Different forms of consultation might include:
- capturing people's attention and interest through the use of easy to understand, catchy media promotions such as advertisements in local papers, newsletters and brochures and using web sites
- establishing a 'brand' or theme so that all information about the plan and the plan development process is readily identifiable. Carry this through to the web site and put all related documents on the web for public access
- holding introduction workshops and seminars for public and stakeholder groups. Think about using existing community groups and local personalities to help you
- setting up focus or reference groups for key issues
- holding internal council workshops with key staff to identify issues and concerns that staff may have with existing plan provisions and to test the effectiveness of any proposed provisions. Consider including Council's legal advisors and hearings commissioners as well
- providing notice of likely future plan development processes, including background information on the council website
- preparing a 'draft plan' highlighting the future direction with draft issues, objectives, policies and methods. Alternatively, consider preparing an 'issues or options document' that identifies the range of issues identified by the community and internal stakeholders and that explores options for dealing with the issues. Any draft plan prepared for consultation should be consistent with the planning standards.
Workshops are particularly useful as they can assist to:
- find out how to best consult with the community
- identify whether you should contract some groups to provide input
- find out who is interested and what aspects of the plan or policy statement is of most interest
- identify particular stakeholders for ongoing consultation.
Workshop topics could include:
- introducing the RMA and how it affects your area
- introducing the plan development process and how it influences the future
- introducing the rationale and need for any plan change or review
- what could change and what is not likely to.