Coun­cil sub­mis­sions can be made on­line

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By MARY-JO TO­HILL

As of last week, the pub­lic will be able to make on­line sub­mis­sions to the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil for the first time. Be­gin­ning with the coun­cil’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion re­view, peo­ple will be able to ex­press their opin­ions through the web­site about whether or not the num­ber of coun­cil­lors should be re­duced from 10 to eight plus the mayor, along with the pro­posed change from ward-based to at-large elec­tions. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and strat­egy co­or­di­na­tor Maria De Cort said the abil­ity to make on­line sub­mis­sions had been iden­ti­fied by the pub­lic in the long-term plan con­sul­ta­tion process. “We were asked ‘why can’t we sub­mit on­line?’ and we’re pleased to let them know that now they can.’’ Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Meaghan Miller said that coun­cil ini­ti­ated on­line pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion more than a year ago and now used it for all community in­ter­est mat­ters. ‘‘We still have to take into ac­count that not ev­ery­one has a com­puter but we can see on­line sub­mis­sions are go­ing to grow.’’ Use of the in­ter­net was ‘‘def­i­nitely the way of the fu­ture’’ to cut down on the ‘‘cost of democ­racy.’’ Print­ing the Long Term Plan cost at least $100 each copy, she said. Otago Re­gional Coun­cil cor­po­rate an­a­lyst Sharon de Vries said about 75 per cent of sub­mis­sions to the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil’s Long Term Plan had been made by email. On­line sub­mis­sions would be avail­able for its 2013 an­nual plan, she said.

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