Council pushing ahead with live streaming

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 16/06/2014

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A trial proved a ratings flop, but the Wellington City Council is pressing ahead with plans to live stream its meetings.

The council spent about $5000 on a live broadcast of October's inauguration ceremony for the new council on YouTube, with hopes of getting viewers "in the thousands". As of yesterday, the video clip had gathered 782 views.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said a meeting on Wednesday will be recorded, but not live streamed.

"It's still a trial. We want a certain quality of video and audio, and we've got a lot of people around a long table."

Live streaming offered another way to access local democracy, he said.

"We don't think it's going to rival Game of Thrones or an All Blacks test, but we might get some die-hard followers."

It was planned to go live on August 27.

Wellington City Councillor Helene Ritchie said she was furious at the introduction of "spy cameras".

"It is a waste of ratepayers funds, and will be an expensive farce," she said. "This is simply the introduction of faceless paparazzi into the council chamber, intrudes into personal privacy, and will discourage sound public decision making."

Last year, the cost of live streaming all full council meetings was put at about $30,000 a year.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said he did not share Ritchie's concerns.

"I don't know what she's on about really. People have been asking for this for a long time."

Taupo District was the first council to start broadcasting meetings in 2010.

In 2012 it had an average of 15 viewers per meeting.

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- The Dominion Post

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