This page provides some background on the main legislative framework that Council operates within.
15/01/2013 3:33 p.m.
Local Government Act
The Local Government Act 2002 sets out the purpose of local government, the general powers of councils and the associated planning and accountability requirements.
Long Term Plan (LTP)
All councils are all required to consult on and publish an LTP once every three years - covering 10 years into the future.
Our LTP describes Council’s activities, priorities and work programmes. It is a key planning tool which outlines everything we do, how it fits together and what it will cost.
The LTP also contains information on our Community Outcomes, which are consulted on with the community to assist in developing and confirming the focus of a Long Term Plan.
Long Term Plan
All councils are also required to consult on and publish an Annual Plan in each of the two years when an LTP is not produced. This highlights any changes or variations from the LTP for the coming year. A council may also decide to produce an amended LTP at this time if they are planning a major change from those outlined in the existing LTP.
Councils are required to publish an Annual Report each year telling the community whether they have done what the Annual Plan said they intended to do.
The Annual Report also details what has been spent, and may include what progress has been made toward achieving Community Outcomes. Annual Reports must be adopted by October each year, and must be audited before they are finalised.
National and regional policies and strategies
For certain issues, central government provides direction for local authorities through various policies and strategies. Often local authorities are required by law to incorporate these strategies into their own planning activities.
Regional policy and strategy, such as the Northland Regional Pest Management Strategy, can also influence Council activities.
Resource Management Act
The Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) promotes the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. The Ministry for the Environment is responsible for administering the RMA and ensuring that it is implemented effectively.
The Act prescribes a variety of policy statements and plans to guide resource management activities and decision-making, primarily for regional and district/city councils. Under the Act if central government wants to give local councils some direction on environmental issues, it can issue national policy statements or set environmental standards.
The Resource Management Act 1991 (NZ Legislation website. Opens in a new window)
Territorial authorities are primarily responsible for controlling the impacts of land use within their district, including the preparation of District Plans, and the determination of applications for land use and subdivision consent.
Our District Plan is a legal document required under the Resource Management Act 1991 which sets out policies and objectives for managing the natural and physical resources of the Whangarei District.
If anyone wishes to undertake an activity that is not permitted in accordance with the rules of the District Plan then they must apply to Council for a resource consent.
Activity and Asset Management Plans
Activity and Asset Management Plans (AMPs) describe in detail how the various departments of Council will be managed to support objectives for the well-being of the district’s population. These are agreed through the LTP process and provide more detailed content on the asset or the activity, what long term issues exist and financial planning matters in relation to the asset or activity.
For example a Transportation AMP will include information about the standard of roads of the district and will outline in detail which roads will require maintenance or upgrades over at least the 10 years of the LTP, usually more.
Other planning documents
Council from time to time undertakes additional focussed planning projects to support its various statutory planning activities. These projects are usually designed to assist decsion making in relation to longer term planning issues.
Non-statutory planning exercises are usually designed to include a consultation process so that the public can have their say in these matters before any decisions are incorporated into the formal planning processes such as the LTP and the District Plan.