Return to key areas of work

Working together for good decision making

Last updated: 24 May 2024
Reporting frequency: Quarterly
Portfolio: Regional and strategic leadership

We are working effectively with Ngāi Tahu, territorial authorities, communities and organisations to shape a thriving and resilient region together.

We will broaden collaborative community engagement to enable and enrich participation in decision making and will influence central government decision making to achieve Canterbury community outcomes. We will increase investment in data, science and mātauranga Māori to support informed decision making.

This work includes:  

We are building the value of data as an asset and improving access to data, science and mātauranga Māori to support informed decision making, from mana whenua, individuals, businesses, policy and law makers.

We make data and information available through our website and make environmental monitoring data available through the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website and add to the information available from Canterbury Maps. 

Our governance services team ensures that Council meetings are supported and provide robust and transparent governance processes that allow community participation, and our advisory team provides customer advice and incident reporting channels. 

How are we tracking on our Levels of Service?

Level of Service 32: Enrich community participation in regional decision making and action.

As part of this Level of Service we will:

  • 32.1: Raise community awareness of Council’s role and work and actively promote and enable opportunities for participation.
  • 32.2: Increase engagement with young people across Canterbury to lift awareness and understanding of the work of the regional council (target for 2023/24: provide support for an additional 10 Enviroschools).
  • 32.3: Support the Environment Canterbury Youth Rōpū to engage with young people through events and activities across the region.
  • 32.4: Enable community organisations to actively contribute to Council’s community outcomes.

How are we doing: Our work includes Te Kōrari | People's Panel and our Youth Rōpū, both of which contribute to maintaining or increasing levels of awareness on how to have a say. An internal review of current opportunities for community members to be involved in Council decision-making has been undertaken, and a report is being finalised for the Director of Communications and Engagement. In addition, Councillors attend a wide range of events across the region raising awareness of our work, including work underway on our Long-Term Plan. To test awareness, an independent survey of a random sample of community members will be carried out later in the year.

For Enviroschools, two new schools have become Enviroschools in quarter three bringing our total of new schools for 2023/24 to six.

The Waitaha Action to Impact Fund was established in 2021 as a contestable fund specifically for community-based organisations to support community action and engagement. For 2023/24, $350k was made available for the fund. Applications were accepted from mid-July to mid-September. 

Thirty-four new applications were received from across the region requesting approximately $650,000. Twenty-three groups have been allocated funding for 2023/24. Twelve of these are multiyear allocations made in previous years and 11 are new projects. Find out more about allocations of the Waitaha Action to Impact Fund.


On track
Level of Service 33: Work in partnership with territorial authorities to promote coordination and collaboration.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

33.1: Support the Canterbury Mayoral Forum to operate efficiently and effectively in the interests of Canterbury.

How are we doing: The Canterbury Local Authorities’ Triennial Agreement 2022-2025 was approved by all councils by 1 March 2023. We provide secretariat support to the Canterbury Mayoral, Chief Executives, Corporate, Operations, Policy, Economic Development and Communications and Engagement Forums to enable their efficient and effective operation.

On track
Level of Service 39: Collect, maintain and share quality-assured data for mana whenua, the community, businesses, and policy and law makers to use.

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

  • 39.1: Update and publish state of the environment information throughout the year on water and land, air quality, biodiversity/ecosystem health, and coastal environment.
  • 39.2: Implement data governance procedures to curate and share our data.
  • 39.3: Explore and develop innovative data services, including through partnership arrangements.
  • 39.4: Maintain and enhance access to Environment Canterbury data, and facilitate sharing and use of data, publicly available mātauranga Māori, and citizen science.

How are we doing: Places we share data and information include our website, Canterbury Maps, and Land, Water, Air Aotearoa (LAWA). We saw a further uplift in the number of users of Canterbury Maps from 300,000 users in 2021/22 to over 325,000 users in 2022/23. 

As part of our integrated planning work programme to review the Regional Policy Statement and parts of the Land and Water Regional Plan (and implement the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020), we have developed and published new information on our website in the section ‘what we know’. This showcases what we know about the resource management issues currently affecting Waitaha/Canterbury and its people. With enhanced functionality for users, these web pages include navigation to interactive maps and current state of environment statistics, together with explanatory text, photos, and infographics.

To explain more about our environmental monitoring programmes, we use an interactive storymap 

On track
Level of Service 40: Provide robust and transparent governance processes that allow community participation

To achieve this Level of Service we will:

  • 40.1: Ensure Council and Committee meeting dates, locations and agendas are publicly available at least two working days before the meeting.
  • 40.2: Respond to official information requests within statutory timeframes.

How are we doing: Information about Council and Committee meetings can be found on our website.

For the period 1 July – 31 March 2024, we received 163 official information requests. All were responded to within the statutory timeframe.

On track

How are we doing on our key initiatives?

Responding to Government direction

How are we doing: There were no submissions made in quarter three. Advice on the Government's 100-day plan and Resource Management reforms was provided to Council, including at the Regional Leadership, Climate Change and Community Resilience Committee in March 2024. 

Read our submissions to Government.

On track
Themed engagement with the people of Canterbury

How are we doing: Following the ‘Pick a Path’ campaign, summaries of the feedback received have informed topics relating to the Regional Policy Statement development and climate action planning. Consultation occurred on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan, and consultation opened on the draft Long-Term Plan 2024-34 on 13 March 2024.

On track
Representation review

How are we doing: Every local authority is required to undertake a representation review at least once every six years. Our next one is required before the 2025 local body election.

The 16 August 2023 council meeting resolved to retain the first past the post-voting system. A public notice advised electors of their right to demand a poll on the future electoral system for the next two triennial elections.

There was no demand for a poll from electors before the deadline about the first past the post (FPP) voting system, so FPP is now confirmed for the 2025 election.

At the 22 November 2023 Council meeting, Council resolved not to include a Māori constituency in the next local elections in 2025.

In quarter three, a workshop was held for Councillors on 29 February 2024 to discuss population data and what some representation scenarios might look like. In May 2024, preliminary options for councillor representation areas were provided and the community was asked for feedback. 

On track

Recent highlights and updates

Return to key areas of work Top