Keywords: community outcomes, Long Term Council Community Plan, mediated modelling, public involvement, public participation, New Zealand, well-being, planning, decision making
The community outcomes process and mediated modelling
To promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of communities, the New Zealand Local Government Act 2002 requires local authorities to produce a Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP). The LTCCP covers a ten-year period and focuses on the preferred future and vision of the community. This desired future is referred to in the Act as the 'community outcomes'. Local authorities are required to engage the public, different stakeholder groups, central government and non-governmental agencies in the development of community outcomes. Given the range of people, interest groups and government agencies involved, local authorities are being challenged to think of effective and innovative ways to address diverse and sometimes conflicting goals when deciding community outcomes. Mediated modelling is a tool that facilitates the involvement of groups of people in planning and decision-making processes.