With New Zealand’s council currently in full swing into long term planning, it is a good time to consider the important role a citizens' panel can have during the planning process.
A citizens’ panel can be useful in two key areas:
- · Long-Term Plan Development – Testing and Pre-Consultation
- · Long-Term Plan – Public Consultation
1. Long-Term Plan Development – Testing and Pre-Consultation
A citizens’ panel gives immediate access to a representative sample of the community. This provides council planners an invaluable tool to pre-test assumptions their planning is based upon, and allows for fine tuning the plans before they go to public consultation.