Insight to good use of technology

Being a Whangarei couple that keep a watchful eye on local politics, who also like to venture into other territory from time to time for comparisons, certainly has its upside. Our previous visit to Kaikohe was for a meeting on unitary authorities on March 18th.  But on arriving at Thursday’s Far North District Council meeting we were introduced to a new system, situated to the left of reception, for signing visitors into the building. You type in your details, reason of and who you are visiting, sit in front of the screen, press click and presto out comes a visitor pass complete with photo. Certainly up with the play here, but wait there’s more. In the council chamber not only is there a good sound system and screens for presentations, but the audio/visual also has a live link to Northern Community Board Chairperson Fiona King in Kaitaia.  How sensible, saving all that time travelling down to meetings, able to ask questions and make comments this enables Fiona to spend more time with her people.  So much for all the song and dance in Whangarei, about Northland’s size when unitary authority debate is underway. There is no need for remoteness, with technology they could and may be in the future, controlled from the other side of the world.  An inclusive type meeting with presentations from various groups up first, then it’s into the swing of a formal agenda under Mayor Wayne Brown’s flamboyant style.  Visitors are welcomed to partake in refreshments becoming involved in a chat here and there with elected representatives and staff showing there is flair of open democracy.  There is always good discussion and we appreciate the hospitality offered by our far north associates on our visits. We look forward to our next encounter.

Warren Slater