Effective public participation requires methods of policy analysis that can accommodate the discourse of the participants’ opinions, preferences and values. This requires analytic methods that retain and convey the social and cultural contexts of the discourse of culturally diverse communities. Narrative policy analysis can incorporate cultural and social diversity within the process of analysing and presenting public preferences. Labov’s evaluation model is used as a basis for describing how narrative analysis can be used to identify and present public preferences within a participation process. The value of this approach is demonstrated with reference to a participation process conducted on environmental quality.