By Russ Rimmington, Chairperson, Waikato Regional Council
We’re live streaming
Easy access to councillor decision making is important, but with a region as big as the Waikato it’s not always practical for people to attend our meetings.
To address this, Waikato Regional Council’s democracy staff started publishing recordings of all our council and committee meetings online late last year. This month we’ll be going one step further – livestreaming.
Staff are using simple technology – an iPhone on a tripod and a microphone to catch the discussion in the room and from councillors and presenters online. This is then streamed through Waikato Regional Council’s YouTube channel.
A test of the system was carried out at the February meeting, and I understand the experience for our test audience online was really very good.
Tuning in online is your chance to understand more about the meaty issues we have to make decisions on, and to hear the robust discussions of the people you’ve elected to represent you.
Our meetings are generally on the last Thursday of the month, in the morning, and our first to be livestreamed is on 31 March. The link will be on the council’s website, but you’ll also find it at youtube.com/c/WaikatoRegionalCouncilNZ/playlists. If you miss the livestream, the meeting will still be available to watch later.
One thing I am disappointed we can’t offer is captioning. For the trial, staff did turn on the feature for auto-captioning that’s offered by YouTube, but the combination of our accents and face masks meant far too many words weren’t picked up correctly. Of course, you can turn on captioning yourself in the YouTube settings, but based on our experience in February, please be aware the captions could be grossly incorrect!