A change of plan: Collaborative ambitions meet institutional realities for the Waikato River
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-03, 00:43 authored by H Paterson-Shallard, Brendon BlueBrendon Blue, K Fisher
Aotearoa New Zealand has shifted towards more collaborative decision-making for freshwater in recent years, as national and local authorities seek new ways of working with communities. While the potential benefits of collaboration are well established, the messiness of collaborative processes can challenge institutional imperatives to develop formally justified, implementable plans. This paper explores a collaboration-first attempt, ‘Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1’, demonstrating that while more inclusive forms of plan-making may better reflect diverse values, interests and knowledges, relinquishing control over planning processes can present significant challenges in the face of existing institutional structures and legislative requirements.