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About Us

Who we are

COBOP is a collaborative network of local and regional council chief executives, and regional managers of twenty-six central government agencies with Bay of Plenty responsibilities. We work at a strategic level to guide our respective organisations to best serve and develop the Bay to be a fantastic place to live, work, learn and play. 

Our history

COBOP initially started in 2005 and was called Community Outcomes Bay of Plenty.  It birthed as a result of the Local Government Act 2002 expecting more local-central government collaboration. In 2007 COPBOP re-shaped itself following a review and developed priority areas.  COBOP re-branded to be known as Collaboration Bay of Plenty – reflecting more fully the nature of the network.  In 2012 the Local Government Act was amended with a clear call for agencies to be accountable for doing more with less.  It challenged us to work smarter.  Now, collaboration is more than just important, it is vital for our communities to move from existing to thriving.

What we do

We are mandated under the Local Government Act  to assist the Bay to develop environmentally; socially, culturally and economically.  Basically we work together with the region in mind to:

  • Foster active and ongoing relationships
  • Share and communicate information
  • Proactively seize opportunities and add value
  • Promote thought and incubate ideas
  • Connect up and remove barriers
  • Use our collective influence

See what we've been working on in the latest COBOP Annual Report.

Why we exist

As public service organizations with responsibilities to serve the same populations in the Bay of Plenty, we face complex issues.   More often than not, these issues faced by local and regional communities cannot be resolved through simple single agency interventions. By working smartly at regional and local levels, with communities, we have the potential to help develop strategies and responses which cannot be invented from outside of the Bay. 

Knowing and understanding each other, creates a platform for the best combinations of resources and policies.  Together, with local communities, we can create new solutions and possibilities for the Bay of Plenty. This is increasingly important as decision-making for central government becomes more centralised. The importance of working together has never been greater than now.

How we work

The COBOP network attracts growing numbers of public service personnel to share information and work across boundaries.  By doing this we can accelerate progress and harness emerging opportunities within the Bay of Plenty.

COBOP Signatories (local government chief executives and central government regional managers that have formally joined the network) meet together three times a year in meetings called the Leadership Forum.   Here regional topics are discussed, information is shared and projects can be initiated.

Signatories and members of agencies work in Action Clusters to identify and respond to gaps and opportunities. The clusters meet throughout the year and are the hub of adding collaborative value to projects.  In essence they bring the "walk to the talk".

A Steering Group made up of three local government and four central government signatories guides the ongoing work of the clusters and provides leadership and direction for the whole network.  Assisted by a Strategic Co-ordinator, this group meets three times a year, and works towards priorities outlined by the Regional Leadership Forum.


Who funds us?

COBOP is funded by voluntary contributions to the running of the network.  Organisations that are part of the network show their commitment to it in various ways and this is one of them.  Each year members of the network are asked to provide a financial contribution which can range significantly depending on size of the organisation.  These contributions cover the running costs of the network, not individual projects undertaken by members of the network.  Members also provide in-kind support to the network.  If your organisation would like to make a contribution to COBOP please contact the Chairperson directly.

A little more info...

COBOP Terms of Reference

COBOP Structure & Roles

COBOP Factsheet (Sept 2018)

Network Update - November 2018