Significance and Engagement Policy

This page contains the Tasman District Council's Significance and Engagement policy.


The decisions local authorities make affect their communities on a daily basis. Some decisions have greater significance than others. This Policy explains how the Council will determine the significance of matters.

Effective community engagement builds trust in Council decision making, while also increasing the Council’s awareness of issues in the community. Council engages with the community during its everyday business using a range of informal methods. However, some Council decisions require a more structured form of engagement, due to the significance that a matter has within the wider community, or for groups within the community. This Policy provides guidance on Council’s engagement processes.

This policy does not apply to decision making under the Resource Management Act 1991.


The purpose of the policy is:

  • to enable the local authority and its communities to identify the degree of significance attached to particular issues, proposals, assets, decisions, and activities; and
  • to provide clarity about how and when communities can expect to be engaged in decisions about different issues, assets, or other matters; and
  • to inform the local authority from the beginning of a decision-making process about—
    • the extent of any public engagement that is expected before a particular decision is made; and
    • the form or type of engagement required.

The extent of significance and engagement is determined on a case-by-case basis. This policy is intended to guide decision-making on these matters. This policy is made up of two parts. The first part on significance explains how decisions on significance will be determined and what happens when something is highly significant or not. The second part focuses on engagement and consultation. It sets out the principles of engagement the Council will use, how the Council will engage with iwi, the role of elected representatives, and sets some parameters around minimum information requirements, timeframes, and management of feedback.


Download Council's current policy, which came into effect on 20 November 2014: