Western BoP District Council Service Design

A Resource Consents review to enable local government services to be accessed online as much as possible.



Western Bay of Plenty District Council wanted a Resource Consents review to enable local government services to be accessed online as much as possible, and to streamline the process flows within the organisation to better service the community and stakeholders.

The resource consenting process and experience was a key area for assessment as it has not had a thorough review for a significant period. The aims of this project were to review the end-to-end current experience of customers requesting resource consents and lead an assessment of the process looking at current and future needs with a view to implement a new service design.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council were also keen to provide better information to customers by using digital capabilities to achieve an improved user experience and enhance internal operational efficiencies. Cucumber was the fresh pair of eyes needed to look at the Resource Consents process from an independent and Service Design point of view.



Cucumber recommended two discovery workshops for this phase; the first workshop involved stakeholders from across the council to obtain clarity of an issues and challenges that need to be taken into account. The aim of second workshop was to get consensus from the team to understand the current process in depth. This workshop covered identifying the pain points and impacts, and what success could look like for the various stakeholder groups.

Cucumber and the team from Western BOP worked together to engage the right stakeholders to be part of the workshops, and then interview the stakeholders to obtain their views and experiences.

A combination of the internal and external research enabled Cucumber and the Western BOP team to highlight areas for improvement and use customer needs / expectations to inform a new service blueprint based on a digital solution and associated end-to-end workflow improvements / redesign.

A collaborative approach to understand the resource consents process and define the key areas for improvement was used. This project wouldn’t have been possible without significant human interaction; Cucumber met with most of the resource consents team, a range of property-related subject matter experts across the business, and conducted qualitative in-person interviews with agents, iwi, and the Regional Council. After talking with Council staff, Agents, Iwi, and the Regional Council, their feedback was grouped into themes. For the themes that were most relevant to improving the consents process and experience, insight statements were created to summarise the meaning.

The themes that the teams came up with were then reframed through community and Council ideation workshops, and Cucumber assessed options for impact and desirability, and then feasibility and viability.


Based on all the interactions we’d had with stakeholders, the Cucumber team was able to understand the process, staff feelings about the process and supporting systems, and the experience of agents and end-customers within the current process.

We distilled this down to insights and generated a range of solution options which were then prioritised down to two fundamental changes that we believe will add immediate benefit for internal and external resource consent stakeholders.

From here Cucumber was tasked with adding supporting detail to selected solution options, understand how these changes fit in with existing projects and create a final delivery recommendation and plan. Online consenting will be available in the near future and there are more changes to come, however in the meantime they’re in safe hands with a strong focus on the human experience.

In a regulatory environment bound by legislative requirements sometimes it can be difficult changing processes that have been locked in for years. It was time for us to look at what we do and how we deliver our services to our customers. Cucumber interrogated our processes, end-to-end, worked directly with staff, engaged with our customers and allowed us to better understand their needs. As a result we have identified key themes that are now allowing us to tailor a better service to meet their needs and our own.

Chris Watt
Western BoP District Council, Consents Manager

Chris Watt

Western BoP District Council, Consents Manager

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