The plan document assessment is where rules and matters from plan documents are assessed. Plan documents are added to a project in the initial stages of Rico: Subject Site; Project Checklist; and, Considerations.
To clarify, plan documents, rules and matters are defined as:
Plan documents are sections of the planning system being assessed in Rico. These correspond to sections of plans etc. and are labelled accordingly, for example, a plan chapter being assessed is labelled with the title of that chapter.
Rules are those parts of a plan document that determine the activity status of a proposal and reasons for consent (where applicable). This in turn determines whether resource consent is needed and the nature of the resource consent decisions to be made for a proposal.
Matters are those parts of a plan document that inform the decision-making process for a resource consent application.
The plan document assessment consists of the following sections:
In addition to this, in the top right-hand corner of the plan document assessment, there are the options to view the plan document directly at its source (View PDF), import an entire plan document assessment from another project (Import), and delete the plan document from the project (Delete).
The activities section is where activities triggered by a proposal under a given plan document are added.
To add activities:
Click the add activity button. This will open a window where you can select activities for the plan document being assessed.
Select an activity. Activities are listed in the activity selector and organised under the headings they appear in source plan documents. You can also review source plan documents for relevant activities here. Reviewing the source documents can assist in detecting relevant considerations for a proposal. Links to the source plan documents are provided on the activities page in two locations, a link in the instruction at the top of the page (i.e. "Review the activity table ….") and within the window for adding activities at the right of the activity selector.
Ensure the correct activity status is selected. The status of an activity is generally known, however, in some cases, it may vary (e.g. due to characteristics of the proposal). In such cases, the status must be entered manually here.
Provide an activity description. The description aims to clearly detail the activities in the proposal that fall under the definition of the selected activity from a given plan document.
Click add activity to project to finish.
The standards section is where the proposal’s compliance with the relevant standards from a given plan document is assessed.
To assess standards:
Work out the standards to be complied with. This can be determined by reviewing the source plan document (this states the standards to be complied with for certain activities). You can jump to source documents by clicking the document icon located at the right of the standard assessment bar. On Rico, all the available standards from a given plan document are listed. Once you’ve worked out what’s relevant and irrelevant, these can be filtered. Relevant standards are assessed as described in the next steps, while irrelevant standards are marked “N/A”. Only standards that have been assessed will appear in reports.
Assess relevant standards. Determine whether the proposal complies or infringes with a given standard and click the corresponding complies or infringes button in Rico. Details of the standard can be reviewed at this stage by clicking the document icon which links to the source plan document. After marking complies or infringes, justify this assessment in the text field. Infringed standards require an additional step, discussed further below.
When a standard is infringed, you must answer whether the infringement adds a general (C1.9(2)) infringement or if the infringement has been accounted for already or is not a standard that must be complied with. The following diagram describes how to correctly address an infringed standard in various circumstances.
Where a standard is infringed resulting in a general infringement, an activity/reason for consent is created for this on the activities page. Like other activities, this has a reference, status and description as follows:
The reference identifies the infringement (under rule C1.9(2) of the AUP) and refers to the specific standard infringed.
The status is restricted discretionary (as per rule C1.9(2)).
The activity description is automatically populated with the comment made against the infringed standard on the standards page. This comment can only be edited on the standards page and cannot be edited on the activities page.
Proposals are assessed against the relevant matters of a given plan document in the matters assessment. This is done in two steps, reviewing matters to determine which are relevant, then including any assessment thereof to appear in reports.
Proposals must be consistent with the relevant matters of a plan document in order for consent to be granted. The relevant matters for a given proposal depend on the activities involved and application status.
For controlled and restricted discretionary activities, the relevant matters are restricted to the matters of control and matters of discretion, respectively. Assessment criteria may also be provided for restricted discretionary and controlled activities to elaborate and provide clarity on how these matters will be assessed.
All applications for resource consent (i.e. applications with non-permitted activities) must be consistent with the objectives and policies.
Matters can be assessed using the expandable lists to the left (or top on smaller screens) of the page to produce a tabular assessment and/or the overall assessment to the right (or bottom on smaller screens) to produce an overall assessment.
How matters are assessed is down to personal preference. You may complete both, either, or neither of these assessments as per the steps below.
Tabular Matters Assessment
The tabular assessment provides the opportunity to go into depth and comment directly against specific matters or groups of matters.
To prepare a tabular matters assessment:
Select matters. Navigate through the expandable lists to find relevant matters. Check the checkbox at the right of the matter to include it in your report. Checkboxes can appear in three states, depending on what’s been selected: unchecked = the matter has not been selected, partially filled = the matter has sub-points and some, not all, of these have been selected, checked = the matter and any sub-points below it have all been selected.
Comment on matters. Click the comment button (just to the left of the checkbox) to comment on a matter or group of matters. Comments will appear in the table adjacent to the matters they correspond to.
A separate table will be produced in report downloads for each separate list of matters (i.e. Objectives, Policies, Matters of Discretion, Assessment Criteria etc.) that have been assessed.
If you don’t wish to include a tabular matters assessment, leave all matters unchecked and no table will appear in the report.
The overall assessment provides the opportunity to make a more general assessment of the matters for a given plan document without including or commenting directly against specific matters.
To make an overall assessment:
Click ‘Include overall assessment’. This is located on the right hand side of the page (or below the expandable lists on smaller screens).
Enter your assessment in the text box. It’s suggested that headings are used to provide a title to, or structure, this assessment as no heading is given to this section by default.
If you don’t wish to include an overall assessment, select ‘Exclude overall assessment’ and no overall assessment will appear in the report. If neither a tabular matters assessment nor overall assessment are included, no matters assessment section will appear in the report for a given plan document.
In addition to the import function in each text box, the planning document assessment has the option to import whole document assessments from existing jobs.
To import a whole document assessment for a given planning document:
Click 'Import', located at the top right of the page.
Select a source project. You can open projects in a new tab to preview these before importing them into your project.
Click 'Import' to complete the import. Doing this will copy all the assessments from the source project into the current project. Be careful, where data exists in both projects, the contents of the current project will be overridden.