A Description of Voluntary Policy Methods for Natural Resource Management

The voluntary policies being used by local authorities to deliver Resource Management Act outcomes are considered nonstatutory policy methods under the Act, which does not define them or describe how they might be selected and implemented. One economist has been able to list over 50 different economic methods. A similar list has not been available for policy agents interested in drawing upon the rich and extensive experience of people in other disciplines such as agricultural extension and social marketing. Applied literature in a number of social science disciplines has been used in this paper to put such a list together. The author describes possible voluntary policy methods including those associated with adult learning, communication, networking and engineering. A typology of voluntary policy methods is combined with a knowledge of market segmentation and learning styles to design voluntary policy strategies that can be used to supplement or replace regulatory or market based methods. It is apparent that the standard of voluntary policy design can be improved through a greater awareness of the attributes of the different voluntary policy methods and how they can be combined effectively. Through greater strategic use of voluntary policy methods, and a process of monitoring and continual improvement, the outcomes desired in Resource Management Act legislation could be achieved more effectively without any increase in the number of rules required.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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