Loud, clear mes­sage on elec­tron­ics

Central Leader - - News -

Auck­land city coun­cil­lors won’t be able to get away with send­ing sneaky emails or text mes­sages dur­ing pre­sen­ta­tions in meet­ings any more.

A work­ing party set up to look at coun­cil­lors’ use of elec­tronic de­vices in meet­ings has rec­om­mended they be “elec­tron­i­cally po­lite” and turn all equip­ment to si­lent mode.

They will only be able to use their lap­tops dur­ing pub­lic fo­rums if they are tak­ing notes or do­ing re­search and other ac­tiv­i­ties, such as read­ing the news­pa­per while mem­bers of the pub­lic are pre­sent­ing, are also out.

Au­di­ence mem­bers are also ex­pected to keep elec­tron­ics on si­lent.

The work­ing party was formed af­ter coun­cil­lor Cathy Casey made a no­tice of mo­tion on the is­sue and its rec­om­men­da­tions were re­ported to the fi­nance and strat­egy com­mit­tee on April 15.

There will be no change to the coun­cil’s stand­ing or­ders, but chairs will re­mind peo­ple to turn equip­ment to si­lent and leave the room if they have to make phone calls or send lengthy emails.

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