Appendix 1: Summary of requirements for long-term plans

Matters arising from the 2012-22 local authority long-term plans

An LTP is a 10-year plan. Under the provisions of the Act, all local authorities are required to prepare an LTP every three years. Section 93(6) of the Act sets out the purposes of an LTP, which are to:

  • describe the activities of the local authority;
  • describe the community outcomes of the local authority's district or region;
  • provide integrated decision-making and co-ordination of the use of the local authority's resources;
  • provide a long-term focus for the decisions and activities of the local authority;
  • provide a basis for the local authority to be accountable to the community; and
  • provide an opportunity for the public to participate in decision-making processes on activities to be carried out by the local authority.

There are several steps that a local authority must take to meet the requirements of the Act in preparing the LTP. These steps include consultation with the community, development of key policies and plans, and putting in place financial strategies and a performance framework.

Two important documents in the LTP process are the draft LTP and the final LTP. Local authorities are also required to prepare a summary of the draft LTP for use as a public consultation document.

Section 84(4) of the Act requires the draft LTP to include a report from the Auditor-General. Local authorities are also required to consult with the public on the draft LTP, using the special consultative procedure outlined in sections 84(1) and 83.

Section 94(1) requires the final LTP (adopted after the local authority has considered the results from the consultation) to include the Auditor-General's report.

For both the draft LTP and the final LTP, the Auditor-General is required to report on:

  • the extent to which the local authority has complied with the requirements of the Act; and
  • the quality of the information and assumptions underlying the forecast information provided in the plan.52

52: The Auditor-General's requirement to report on the extent to which the forecast information and proposed performance measures will provide an appropriate framework for the actual levels of service provision to be meaningfully addressed was repealed, on 27 November 2010, by section 14(2) of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2010.

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