If you think government doesn't listen to you, listen up: two-way community engagement with local councils is now being delivered via a free app.
Antenno, developed by Datacom and in use by councils in Australia and New Zealand, now allows citizens to report issues, submit ideas and send feedback.
The new capabilities build on the Antenno community engagement app which already sends alerts and notifications for places and topics that individuals care about such as home, work, or school.
Councils can now be notified immediately about graffiti, potholes, dumped rubbish or other issues. Users can report issues when they are discovered or take a photo and report them later without sitting in call centre queues.
South Waikato District Council and Tāupo District Council are both using the app in New Zealand and Shire of Manjimup in Australia is using the new issue reporting features already.
Marlborough District Council and Kāpiti Coast District Council will go live with issue reporting soon, Datacom said.
Mark Matijevic, director local government at Datacom, said he believed this type of two way communications is a first in local government.
“Now that we’ve built this, we’re expecting to see greater engagement from the community as reporting issues through Antenno is very quick and easy," he said.
Taupō District Council’s head of communications and customer relations, Lisa Nairne, said while the intention was to do a soft roll out of the new feature, with no promotion while internal testing took place, users had other ideas.
“We received the first reported issue within hours of it going live, which just shows the demand is out there," she said.
South Waikato District Council had a similar experience, receiving its first report within three hours of notifying users of the new features, said communication manager Kerry Fabrie.
Manjimup Shire president Paul Omodei said he expects the reporting function will be a popular and help the Shire to deliver well maintained assets and efficient services.
Antenno has been named as a finalist in the IDC Smart City Awards in the Civic Engagement category.