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Citizens’ panel to enhance public engagement

Citizens’ panel to enhance public engagement

If you live in the Hastings District you may be contacted over the next month to ascertain whether you would like to join a citizens’ research panel.

The panel is being created to enhance Hastings District Council’s public engagement process. An independent research company has been engaged to generate the citizens’ panel, with members taking part in online surveys, typically not more than one per month, on many different topics.

Mayor Lawrence Yule says “Research shows that online citizens’ panels can provide councils with a valuable addition to traditional methods of community engagement and research. Citizens’ panels have the ability to engage large numbers of people in a very cost effective way.”

Lawrence Yule says that obtaining community views is a very important part of how Council does business. He says “While we still use traditional ways of doing this, it is imperative that we look at new and innovative ways of engaging with the public. Three years ago Council initiated My Voice My Choice as a user friendly option for people to engage with Council on matters that affect them. This has been successful and a citizens’ panel is an extension of this approach to engaging with the community.”

The independent research company will be recruiting panel members over the coming month and potential participants will reflect the profile of the district. Participation in the citizens’ panel is voluntary, and all personal details will be kept private and confidential. Potential panel members will be required to complete a sign up profile survey which will help identify the types of surveys to send to each person. Panel members will not be personally identified in reports of survey results,

The first contact with prospective panel members will be by a phone call from the survey company and that will be followed up with email contact.

An additional option for interested residents who are not recruited via the random sample process is to opt into a separate panel at www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz The results from this panel will be reportd separately to the results which come from the randomly selected citizens’ panel.


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