Every district in New Zealand must have a working plan. The plans need to identify community values and how to achieve them by managing where and how services are delivered, and how resources are used.
In 2015 some members of the West Coast community asked the Local Government Commission to look at options for streamlining the local councils.
The Commission ran a collaborative process with the four West Coast councils, looking at their current systems and options to improve them.
In 2018 the Local Government Commission released its proposal for local government reorganisation on the West Coast. The Local Government Commission recommended: Transferring the statutory obligations for preparing district plans from the three West Coast district councils to the West Coast Regional Council.
Delegating these obligations to a joint committee comprising all four councils and local iwi, with an independent chair. This means that, rather than each of the three District Councils preparing individual plans, Te Tai o Poutini Plan Committee is now responsible for preparing and approving a new combined district plan covering the whole of the West Coast.