Understanding the Principles of Consultation

The Environment Court has 'synthesised' a statement of principles for consultation from a number of court case decisions. These have been primarily developed through case law relating to resource consents and notices of requirement, yet they are equally applicable to the plan development processes and should be understood before embarking on any consultation process.

Plan development (particularly whole-plan reviews and major policy shifts) are also potentially subject to consultation processes under the LGA. A set of principles for consultation is contained in the LGA, as well as general provisions about when and how councils should consult people interested in or affected by a council decision. Some councils have a specific consultation policy that takes into account the requirements of the RMA and LGA.