As noted above Clause 3C of Schedule 1 to the RMA provides that consultation on a plan or policy statement can be combined with consultation under another Act, provided:
- people know they are also being consulted for RMA purposes; and
- it is within 36 months of the proposed plan or policy statement being notified.
This provides an opportunity to integrate council consultation efforts and avoid duplication, especially in regards to RMA/LGA consultation. Key considerations when integrating consultation include:
- determining whether the information that may be obtained during the earlier consultation could be used for RMA purposes
- ensuring that those being consulted are notified of this fact at the time consultation takes place
- specifically whether to combine consultation for RMA plan development with developing or reviewing a Long Term Plan
- other opportunities such as for structure planning for specific areas where there are implications for the Long Term Plan as well as plan changes.
If it is not possible to integrate consultation under other Acts within the required timeframe, consider:
- using other documents that have been consulted on to inform your consultation processes
- describing how the resulting plan, policy or strategy will be implemented through RMA plan development processes
- outlining how the consultation that has already occurred will assist in any RMA plan development processes
- how to integrate outcomes of RMA consultation with other council planning and policy activities.