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Identifying Council Outcomes

Outcomes are a requirement of the Local Government Act 2002 (the Act). An amendment to the Act in November 2010 altered the definition of community outcomes, and the requirements for identifying and monitoring them. The new definition means that the outcomes now need to describe Council's own contribution to well-being.  Previously we were required to identify outcomes that the community as a whole, including Council as one partner, worked to achieve. We did not have the responsibility of achieving any of the outcomes on our own.

We responded to the change by deciding to identify a new set of Council Outcomes because we wanted to make sure they accurately reflect how we work with others, meet community expectations and fulfil our legal core functions, in all the work we do.  To reflect the change in focus of our outcomes we refer to the outcomes as CouncilOutcomes rather than Community Outcomes.

In April and May 2011 we used a two stage process to develop our new Council Outcomes.

In the first stage we held a Regional Aspirations Workshop. Key stakeholders from across the region attended and identified high level aspirations for the Bay of Plenty.  The participants worked collaboratively to identify:

  • What they love about the Bay of Plenty;
  • What their aspirations are for the future of the Bay of Plenty; and
  • What role the Regional Council could play in achieving these aspirations.

There was general agreement that Council:

  • Actively leads the region's contribution to environmental well-being;
  • Facilitates and supports economic well-being in the region; and
  • Works with others to ensure social and cultural well-being is met in the region.

In the second stage we held a Council workshop to distil the results from the Regional Aspirations Workshop so that we could understand how Council contributes to the four well-beings. Workshop participants sorted the material, looking at what the Regional Council can achieve and what other agencies are better equipped to achieve. Draft outcome statements were then identified by describing what we could realistically hope to achieve during the next 10 years.
The key results of the two stages were summarised into a set of clear, achievable and process-driven outcome statements that imply change and fit within a ten-year planning timeframe.  Council formally adopted the outcomes on 26 May 2011.

The 13 Council Outcomes describe Council's own contribution to economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being. In the past we might have had only a limited contribution to a particular Community Outcome, with most of the work being done by other organisations. Now we can align our work to achieving all of our Council Outcomes. Being directly accountable for achieving the outcomes improves our ability to monitor our performance and to undertake the right actions to ensure we are improving well-being in the Bay of Plenty.