Have a Clear Purpose for Policy and Plan Monitoring

Significant resources are invested into developing policy and planning documents so it is important to have a means of checking that this investment has been worthwhile. Policy and plan monitoring is more than a statutory requirement. It is a useful management tool to evaluate and review the effectiveness of policy provisions and plans. 

  • Have a clear purpose for policy and plan monitoring. Is it for: 

    • accountability to the community (to show you have provided a means of managing what you said you would manage and achieved the plan 's environmental, economic, social and cultural goals - such as required by section 32 of the RMA)? OR 

    • continuous improvement of your organisation? OR 

    • both? (which is likely to be the most useful approach). 

  • Consider summarising the approach in a monitoring strategy. 

  • Policy and plan effectiveness monitoring is systematic and involves tracking and evaluating whether and how well policy or plan implementation is resolving the issues raised in plans. 

    • Is the policy or plan achieving its objectives? How do you know? 

    • Are the implementing agencies delivering on anticipated outcomes? 

    • Have the environmental outcomes have been achieved? This has strong links to state of the environment monitoring and reporting. 

    • How effective have policy or plan preparation and implementation processes been? 

    • Does the policy or plan cover the most important things? Are there emerging issues that are not being addressed? (This is an extension of the section 32 process – see s.32(2)(c)) This also links closely to state of the environment monitoring.