Christchurch City Council is making more of its services available online.
From today people can report problems, request services, pay some bills and give feedback online.
The Council’s General Manager Citizens and Community, Mary Richardson, says making more services available online is part of ongoing work to put citizens first.
“People have told us that they want it to become easier to connect with us, and we’re working hard to make that happen,” Ms Richardson says
“Citizens today expect more transparent, accessible, and responsive services from us. They want to know that their distinct needs are understood.
"Having more of our services available online will make it easier for citizens by giving them the ability to manage their interactions with us digitally – they can contact us when and how it’s most convenient for them, not just when it’s convenient for us.”
“People will still be able to call and speak to us in person or drop in to one of our local community service centres, but will also have the choice of going online, and the popular Snap, Send, Solve app will still be available.”
The initiative allows people to tell the Council about issues, such as pot holes, wandering dogs, litter, graffiti, water pressure problems and tree damage. People will also be able to request and pay for land drainage plans and new water connections online.
The Council has a new mapping tool that allows people to drop a pin on an online map showing exactly where the issue they’re reporting is. From there, citizens can opt in to receive text or email updates about the job.
“This will make it easier for citizens and for our staff, and will mean we can get things done more quickly because there will be less confusion about exactly where the problem is and which of our contractors we should send the job to,” Ms Richardson says.
While some other local authorities have some online services, the Christchurch City Council is taking things further, she says.
“We’re proud to be leading the government sector in introducing this level of citizen-focused change. We’ve based the initiative on research – what our citizens have told us they want. It’s an end-to-end service designed to be simple and easy for citizens from start to finish.”
Council staff have been using the new online system since early September.
“It’s a new era for us and for citizens and to introduce something like this in the middle of post-earthquake regeneration has been quite a feat,” Ms Richardson says.
“We’re absolutely committed to putting citizens at the heart of everything we do and meeting their needs first.”
Over time, more functions will be added so that people will be able to do even more online if they wish.