The Planning Process

The Spaces and Places Strategy is a regional approach to investing wisely in Southland’s future infrastructure. The Strategy identifies a planning process for projects which will assist with identifying the need.

Identifying the Need

A needs assessment provides robust data and evidence to inform decisions. It critically establishes the wants from the need. Need can be quantified through research and evidence.

To make sound investment with a limited pot of resources, decisions need to be made considering the Southland region as a whole.

It should be about understanding what is happening in our geographic area and community.

Evidence-based project need is required before moving to phase 2. A project may be reworked in phase 1 multiple times to satisfy the criteria before progressing.

This involves in-depth research in the community of both users and non-users in tandem with analysis of supply and demand to establish an actual need for facility development.

This is to be compared with other options that could match an identified need through alternative programmes, pricing or travel.

Key reasons for completing a needs assessment are:

  • To provide robust evidence on the need and merits of a facility development
  • To inform the appropriate scope, scale, elements and timing of facility development
  • By comparison to facility costs, a needs assessment is a cheap way to determine/justify why a facility development is not required.

Without a needs assessment it will become increasingly difficult to gain political or financial support for facility development.