The Balance of Time

  • A local authority must make its decision on a proposed policy statement or plan within 2 years of publicly notifying the statement or plan. 

  • It is important to keep staff and councillors refreshed: 

  • Spread the hearing process out - it is better to avoid cramming too many hearings together (although note the hearings process must be completed within two years of notification). 

  • Ensure that the decision-makers reconvene as soon as possible after hearing the submissions - preferably set a time straight afterwards. 

  • Find ways of maintaining 'team spirit' (for example, hold social events for the committee and/or some event to recognise achievement). 

  • Use discussion sessions to focus on some issues and to clarify thinking.