Upgraded Council website to offer access to property files
Upgraded Council website is first to offer on-line access to property files
The Marlborough District Council website upgrade involved the design and development of three separate websites and has led the way for other regions in providing on-line access to property, building and resource consent files.
The total cost of $410,000 covered the redesign of the Council’s website and the electronic access to property files, the development of an on-line payment and application system, the redesign of the separate Marlborough District Libraries website which serves Blenheim and Picton and the establishment of a Marlborough Youth website.
District Council acting chief executive Mark Wheeler says providing on-line access to thousands of property, building and resource consent files held by Council was a major project and involved much more than a few tweaks to the existing website.
“The work is an important part of the Council strategy to improve on-line customer service and, in fact, the on-line file access has been a first for local government in New Zealand.”
“The improvements are delivering transparency and enormous efficiency for everyone who wants to check a property file; our customers no longer have to turn up at the front counter and order up files. The feedback is particularly good from the professionals dealing with housing, building and commercial activity who can already see that the improvements save time and money,” he said.
The decision to provide better services, quicker access to more information and offer on-line transactions was a big improvement to the previous websites, said Mr Wheeler. The revamp also incorporates a new brand and prepares for a new on-line payments system, he said.
“When we received a request from this lobby group for information about website expenditure we included all costs associated with websites connected with the Council, not just the main site. I’m not at all certain that the figures which are now being publicised show an apples-with-apples comparison with other local bodies.”
He suggested that, when making budget comparisons, it was important to include the extent of the service provided, the timing of new developments and on-going operating costs.
”Otherwise simplistic surveys can be very misleading.”