Consultation process

How does SWDC consult with the public?

The Local Government Act 2002 sets out consultation principles that local authorities must follow in certain situations (it is up to the Council to determine when it is appropriate to consult in accordance with these principles, taking into account the requirements set out in section 82 of the Act).

In brief, these principles require the Council to:

  1. Provide anyone who will or may be affected by, or have an interest in, the decision or matter with reasonable access to relevant information, in a manner and format appropriate to their needs and preferences.
  2. Encourage anyone who will or may be affected by, or have an interest in, the decision or matter to present their views to the Council.
  3. Provide those who are invited or encouraged to present their views to the Council with clear information about the purpose of the consultation and the scope of the decisions to be taken when each person’s views have been considered.
  4. Provide anyone who wants their view on the decision or matter to be considered with a reasonable opportunity to present it in a way that suits their needs or preferences.
  5. Ensure that all views presented are received with an open mind and given due consideration when making a decision.
  6. Provide anyone who presents their views to the Council with access to a clear record or description of relevant decisions made by the Council and explanatory material relating to the decisions (including relevant reports that were considered before the decisions were made).

The Council must also ensure it consults with Māori in a way that gives effect to these principles.

Special Consultative Procedure

Section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002 sets out the procedure that local authorities must follow when adopting or amending a Long Term Plan or adopting, amending, or revoking a bylaw under the Local Government Act 2002 if the bylaw concerns a matter identified in a significance and engagement policy as being of significant interest to the public or the local authority considers there is, or is likely to be, a significant impact on the public due to the proposed bylaw (or proposed changes to a bylaw).

The special consultative procedure consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Preparing a statement of proposal and summary

The Council must prepare and adopt a description of the proposed decision or course of action. If it considers it necessary to enable public understanding, the Council must also prepare and adopt a summary of the information contained in the statement of proposal. 

Step 2: Make the statement of proposal publicly available

The statement of proposal (and summary) must be made as widely available to the public as is reasonably practicable. The Council must also make available a description of how and when interested persons can present their views on the proposal. The submission period must be at least one month from the date the statement of proposal is issued.

Step 3: Receiving submissions

Submitters must be given a reasonable opportunity to present their views, in a way that enables spoken interaction between themselves and the Council.

In addition, the Council must follow the special consultative procedure in certain circumstances.

Other methods of consultation

The above consultation procedures are regarded as a minimum process for the above decisions. The Council will consult outside of these, and has a range of more and less formal processes all geared to understanding the priorities and concerns of the community.

Our Significance and Engagement Policy can be viewed here.

How do I make a written submission?

Please note that the procedure for submissions concerning resource management consent applications varies slightly from that set out below. Advice for submissions made under the Resource Management Act 1991 will be notified at the time of the consultation.

From time to time, the Council will ask for public submissions on particular issues. While there is no set format that a submission should take, you should aim to present your submission in a way that is both ordered and easy to understand. Ideally submission should be made using the electronic form or paper version of the form provided with the consultation.

You can lodge your submission with South Wairarapa District Council in person, or by post, email or fax. Make sure you include your name, address and phone number in your submission and clearly state whether or not you would like to make an oral presentation in support of your submission. Anonymous submissions are not accepted for formal consultations (such as those required by law) but from time-to-time Council will obtain your views using informal consultation; anonymous submissions will be accepted for informal consultation.

Please also note that any submission you make may become publicly available. If you are making a submission as an individual, South Wairarapa District Council will remove your personal contact details, however your name will usually still be associated with your submission unless there are particular circumstances where that is not appropriate.

Section 82 of the Local Government Act 2002 details how consultation undertaken by South Wairarapa District Council in relation to any decision or other matter must be conducted.

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