Integrated monitoring makes the best use of existing information and information gathering systems. An important first step in integrating monitoring is to identify connections, possibly through preparation of a monitoring strategy. Because there are connections between the various roles and responsibilities of councils, information from one area of council activity will often also be relevant for monitoring other areas of council activity and policy - and to the activities of other agencies (refer to integrated monitoring and reporting diagram below.
The diagram shows the span of integrated monitoring and reporting by local authorities. Local and regional policy directions, along with national and international directions, influence strategic policy, which takes into account environmental, social, economic and cultural factors. The strategic policy is implemented through regulatory and non-regulatory methods, including those in regional and district plans, annual plans, and Long Term Plans.