Preliminary impact and risk assessment
A preliminary impact and risk assessment (PIRA) is intended to:
• Help agencies determine whether Cabinet’s Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) requirements
apply to a policy initiative for which they are responsible.
• Help agencies identify the potential range of impacts and risks that might be presented by the
policy options for a policy initiative or review, in order that these can be appropriately addressed
in the regulatory impact analysis undertaken.
• Help Treasury policy teams determine the level and sort of policy engagement they wish to
have with the lead agency on this policy initiative.
• Help Treasury confirm whether the nature and size of the potential impacts and risks warrant
RIAT involvement in providing independent assurance on the quality of the regulatory impact
statement (RIS) that informs the policy proposals.
It should be started as early as possible in the policy process and should be provided to your
Treasury policy team as soon as the agency thinks it has enough information to help Treasury
make a call about the “significance” of the initiative. This may not require definitive answers to all
Name of the responsible government agency:
Title of policy work programme or proposal:
If known, the title(s) of the main Act and/or Regulations that could be amended or created:
Agency contact name and phone number:
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Do the RIA requirements apply? Yes/No/Not sure
Is this policy initiative expected to lead to a Cabinet paper?
Will this policy initiative consider options that involve creating, amending
or repealing either primary legislation, or delegated legislation that is a
regulation for the purposes of the Regulations (Disallowance) Act 1989?
If you can answer “no” to either of these two questions, the RIA requirements do not apply. There is
no need to complete a PIRA (though the questions might still provide useful prompts).
Additional exemptions from the RIA requirements Yes/No/Not sure
If this initiative includes legislative options, are they covered by one or
more of the following exemptions?
? Technical “revisions” or consolidations that substantially re-enact the
current law in order to improve legislative clarity or navigability
(including the fixing of errors, the clarification of the existing legislative
intent, and the reconciliation of inconsistencies).
? Suitable for inclusion in a Statutes Amendment Bill (if not already
covered by the point above).
? Would repeal or remove redundant legislative provisions.
? Provides solely for the commencement of existing legislation or
? Needs to be authorised in an Appropriation Bill, an Imprest Supply Bill,
or a Subordinate Legislation Confirmation and Validation Bill.
? Implements Deeds of Settlement for Treaty of Waitangi claims, other
than those that would amend or affect existing regulatory
? Essential (the minimum necessary) in order to comply with existing
international obligations that are binding on New Zealand.
? Has no or only minor impacts on businesses, individuals or not-for-
profit entities (such as might be the case for certain changes to the
internal administrative or governance arrangements of the
New Zealand government, like the transfer of responsibilities, staff or
assets between government agencies).
If all the legislative options associated with this policy initiative qualify for one of these exemptions,
then the RIA requirements do not apply.
If claiming a full exemption, please confirm this assessment with your Treasury policy team. You do not
need to submit a PIRA for this purpose, but you will need to provide information in support of this claim.
If some aspects of the legislative options for this initiative can stand independently from the rest, and
qualify for one of these exemptions, then the RIA requirements do not apply to those aspects. Since a
PIRA will still need to be completed and submitted to your Treasury policy team, it should note any
important aspects of the initiative for which an exemption is claimed.
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The policy issue
What is the intended scope of the policy initiative?
What are the main underlying policy issues/problems to which this policy initiative is responding?
What is known about the magnitude of these policy issues/problems? Brief description:
What is the type or nature of the evidence supporting the problem definition? Brief description:
The policy process
Who has commissioned this work? Who is responsible for its delivery? Brief description:
What is the expected policy process, and expected timing of key deliverables? (Is this initiative in your current regulatory plan? Is this policy process constrained by any commitments or
What consultation process is planned, and who will be consulted? Brief description:
If any established methodology or form of analysis is to be followed or incorporated, please identify
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The policy options
If the range of policy options to be considered is already constrained by existing legislation or
previous Cabinet decisions, what are those constraints?
If this involves only delegated legislation, what is the legislative authority under which it must be made? Brief description:
Which groups are likely to be noticeably affected (either through benefits or costs) by the policy
options being considered?
Individuals, families and/or households? Consumers? Employees? Businesses? Not-for-profit organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and incorporated societies)? People who live in particular regions?
Users of resources eg, recreational fishers, road-users? Members of particular groups of the population (eg, ethnicities, genders, age groups etc) Central government agencies? Local government? Other? Brief description:
Policy impacts Yes/No/Not sure Will any policy options that may be considered, potentially: ? Take or impair existing private property rights? ? Affect the structure or openness of a particular market or industry? For example, assist or hinder businesses to provide a good or service;
establish or remove a licence, permit or authorisation process; create or
remove barriers for businesses to enter or exit an industry?
? Impact on the environment, such as regulations that affect the use and
management of natural resources?
? Have any significant distributional or equity effects? For example, where significant costs are imposed or significant benefits
conferred on different sectors of the population?
? Alter the human rights or freedoms of choice and action of individuals? 4 | Preliminary Impact and Risk Assessment - Template
Policy impacts Yes/No/Not sure
? Have any other significant costs or benefits on businesses, individuals
or not-for-profit organisations?
For example impose additional compliance costs; introduce or alter government cost recovery arrangements; impact on New Zealand’s
international capital flows or trade including the flows of goods, services,
investment and ideas to and from New Zealand; impact on the incentives to
work or the mobility of labour, or to invest in education or skills; impact on
resource allocation, saving or investment?
For the major types of impacts you have identified, please provide brief information about the
nature and likely magnitude of the impacts (in whatever dimensions seem most useful and available).
Policy, design and implementation risks Yes/No/Not sure
Is the evidence-base for the effectiveness of different policy options weak
Are the expected benefits or costs of the policy options likely to be highly uncertain?
Is the success of any of the options likely to be dependent on other policy
initiatives or legislative changes?
Are any of the legislative options likely to have flow-on implications for the future form or effectiveness of related legislation?
Are any of the legislative options likely to be novel, or unprecedented?
Are any of the legislative options likely to be inconsistent with
fundamental common law principles?
Are any of the legislative options likely to be inconsistent with New Zealand’s international obligations, or New Zealand’s commitment
toward a single economic market with Australia?
Are any of the legislative options likely to include a new power to create
delegated legislation, or grant a broad discretionary power to a public body?
Are any of the legislative options likely to include provisions that depart
from existing legislative norms for like issues or situations?
Are there other issues with the clarity or navigability of, or costs of
compliance with, the current legislation that it might be good to address at
the same time?
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Policy, design and implementation risks Yes/No/Not sure
Will people with expertise in implementation provide input on the policy
design before policy decisions are taken?
Are implementation timeframes likely to be challenging?
Are the actual costs or benefits highly dependent on the capability or
discretionary action of the regulator?
Agency’s preliminary assessment Treasury confirmation Do the RIA requirements apply to this policy process or proposal?
Would any resulting regulatory proposal be likely to have a significant impact or risk and therefore
require RIAT involvement?
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