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Auckland Council to beam live

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 13:55 23/04/2014

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The Auckland Council plans to run a live webcast of 57 of its council meetings each year in a bid to increase transparency and raise awareness of the decision-making process.

The council has called for expressions of interest from people who could provide services needed for a live webcast of meetings.

In its information document, the council said it planned to provide a live webcast to make the political process more transparent, increase awareness of the decision-making process, reduce reliance on the media and recognise the increased size and impact of the council in New Zealand and the accompanying need to perform at a world-class level.

The webcasts would initially cover meetings of the mayor and 20 councillors and meetings of four committees.

The committees are the Auckland development committee, the finance and performance committee, the budget committee and the regional strategy and policy committee.

The average duration of each meeting was four hours, the council said.

Council spokesman Glyn Walters said the council had been planning to offer the webcasts since the council was set up in 2010.

The plan was put on hold while the council dealt with "transitional issues", Walters said.

The Christchurch City Council started live-streaming meetings last October.

Walters said the Christchurch council's webcasts provided a good model.

Christchurch City Council spokeswoman Jocelyn Ritchie said between October and this month there had been 15,000 visits to live-streaming and meetings on-demand on the Council Live website.

She said 5000 visitors watched the meetings via the live stream and 10,000 watched the meetings on-demand.

During this time, Christchurch had videoed and webcast 14 meetings.

This meant there were about 1000 visits to the site for each meeting, with about 330 people watching meetings live and about 670 people watching each meeting on-demand.

Walters was unable to say when the council would begin the webcasts.

The council would shortlist those who had expressed interest in providing videoing services for the webcasts on May 16.

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- Fairfax Media

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