Media Release: Virtual council meetings popular

10/09/10

Media Release 10 September 2010

Attending ‘virtual’ council meetings proves popular

In addition to the live webcasting of Council meetings, viewers can now access the on-demand, archived footage of the Council meetings at a time convenient for you via council’s website.

The webcast is already proving popular with plans to webcast the Council meeting on Wednesday 8th September at which Council will review the changes to the draft Taupo Urban and Commercial Structure Plan.

Communications manager Suzanne Takiwa says Council were offered free trials by two prospective providers and were able to compared the viewer experience, cost and value added services before making a decision to accept the offer from Tandem Studios.  She said there was a steady stream of live feedback during the broadcast both locally and right around the country with very positive comments.

Ms Takiwa says, “Tandem not only provided a seamless viewer experience but are also offering extra services such as editing and archiving at less cost. After undergoing a steep learning curve implementing the webcasts, we now believe the ability to access the footage on-demand is critical.”

She says at least 175 viewers logged in to watch the live webcast during the meeting, and it will be interesting to see how many more people make use of the on-demand service over time, “given we have 42 percent ratepayers out of the district, the ability for people near or far to attend ‘virtual’ Council meetings at their convenience is especially relevant. The reality is we very rarely get anyone coming along in person so we are thrilled to be able to open up the business of Council to our ratepayers and residents.”

Those wanting to watch the meeting can access the link via Councils website www.taupo.govt.nz and viewers are encouraged to provide feedback via the Taupo District Council Facebook page. “There is a link on both websites to our facebook page and we will announce upcoming meetings, as well as other information of interest via facebook as well as the usual channels,” said Ms Takiwa.