Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement - Auckland Council
Project management

Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement – achieving natural environmental outcomes across the Auckland region

Psoda blog author avatar
17 November 2022

Conservation of our natural environment is more important than ever. Both central Government and local communities are expecting their Councils to actively manage and protect biodiversity in their regions.

Auckland Council realised that to effectively manage this huge undertaking they would need to invest in technology. The result was the Natural Environment Stakeholder Engagement (NESE) Dynamics 365 CRM.


In July 2018, as part of the 10-year long term plan, Auckland Council established a Natural Environment Targeted Rate (NETR). This committed an additional $311 million over ten years towards achieving natural environmental outcomes across the Auckland region.

Local community groups support the Council’s work in numerous ways and part of Council’s statutory reporting obligations include the value community groups contribute.

Previously, all local community interactions and associated information was logged in various ways across multiple systems, including email, spreadsheets and paper.

This disparate approach to information collection resulted in duplication, poor data and a lack of visibility across Council. It also severely impacted Council’s ability to meet reporting requirements.

The project

Auckland Council made the decision to invest in a CRM to solve these problems. Microsoft Dynamics 365 was chosen as the preferred solution and was customised to Council’s requirements.

The CRM captures background information, contact details and can track interactions between Council staff and volunteers.

One of the biggest benefits has been the ability to centrally track volunteer hours across regional and local parks. NESE provides integrated views, graphs and dashboards as well as giving the option to export the data to MS Excel.

The tool also integrates with Auckland Council’s geospatial database (Ruru – Conservation Information System) and the Tiaki Tāmaki Makaurau | Conservation Auckland website.

The project’s budget was $581,891 and it came in under budget.


The NESE project has achieved the following objectives:

  • Consolidating existing information into a centralized system
  • Easily identify community group details, contacts and who they work with.
  • Eliminating inefficiency and duplication of effort across different departments.
  • Provide easy access to, and transparency of, critical information about the group’s activities.
  • Consistent processes for recording community group information and details of the support services Council provides to community groups to support their conservation activities.
  • Enable accurate and timely reporting
  • Spatial view of the community groups engagement areas

It is also contributing to Auckland Council achieving multiple high-level environmental strategies, including:

  • Auckland Plan 2050
  • Indigenous Biodiversity Strategy 2012
  • Auckland Regional Pest Management Plan 2020-2030

The awards

Award winners will be announced during the ALGIM 2022 conference in Christchurch

Other finalists

Find out about the other finalists:

Nelson City Council

Ruapehu District Council

Rhona Aylward avatar
Written by Rhona Aylward
Rhona is Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda, where she does everything except code. After starting life as a microbiologist she moved into PMO leadership roles around the world before settling in New Zealand with her family.

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