Entry received from: Greater Wellington Regional Council
Category: The Minister of Local Government’s Award for Excellence in Council-Community Relations

Waterways are precious taonga in Aotearoa, but unfortunately they are degrading. Regional Councils must gather the freshwater visions of mana whenua and communities and then incorporate those visions into regional plans. Time is against us as the waterways can't wait, and plans must be notified by 2024. 

The key challenge is making sure we meaningfully mobilise community support and input into our planning process. And when we turned our attention to Kāpiti, we knew we needed a new approach.

We developed a wide-ranging marketing and communications plan designed to target and reach folks who would traditionally be harder to engage on environmental issues. As we learnt from previous projects, it's important that we draw on the values and aspirations from as many people as possible.

We set a goal of getting 200 people to complete our "€˜Have Your Say"€™ online survey. To achieve that  we developed a plan to bring people to the site using a range of communications tactics.

Pleasingly, we exceeded that target with a total of 331 responses, in addition to 75 people attending our workshops and individual interviews. We can proceed with confidence that the community has been engaged. And we have key information that we need for our plan changes. Moreover, we have learned valuable lessons in how we, and other councils, can replicate these results.

Thank you to our category sponsor