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Key Strategic Issues

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Key Strategic Issues

Strategic Issues and Operating Environment Update May 2017 (docx, 677KB)

After considering the political, people, environmental and business factors affecting what we do, the Council has identified five strategic issues that should be addressed through our 10 year work programme. These are:

  • Making the most of our environment
  • Where we live will change
  • Sustainable economic development
  • Significance of treaty settlements
  • Reliable and affordable infrastructure

Strategic Issue 1: Making the most of our environment 

We need to take a whole of catchment approach to managing and protecting natural and physical resources. The quality of the air, water and soil affects our quality of life, migration patterns, regional economic development and the condition of our natural resources. We need to balance the enhancement and protection of public amenities, access and lifestyle; while providing environmental benefits that the public cannot always directly enjoy or appreciate. There will be more Māori and community  involvement in decisions. There will be an increased focus on natural hazard and water management planning, and a more regulatory response to environmental matters as tougher rules are applied to protect the environment.

Strategic Issue 2: Where we live will change  

Employment and population trends suggest our pattern of settlement may change to more urban lifestyles, which means that our urban areas are getting bigger, rural areas smaller. Peoples’ needs are changing as the population ages and the working age population declines. We need to consider the impact of this on all communities (rural and urban) and provide clarity around the broad settlement pattern so others can plan to deliver the right services. Statutory planning and investment needs to be considered in this context, particularly access to transport to move between living and working environments.

Strategic Issue 3: Sustainable economic development         

Research shows continued economic growth in east and central parts of the region generating jobs at a rate exceeding population growth, but jobs and people may not be in the same place. This will affect migration patterns. While the region's economy has performed at a rate equal to or above the national average in the recent past, this does not guarantee that it will continue to do so into the  future. A sound growth strategy and robust analysis will contribute to high-quality decisions that help ensure a growth path that is beyond what be expected under “business as usual”. Good regional infrastructure remains important, but there will be increased pressure to be clear on regional priorities and prioritise infrastructure funding. Economic growth can be stimulated through science and innovation.

Strategic Issue 4: Significance of Treaty Settlements   

The Bay of Plenty has the second largest population of Māori in the country, with approximately 35 iwi groups and over 200 hapū.The Māori economy is set to change, as settlements have left some Māori with large physical asset bases and new opportunities to generate wealth. As a result Māori business will increasingly affect the Bay of Plenty economy. There are presently 10 pieces of Treaty of Waitangi legislation enacted in this region, many of which provide mechanisms for joint decision-making (such as co-governance) and/or enhanced involvement of Māori in Council business. This  dynamic has resulted in our councils being very proactive in the way we engage and build relationships with iwi-Māori in our region/districts and will affect other factors such as employment, land use and tourism.

Strategic Issue 5: Reliable and affordable infrastructure

Planned well, infrastructure can lift productivity, ensure a robust and secure system of basic services and support a high-quality living environment. As events in Christchurch have shown, the public often only notice the value of infrastructure is when things go awry. We will come under pressure to make infrastructure investments so we need to understand long-term trends and prioritise our own internal infrastructure projects (such as flood alleviation) and external infrastructure (such as the Regional Infrastructure Fund, sewerage and transport networks).

Strategic Pyramid

Community Outcomes

Council's vision is “thriving together - mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata”. The vision is supported by Council’s outcomes:

How the vision and outcomes were identified

The vision was developed using a facilitated process with Councillors. The process stimulated Councillors to think of themes, words and ideas for the Council's vision to:

  • Give the Council a sense of purpose and direction
  • Provides a clear statement and a legacy
  • Creates a connection with people
  • Be a strong vision that drives decision and leads the way.

Based on the themes Councillors invited and challenged the group of Rangitahi youth to draft a vision for Council for the benefit of the region. The challenge was fulfilled on 15 August 2014. The Rangatahi youth came up with the following vision 'thriving together - mō te taiao, mō ngā tāngata”. The vision was adopted by the Council in August 2014.

The Local Government Act 2002 definition of council outcomes was changed in 2012 to what are in effect, 'community outcomes' - the Council's planned contribution to meet good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions. Local authorities can decide for themselves how to determine that contribution in a way that meets the community outcomes purpose set out in the LGA. The Long Term Plan must describe the community outcomes for the local authority's district or region. Outcomes are influenced by the strategic issues that impact on the Council's work programme.

Taking the strategic issues into account, Council agreed on five outcomes:

Water quality and quantity
Our water and land management practices maintain and improve the quality and quantity of the region's water resources.

Environmental protection
We maintain and enhance regional biodiversity and our air, land, freshwater, geothermal and coastal resources for the benefit of our communities. We support others to do the same.

Resilience and safety
Our planning and infrastructure provides resilience to natural hazards and flooding so that our communities' safety is improved and maintained.

Regional collaboration and leadership
We have established the region's priorities and strategic direction with our partners and communities. We have collaborated to achieve integrated planning across the Bay of Plenty.

Economic development
We facilitate and enable initiatives that boost the region's economic performance.

Long Term Plan 2015-2025

Council's work to achieve the community outcomes is set out in our Long Term Plan.