The new Government has been criticised for dragging its feet on a range of issues. Critics argue that, instead of setting up consultative policy committees, ministers need to "get on with it".
However, as the Government reaches something of a milestone establishing its 100th policy committee, the time has come for all of us, business sector included, to acknowledge that a major change may be taking place in New Zealand government.
Moreover, business, rather than being unnerved by the election result, needs to recognise it has a huge opportunity to influence public policy across a range of issues.
Booing from the touchline might be good fun, but it never changes the end result. To paraphrase US President Lyndon Johnson: it's probably better to have them inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.
We have no brief to defend the Government, but we do believe there are clear signs the Government has a philosophical commitment to discovering which policies will work. It seems more interested in facts than Trumpian "alternative facts". Discovering the facts takes both time and a willingness to listen. As the saying goes "engage brain before opening mouth".
Of course, there are some important caveats to this argument. All governments come into office with some "promissory notes" carried forward from the election campaign. These commitments are often ill-thought through, particularly by Opposition parties short of research capacity and intent on garnering votes.
As a coalition, this Government has more promissory notes than usual and they are pretty well non-negotiable. This category of public policy will turn out to be the most problematic, because implementation of these policies is likely to run into what policy analysts call "the law of unintended consequences".
There is a simple reason for this outcome: campaign commitments are developed with little consultation with key stakeholders who know where the shoe pinches. To those critics who demand instant action, the Government might well answer, "do you want it done now or do you want it done right?" This should reassure business.
The Government's consultative (rather Scandinavian) approach is unusual, as lack of consultation seems to have become a permanent feature of policy-making across the Western world.
Public policy-making has become increasingly frenetic. However, a frantic, pop-up style of policy-making is not a sensible strategy, if only because of those unintended consequences.
In contrast, a policy process characterised by deliberation – reflecting on the (often conflicting) evidence collected via policy review bodies and taking time to generate and evaluate competing options for action – is much more likely to benefit even those who might have opposed the original policy ideas.
In fact, the new Government seems to be going out of its way to reassure business on issues, big and small.
For example, when Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced a new working party on freedom camping, he recognised the unintended consequences problem and justified the consultative approach by saying he did not want to kill the golden goose.
Meanwhile the Government has appointed a tripartite Future of Work Forum, bringing together government, business, and labour to improve New Zealand's use of technology, increase productivity, and improve training and skills. Indeed, the Government has grouped major policy themes under its Business Partnership Agenda.
The Ardern Coalition Government appears to have a bigger appetite for policy reform than the previous National Government. Though the recent budget was criticised as less transformational than promised, it will not be seen as the biggest game in town in two years' time. Eventually, many of the much criticised policy committees will have generated a raft of new ideas and specific policy proposals.
In this new environment, business needs to view the deliberative style of policy-making as a window of opportunity for it to test the Government's insistence that it is prepared to listen to those at the coal face.
For example, the review of NCEA has been set up in part because employers have been complaining that school leavers lack the knowledge and skill required by employers.
Business believes in markets, therefore it should enthusiastically join the new vibrant market for policy ideas, and get in the tent.
• Professor Sonia Mazey is Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury's college of business and law.
• Jeremy Richardson is an adjunct professor in the university's national centre for research on Europe. Both were previously at Oxford University and conducted a study of lobbying in the European Union.