Community-led planning and development good practices

Good Practices

Village Planning Porirua


The Village Planning Programme, a partnership between Porirua City Council and the cities diverse neighbourhoods, enables communities to develop a vision for their neighbourhood or villages, translate the vision into action plans and then partner with Council to make it happen.

The programme is said to be unique among NZ city councils as it takes the urban design process beyond community consultation.


Launched in 2004, the VP aims to strengthen communities through netwokring and collaboration and identify priority initiatives for the Council and communities. It has four overarching objectives:

Enable Council to set strategic directions across the city;

Enable Council to provide appropriate and meaning ful services

Ensure that the City District Plan reflects the needs of the communities

Foster constructive relationships between council and residents.

3.How does it work

The Village Planning programme puts communities in charge of developing a vision for their villages, translating the vision to action plans and submitting to council for review and funding.

Most of the VP groups develop a Village Plan where it sets out the priority projects identified by the community. Although the planning process is unique to a particular group, some share common characteristics and best practices. The following illustrate how some VP groups develop their VP plans:

a. Council orients the community on what VP is and how they can participate.

b. A Village representative group is formed and develops a roadmap on how to develop

their Village Plan

c. Extensive community consultations are undertaken community participatory

appraisals, surveys, meetings, asset mapping, street meetings, fora, hui and fono,

workshops, community feedback day

d. Results are communicated back to residents

e. Council , VP group and other partners develop vision, designs and plans

f. VP group presents the plan to the council

g. Council reviews, funds and signs-off the plan for implementation

h. Council and VP group implements and reviews the project


To date, more than ten villages or neighbourhoods have participated in the VP programme. The programme resulted in a genuine partnership between communities and the local government where communities take a very active part in decision making for their neighbourhoods.

Each Village Plan is unique, reflecting the different needs and nature of the villages. So

far, some of the plans that have been funded include:

Community Park construction and upgrades

Shopping area improvements


Environmental reviews

Village history documentation

Restoration of historic railway

Accessibility projects


Walkway improvements and pedestrian subway


Road improvements and safety

Stormwater main construction

Waka shelter

Beach reserves management plan And harbour development plans

The VP initiative won the 2009 Local Government Excellence Awards and 3 gold awards in the 2010 International Liveable Communities Awards. The VP programme is recognised as a priority initiative in the LTCCP with an annual funding of $600,000 per year for the first 6 years.


According to PCC, the VP programme resulted in many outcomes such as:

Enabled council to partner with residents to set a clear strategic direction while staying true to a community's unique characteristics.

Fostered good working relationships between staff and among partners

Residents perceive a large influence on council decision making

Open up opportunities to come up with ground up community solutions

More holistic view of work undertaken in community

Increased community ownership, involvement and pride

Enabled Council and communities to engage with outside agencies

Source: PCCs submission to the Celebrating new ideas for the 2009 New Zealand Post Group Local Government Excellence Awards and news and updates from the PCC website

Flaxroots is a priority initiative of the North Shore Community and Social Services funded under the Community Development Scheme of the Department of Internal Affairs