Community Plans Review

Our Community Plans survey is now closed.

Community Plans date extended

Our Community Plans survey is now closed. 

Following a series of focus groups held in February to March this year, the first round of consultation on the community plan review has closed and we are now collating what you have told us.

High level summary results will be presented to the upcoming Community Board workshops in July and August. 

We will then be seeking direction from the Community Boards on further rounds of consultation, building on what you have already told us. 


Some of these plans were written many years ago and it’s a good time to ‘check-in’ and change, add or confirm the plans we have in place. We want to get a good sense of what’s important to each community.  Knowing what everyone values will help your Community Board and Council make more informed decisions around funding and to prioritise the services and activities that are most important to your community.

The plans are about what a community can do itself (and advocate for), and what our Council can do in partnership with the community and other organisations.

We started our Community Plan review process earlier this year, with focus groups for each area providing feedback, which has helped us develop a public survey. These responses will feed into the new set of Community Plans.

We want to hear from people who live permanently or own a property in our district, and which community you associate with most, what you like about it and what changes you would like to make it a better place to live, work, visit and play in.

After receiving all the survey responses, we will analyse these for each area and create draft community plans for Thames, Coromandel-Colville, Mercury Bay North, Mercury Bay Central, Mercury Bay South, Tairua-Pauanui and Whangamata. These seven plans will include actions and values which apply to the whole area of the plan, as well as specific actions and values that might only apply to one settlement. The survey responses will be considered alongside the existing Community Plans and other relevant information that may have been provided recently to Council. For example, Kuaotunu has recently run its own community survey and these results will be taken into account.

The draft community plans will be presented to the Community Boards in July for discussion, and then, following our local elections ( in October 2019, the next stage of community engagement will be determined. We aim to finalise the new plans in early 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 Does Council currently have Community Plans?

Yes we do. These are:

There are also a number of other strategies which have had strong community input and need consideration (e.g. Thames Urban Design Strategy).

Why is Council reviewing its community plans?

The content of the existing community plans varies and many are "aspirational" in nature. Some were written many years ago, others are more recent – but it’s a good time to “check in” with our communities and change, add or confirm the existing plans. We want to get a good sense of the priorities for each community. Knowing what our community values will help your Community Board and Council make more informed decision-making around funding and prioritisation of services and activities.

Will we get rid of the current community plans?

Not entirely. We are identifying what has been completed, what hasn’t, and asking communities whether the priorities in these plans are still current.

What is the difference between community plans and the reserve management plans Council is consulting on?

Reserve Management Plans (and the way Council consults on these) are required by law. Having Community Plans is not a legal requirement. The Reserve Management Plans determine what sorts of activities can happen on our many parks and reserves. Our community plans can inform your elected members as to what our community thinks these activities should look like (e.g. is a new or revised playground a priority on one of our reserves?)

What is a community?

Communities are all about people. Communities are about having a common interest, living, working and playing together. A community is all about people having shared interests. Communities play an important role in every aspect of our lives. We have communities among our friends, our families, our employment and in our neighbourhoods, within sports teams we support, food we like and shared interests in general. Having a sense of community unites us. Being a part of a community can make people feel as though they are a part of something greater than themselves. It can give opportunities to connect with people, to reach goals, and provide a feeling of safety and security.

Who has been invited to the focus groups?

We aim to get a broad representation from across our communities. To do this we have invited people from a number of groups – with a maximum of two per organisation to ensure we gather diverse views.

What happens after the focus groups?

Feedback from the focus groups will be used to pull together a wider community survey. The survey will open in April 2019. Collated responses will be pulled together into a set of community plans for the district.

How do the community plans relate to other strategic planning documents?

The community plans will be considered by Council throughout its planning cycle so that it prioritises and actions things that are most important to our communities.

The Planning Cycle

Click to expand.

Are the community plans only about what Council can do?

The plans are about what a community can do itself (and advocate for), what Council can do in partnership with the community and other organisations, and what Council can do on our communities’ behalf.