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Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects

Submissions for this consultation is now closed. 

The Transport Agency has released this draft Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects for public consultation. This guide sets out the requirements for assessment that meets the Transport Agency’s commitment to social responsibility and the requirements of statutory approval processes under the Resource Management Act. 

Use of this document in its current release form is strongly encouraged.

Please send feedback to environment@nzta.govt.nz. The feedback period will close on Monday 29 January 2016, after which the final document will be prepared and released.

About the Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects

Guide to assessing social impacts for state highway projects

State Highway projects may contribute to economic and social prosperity.  They may also create positive or negative social impacts at the regional and local level.  These impacts might include changes to people’s ability to access other people, communities or services.  They may also be caused by changes to amenity, facilities, mode of travel, local movement patterns and displacement or arrival of local businesses or residents.  The Transport Agency is committed to act in an environmentally and socially responsible manner and the process of social impact assessment helps the Agency to deliver on this commitment.  This guide seeks to achieve a nationally consistent approach to carrying out social impact assessment for state highway projects at all stages of a project’s life cycle.  This approach is intended to provide certainty and clarity of expectations for our customers and for the Agency and to appropriately deliver on our commitments to social responsibility.   

The key users of this guide are likely to be:

  • Project managers
  • Planners
  • Social impact specialists
  • Engagement specialists
  • Environmental technical specialists
  • Environmental managers
  • Contract managers

Questions and answers

Why has the transport agency prepared this guide?

This guide seeks to achieve a nationally consistent approach to carrying out social impact assessment for state highway projects at all stages of a project’s life cycle.  This approach is intended to provide certainty and clarity of expectations for our customers and for the Agency and to appropriately deliver on our commitments to social responsibility.    This guide forms part of the NZ Transport Agency State Highway Environmental and Social Responsibility Standard. 

Why has this draft guide been released for public comment?

We are now seeking feedback to ensure this guide is practical, efficient and effective. In particular, comment is sought from social impact assessors, project managers and planners working in this area. 

What is social impact assessment?

Social impact assessment is defined as the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions’ (International Association for Impact Assessment, 2003).  In the context of this guide, social impact assessment means being able to identify social impacts of state highway projects and develop appropriate measures to monitor, manage and mitigate or enhance those impacts.  

 

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