Timaru District Council wins the SOLGM Great CD Competition

The Timaru District Council’s Consultation Document “ Are We There Yet? ” was awarded first place in the SOLGM Great CD Competition at the SOLGM Community Plan Forum currently being held in Christchurch.

“The judging panel received some great CDs from councils across the country,”SOLGM’s Sector Improvement Manager Raymond Horan says“The five judges all felt that Are We There Yet? best demonstrated the qualities of an effective CD”.

Timaru’s Consultation Document was chosen from amongst 44 entries from councils that ranged in size from Christchurch City to Kawerau District Council. Of the eight shortlisted finalists only one had a population of more than 50,000.

“When it comes to a successful LTP and Consultation Document good planning, attitude, clarity and creativity are what matters rather than size” Raymond says “ A CD should present the key issues and choices to the community with enough information on costs and consequences to allow for informed submissions. Timaru presented five key issues, the options and the implications of the choices in a meaningful way, using simple, but careful design”.

Timaru District Council Chief Executive, Peter Nixon attributed the success to three main factors - understanding the new legislative requirements of the CD, the involvement and commitment of the elected members during the 18-month LTP process, and a talented team of staff who worked exceptionally hard and still managed to think outside the square. “We also had a great graphic designer who understood what we were trying to achieve.”

When discussing the design aspects of the winning CD Raymond notes “The message was not overwhelmed by the design. The idea to feature individual photos of the councillors talking about the LTP and what it means to them lifted the LTP out of the realms of being “the staff’s plan” to something the elected members own and are accountable for”.

The judges also awarded highly commended citations to Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s CD, Setting the Pace for the Next Ten Years, and to South Taranaki District Council’s CD (which had no title).

Information on all the eight shortlisted CD entries will be available on SOLGM’s website shortly.