PublicVoice is committed to being an expert in the area of public consultation, online public participation and digital engagement. Recently, we began working on new leading research into the area of online public participation within New Zealand councils.
During May and June our team here at PublicVoice have been in the process of developing this research into a report that will give councils a much needed update into how they are doing compared to the rest of the country when it comes to engaging their local communities online.
The objective of this research project is to find out how local government currently uses online tools to engage with the public and show what new exciting options are ahead for local councils in their constant attempt to include the “silent majority” in the decision making process. Our research follows on from previous research which has looked at how the internet is being used by councils to further engage with the public and which councils are leading in this space.
Our research had some key areas of focus that we wanted to find out about. These include;
- Current and future online engagement tools councils in New Zealand are/will be using to engage with the silent majority.
- What councils consider are successful methods to engaging with the silent majority.
- How councils rate their priority given to online public participation and their current efforts at getting more of the silent majority to engage with them online.
- Key barriers that stop councils from increasing engagement with the silent majority online.
- Identifying which council departments look after online engagement and public participation around New Zealand.
The research has been conducted between May – June 2014 with councils invited to participate in a short telephone survey. Alongside these phone calls, we conducted a audit of all councils online to see what digital engagement options they current utilise. Overall, 41 councils participated in this research project and we hope to have our final report ready for publication very soon.
For more information on this exciting research and to receive a copy of our final report, please feel free to contact us.