Technology saves trees, time, money and storage space!

Friday 01 February 2013

Three Hurunui district councilors have taken up the offer to forgo paper copies of their minutes and agendas and have opted to receive them electronically on their council supplied iPads.

Councillors Gary Cooper, Dick Davison and Jim Harre have all opted to receive all of their council correspondence in electronic format and no longer receive hard copies.

Until late last year Cr Cooper had retained most of the paperwork he had accumulated during his time in office.

“When you see it all bundled together like that you realize just how much paper gets used to carry out the council’s democratic processes. And if you multiply that by nine councillors and a Mayor, the community board, several ward committees, water committees, parks and reserve committees etc, etc, you start to get an idea of the huge number of trees that must get used to produce the paper, then there is the photocopying itself not to mention the envelope stuffing and the cost of postage (and the person needed to do all this work)…

“It is great that technology now gives us the option to receive and retain all of these documents in one electronic device that is smaller than one average agenda!”

Cr Jim Harre agrees and adds:

"Not only does this technology dramatically reduce paper volumes, but also allows me to find the relevant information when I need it. These iPads are both user friendly and simple to use as well as giving me the ability when out in the district, to take a photo of a problem and email it directly to the relevant Council officer. "

Council Information & Technology Manager, Scott Linton said that considerable research had gone into the decision to provide the electronic option. He said that “financially it stacked up”, but that he needed to be certain that logistically it could work as well.

“We were incredibly fortunate that both Cr Harre and Cr Davison had been using their own personal devices for some time before we made the decision, and their very successful ‘trial’ was definitely an influencer in this.”

Linton also said that with the uptake of email usage, the council no longer supplied councillors with fax machines.