All submissions should be coded and copied/scanned, with the originals archived somewhere safe. Only mark up copies.
Mark up submissions as to how each point has been coded - i.e., part of submission, coded according to reference number (for example, 70/23 - submission number 70, point 23 (only identify points that need a separate decision)). Have these available for submitters to see if necessary.
Planners need to work closely with committee organisers throughout the process, and should be closely involved with setting up the system of hearing and making decisions. The committee organiser needs the right qualities for the position, including the patience of a saint, and the mind of an accountant.
Ensure that council staff do not assist people in preparing submissions (which can later create difficulties for the council). Their assistance should be confined to providing verbal advice about the provisions of the proposed plan/proposed plan change. Refer people to resource management professionals if they are unable to write their own submission. The EPA often appoints a friend of the submitter to their projects, they are available to provide potential submitters with guidance on process. The Friend of Submitter will not provide advice on the merits of the proposal, but is there to help potential submitters understand the process.
Encourage submitters to advise changes of address or other contact details.
Send courtesy letters on receipt of submissions, and also advising on progress and timeframes.