An interactive mapping tool created by Far North District Council to help communities get involved in the District Plan review process has won a national award.

The Let's Plan Together storymap won the Spatial Enablement Award at the Spatial Excellence Awards in Wellington.

The awards annually celebrate the achievements of online mapping applications produced by leading organisations and individuals.

The council's innovative GIS mapping tool beat 14 other organisations to the Spatial Enablement Award during the November 15 event, including runners-up Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Police.


The online application combines interactive maps with easy-to-understand text, timelines and web links. It aims to encourage greater participation in the review of the Far North District Plan by making the process more accessible and understandable to the public.

Its "story mapping" approach has been called ground-breaking by planners and its roll-out has been keenly watched by other councils.

Far North District Council staff from the District Plan Review Team, Information Services and the Communications Team created the Let's Plan Together storymap using ArcGIS Online technology and web mapping applications. It was released in March 2017.

Kathryn Ross, general manager - transformation projects, said the win was a credit to the teamwork and innovative thinking staff had put into the project.

"That includes the Put a Pin on it! tool that forms a key part of the Let's Plan Together storymap.

"This interactive web map allows people to put an online 'pin' on the map to easily locate and identify issues relevant to them.

"So far, 823 issues have been pinned to the map and at least 140 individuals have contributed."

The Let's Plan Together storymap was selected ahead of the OnDuty mobile application from the New Zealand Police. This provides officers with real-time operational information direct to their smartphones.

Wellington City Council's entry used spatial technology to respond to a range of emergency situations such as the recent Kaikoura earthquake.


The project was also named runner-up GIS Project of the Year during the Association of Local Government Information Management Awards earlier this year.

To view the Let's Plan Together storymap visit