Our Engagement Process

What is engagement?

Council undertakes ‘engagement’ when we provide opportunities for the public to participate in Council projects, plans and proposals.  Usually, this is in the form of us asking for your thoughts, ideas and preferences on an upcoming project, plan or proposal e.g. a Long Term Plan or kerbside rubbish collection. 

We see engagement as a genuine dialogue with our communities. Good, thorough and meaningful engagement helps us make better, more sustainable and inclusive decisions that lead to the changes you want to see in your community.  

So how does it work?

Council's Significance and Engagement Policy sets the rules for how Council and the community will determine how significant particular proposals or decisions are, and when and how the community will be engaged in making decisions. 

Before making a decision, Council considers all feedback, along with advice from our team and other relevant information. Once a decision has been made, that decision, along with relevant reports, will be available on the Western Bay of Plenty District Council website. 

How to take part

We have a variety of ways in which you can participate, including: 

  • This website ‘Have Your Say Western Bay’. This is Council’s engagement hub and it lists projects we’re seeking your feedback on. 
  • Speak to your local representatives – Your Mayor, Councillors and Community Board Members are available to discuss your ideas, issues or concerns.  Contact your Mayor and Councillors or Community Board Members. 
  • Speak at a public forum – Contact Council’s Governance Team who will guide you through this process.    
  • Talk to us at an event – Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page to see when we’ll be out and about in your community.  
  • Sign up to our Online News – Join our mailing list and we will keep you informed of what’s happening at Council and in the Western Bay of Plenty District.  
  • Email us at haveyoursay@westernbay.govt.nz. 

Our principles of engagement 

  • Meaningful – based on an open mind and willingness to listen. 
  • Respectful – with the aim of building council-community relationships. 
  • Supported by information which is balanced, sufficient and in plain language. 
  • Inclusive and endeavour to reach all those affected. 
  • Flexible and tailored to the needs of those being engaged. 
  • Coordinated across Council departments to minimise duplication and engagement fatigue. 
  • Pragmatic, efficient and value for money.