26 March 2018
New Plymouth District Council’s trail-blazing work to create digital draft district plan has been recognized with a major award from New Zealand’s top planning body.
The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) on Friday announced NPDC has won the 2018 Supreme Practice Award for its commitment to becoming “a future-focused ‘Digital Council.”
NPDC was the first council in New Zealand to draft a new district plan written directly into a property-based driven e-plan, said the NZPI.
“This council’s experience will help achieve the delivery of more robust and consistent district plans,” said the citation for the award, also known as the Nancy Northcroft Planning Practice Award.
NPDC’s digital draft district plan went live on 5 February and is available to anyone online.
With a few clicks, they can find information on their property anytime, anywhere – rather than looking through paper documents for the information they need.
“We have had interest in this work from across the country and Australia. It is much-deserved recognition of the work staff have put in to enable better customer experiences and a more engaged community,” says NPDC Group Manager Strategy Liam Hodgetts.
“The digital draft plan helps give us a better understanding of what people think of the proposals and on how they think the e-plan works too.”
E-planning is now a statutory requirement for all councils to move towards and the NPDC’s e-plan created significant opportunities for other councils to benefit and leverage from, said the NZPI citation.
“We look forward to continuing to work with other councils, central government and our technology provider, Isovist, to develop and refine the e-plan tool,” says Mr Hodgetts.
District plans guide how NPDC manages a variety of activities in our community.
The Digital Council project includes plans to enable the public to conduct more of their transactions with NPDC, such as buying LIM reports, online.
The Digital District Plan is online at newplymouthnz.com/DraftDistrictPlan.