We’re reviewing our Significance and Engagement Policy

The Local Government Act 2002 requires Council to have a Significance and Engagement Policy to provide a basis for how Council ranks the
level of significance a proposal or decision has for the community, and whether we should engage with the community on it. 

Our present Policy was adopted in 2014, so it’s time to review it and make sure it is fit for purpose. We’ve added in some additional strategic assets
and we’re keen to know your thoughts on those.

What is a Significance and Engagement Policy (SEP)?

The purpose of a SEP is to make sure Council takes a consistent and transparent approach in determining the significance of a decision and the appropriate level of engagement for that decision. The SEP outlines for Council and the community how we decide what issues, proposals, decisions, assets, and activities are significant. It also provides guidance on how and when communities can expect to be engaged.

Council is required to identify its Strategic Assets in its SEP - those assets or groups of assets needing to be retained by Council to achieve or promote the outcomes that Waitaki has determined to be important to the current or future wellbeing of its communities. Under the SEP, if a Council strategic asset is involved, then the matter should be treated as being “more significant,” but this does not automatically trigger consultation.

Why review the Significance and Engagement Policy (SEP)?

Council’s SEP was adopted in November 2014. There have been no formal reviews or amendments made to this policy. The current SEP does not meet legislative requirements and is no longer fit for purpose. Since the policy was adopted, the make-up of Waitaki’s community has changed, the four community well beings have been reinstated into the LGA02 and there are a number of best practice changes that should be reflected in this policy. A new SEP isscheduled to come into effect on 1 July 2023.

Key changes proposed to the SEP

  • an updated Strategic Assets list
  • updated significance criteria
  • the inclusion of significance assessment guidelines to promote consistent significance assessments

Council’s current Strategic Assets

  • The roading network
  • Water collection, treatment, and distribution systems (including water rights and resource consents
  • Stormwater and disposal systems
  • Ōamaru and Palmerston Landfills
  • Ōamaru Airport
  • Ōamaru Harbour Breakwater
  • Community housing

Proposed Council Strategic Assets from 1 July 2023

  • its roading network
  • its water collection, storage, treatment, and distribution system
  • its wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal system
  • its stormwater collection and disposal system
  • Ōamaru (closed) and Palmerston Landfill
  • Ōamaru Airport
  • waterfront facilities owned and operated by the Council at Ōamaru Harbour (see Map 1 in Schedule 1)
  • all land and buildings comprising the Council’s community housing stock
  • Council cemeteries
  • Ōamaru Public Gardens
  • Alps to Ocean Cycle Trail (within Waitaki District boundaries)
  • Waitaki Aquatic Centre
  • Ōamaru Opera House
  • Public libraries
  • Waitaki Museum and Archive
  • Forrester Gallery
  • Shareholdings - Tourism Waitaki Limited, Waitaki District Health Services Limited,
  • Omarama Airfield Limited, Whitestone Contracting Limited, Observatory Village
  • Charitable Trust Group, Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust

Significance and Engagement Policy community feedback and next steps

Council will consider community feedback on the draft policy and guidelines until 30 April 2023 in conjunction with the Annual Plan engagement campaign.

Changes will be made in response to community feedback, with a new Significance and Engagement Policy scheduled to come into effect from 1 July 2023.

Feedback on the 2023-24 Annual Plan has now closed. We asked:

Do you support the updated list of Council’s strategic assets? Are there any other comments you wish to make for Council to consider prior to finalising the Significance and Engagement Policy and Guidelines?