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www.nrc.govt.nz Is NZ’s Best Council Website

Date: 09 May, 2008

www.nrc.govt.nz Is NZ’s Best Council Website

The Northland Regional Council’s website www.nrc.govt.nz has beaten more than 80 other local authority websites to be judged the best of its kind in New Zealand.

The Council was ranked number one amongst New Zealand’s 85 Councils, collecting the Supreme Award at the recent 2008 ALGIM Web Awards in Nelson.

Jason Dawson, the Northland Regional Council’s Community Relations Team Leader, says the Association of Local Government Information Management (ALGIM) undertook a comprehensive assessment of all New Zealand’s Council websites earlier this year.

The assessment covered two main areas; a technical assessment and benchmark against Government web standards and a functional assessment looking at each website’s information, ease of use and online services.

The website was developed – and is managed – in-house by Mr Dawson and the Council’s Online Communications Officer Tracey Morris. Mr Dawson says the win is a huge accolade, not only for the Regional Council, but also for the Northland region.

The NRC’s website is no stranger to national awards. It was redeveloped and relaunched in March last year and quickly gained national recognition by winning the ‘Best Website Design’ and ‘Best Use of Innovation – People’s Choice’ at last year’s ALGIM Web Awards.

Mr Dawson says the website contains a comprehensive online library of the Council’s publications and plans, as well as an email subscription service which allows users to stay in touch about consultation, job vacancies, events, Council meetings and news.

“There are also a number of tasks members of the community can complete online 24/7 without having to visit Regional Council offices, including paying your invoice or fees, or making submissions.”

He says the Regional Council team aims to ensure visitors to its website can easily find the information or service they are looking for.

“Accessibility to our website is also important with keyboard shortcuts available to key information for those who are unable to navigate using a mouse and also a tool to increase text size on each page.”

Mr Dawson says with one in five New Zealanders suffering a disability - and an aging population - it’s important to make it as easy as possible for them to access on online information.

ENDS

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