Transport Management Act 2003(external link)
Local Government Act 2002(external link)
For more detail on how to use engagement in the BCA, read our guidance on how to apply the engagement principles in practice.
Applying the Business Case Approach engagement principles to business case development
Our engagement vision and principles have been designed to be consistent with the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) approach to public engagement.
International Association for Public Participation Australasia(external link)
IAP2 guidelines identify a spectrum of public participation goals, ranging from inform at one end to empower at the other.
View larger image [PNG, 269 KB]
The following should be kept in mind when planning how and when to engage during development of a business case:
The ‘Resources and further information’ section of this page also includes links to tools and templates to support engagement planning and relationship management. Alternatively, you can use your organisation’s own tools and templates where these are available.
Business case practitioners should use the engagement principles to decide on the fit-for-purpose level of engagement for each business case. This means deciding how the engagement principles can best be applied at each stage of development.
It’s important to keep in mind that this is also about finding the right amount and type of engagement to use in each business case, not simply about doing more. Not enough, or the wrong kind of engagement can lead to problems later on, for example if stakeholders feel they haven’t had genuine input to setting the direction of an investment. Equally, however, too much engagement can place a high demand on stakeholders’ time and availability, set undue expectations, and increase costs.
Thinking about what fit-for-purpose engagement looks like begins in the PoE and is revisited at the start of each new phase as the business case is developed. A key step in the PoE is to begin thinking about the engagement plan that will guide engagement throughout the activity development and in the next phase business case.
When assessing funding applications from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), Waka Kotahi will seek assurance that the engagement needs have been given appropriate consideration.
When assessing funding applications for business case phases, there are some general expectations that Waka Kotahi will look for to help us understand whether the principles relating to engagement are being followed:
Using engagement effectively can sometimes be challenging so it’s a good idea to seek input from an engagement specialist, either in your own organisation or from an external provider. You can also contact your Waka Kotahi investment advisor or email the Business Case Process team at email@example.com