Consultation for Plan Development

These notes have been updated for 2017 and 2020 legislative amendments but not updated for best practice.

Consultation is a mandatory requirement in plan and policy development, review and change processes (collectively referred to in this guidance note as 'plan development'). 

Consultation in plan development requires a commitment to: communicate effectively with a large community of individuals and groups with different values and concerns; and to take on board feedback. When undertaken effectively and early in plan development, consultation can increase community understanding of the plan and RMA processes, improve the quality and buy-in of the plan, and ideally result in fewer disputes and appeals to the plan in the long term. 

This guidance note: 

  • sets out the statutory requirements to undertake consultation, including consultation with tangata whenua 
  • outlines general principles of consultation 
  • provides guidance on effective consultation processes. 

The guidance note covers consultation for all plan development processes. For the purpose of this note, policy statements and plans are collectively referred to as 'plans'. See consultation for resource consents and facilitating consultation with tangata whenua for specific guidance on consultation for resource consents and consultation with tangata whenua.