The Far North District Council is embarking on what has been dubbed a ''mega-consultation'', seeking public views on a vast range of issues including rates, development rules, climate change and whether the current mix of councillors and community boards is right for the Far North.
This month councillors and staff will visit a dozen communities and public events as part of the exercise.
Called Navigating Our Course, it aims to collect feedback on four significant projects – the Long Term Plan 2021-31, the Representation Review, the Draft District Plan, and Far North 2100.
Mayor John Carter said it the most ambitious consultation ever undertaken by the council in terms of the range of topics being canvassed.
All four projects had implications for Far North residents, he said.
The Long Term Plan (LTP), which was updated every three years, set out what the council planned to do in the next 10 years and how it would pay for it.
A review of the rates system contained in the LTP would be of particular interest to ratepayers, he said.
The Representation Review was held every six years to gauge how effectively the district was represented by its councillors and community boards.
It also asked how many elected members there should be and whether ward and subdivision boundaries needed adjusting.
The Draft District Plan was about land use and enabling growth in the most suitable places. It looked 30 years into the future and was updated every 10 years.
Finally, Far North 2100 examined what the district could look like in 80 years' time. It considered community wellbeing, economic resilience, adaptation to climate change, physical and digital connection, and protecting the natural environment.
"This is a lot to digest, which demands that we consult differently — that's why we are bringing Navigating Our Course directly to our communities with week-long drop-in venues,'' Carter said.
Drop-in events have already been held in Kawakawa and Kerikeri. Next in line are Kaikohe (Te Wā, March 22-26, 10am-6pm) and Kaitaia (Digital Hub, March 29-April 1, 10am-6pm).
One-day consultations would also be held at smaller communities and events such as weekend markets.
Those still to come include Rawene (Community Hall, March 24, 2-5.30pm), Kaikohe Night Market (March 25, 4-6.30pm), Opononi Market (Memorial Hall, March 27, 8am-2pm), Kaitaia Farmers' Market (March 27, 7am-12pm).
More visits would be considered as staffing allowed. A digital hub explaining each project and allowing online feedback had also been created.
Consultation closes on April 6.
While the combined consultation exercise may encourage people to have a say on a wide range of issues at once, lobby group Vision Kerikeri has questioned the wisdom of consulting on so many topics at once.
Deputy chairman Rolf Mueller-Glodde said it was ''totally unacceptable'' to expect volunteer groups and members of the public to provide meaningful, quality comments on four major consultation documents at the same time.
Adding to the logjam were three Northland Regional Council plans currently open for submissions plus three nationwide plans, including Parliament's Three Waters discussion document and the Climate Change Commission's draft greenhouse gases reduction budget.
''You could be forgiven for thinking that councils are not really that interested in your opinion... Many of us have limited time available because of work and other commitments and can only review documents and draft submissions in our minuscule 'spare' time, a few hours at weekends or after other work.''
■ Go to www.fndc.govt.nz/yoursay for more information and an updated list of consultation venues and times.