New ap­proach to con­sul­ta­tion

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

It may come as a sur­prise that the coun­cil will likely no longer con­duct a Spe­cial Con­sul­ta­tion Pro­ce­dure (SCP) prior to the passing of its An­nual Plan.

In­stead, it will un­der­take con­sul­ta­tion through a less for­mal, more tar­geted ap­proach. This could in­clude run­ning drop-in ses­sions where peo­ple will be able to have one-on-one and group con­ver­sa­tions with coun­cil­lors and staff and through on­line tools such as Sur­vey Mon­key to get quick feed­back on spe­cific top­ics.

The move fol­lows the 2014 amend­ment of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act 2007 which aimed to im­prove coun­cil en­gage­ment with their com­mu­ni­ties.

It recog­nised tra­di­tional writ­ten sub­mis­sions and for­mal hear­ings were not al­low­ing for ef­fec­tive en­gage­ment across many sec­tors of a community and that coun­cils should in­stead be en­cour­aged to look at other forms of en­gage­ment, es­pe­cially with the grow­ing use of so­cial me­dia.

As a re­sult the amend­ment re­moved the re­quire­ment for coun­cils to con­duct a SCP dur­ing an­nual plan years if changes be­tween the An­nual Plan and what was fore­cast in that year of the Long

‘‘It al­lows flex­i­bil­ity in terms of community en­gage­ment.’’

Term Plan (LTP) were not sig­nif­i­cant.

Dur­ing Thurs­day’s community and as­sets com­mit­tee meet­ing the coun­cil’s strate­gic pol­icy plan­ner Tanya Wood said the coun­cil was now de­vel­op­ing its An­nual Plan which will con­firm the coun­cil’s bud­get for the next fi­nan­cial year.

‘‘If there is no ma­te­rial dif­fer­ence be­tween what we have pro­posed for the LTP and our bud­get for 2017 it means we don’t have to go through the for­mal con­sul­ta­tion process. It al­lows flex­i­bil­ity in terms of community en­gage­ment,’’ she said.

Wood said not hav­ing a SCP would free up time to prop­erly con­sider community ideas and sug­ges­tions for the LTP.

‘‘We recog­nise the hear­ing process can be quite daunt­ing. Hope­fully the drop in cen­tre will work a lot bet­ter,’’ she said.

On av­er­age the coun­cil re­ceives about 150 sub­mis­sions a year with ap­prox­i­mately 30 sub­mit­ters speak­ing at hear­ings.

Coun­cil­lor Peter Schulte dis­agreed with the pro­posal.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.