Members of Tauranga's technology community are circulating a strategy document aimed at galvanising community feedback on how best to shape a digital strategy for Tauranga.
Pip Loader, Tauranga City Council's manager, strategic events, got the ball rolling earlier this year when she organised a meeting with local technology entrepreneurs and established companies to start a conversation around developing a digital strategy for Tauranga.
"I have some knowledge of the possibilities and changes that technology advancements are bringing and I want us to stay in touch with and ahead of those changes," said Murray Clode, a Chamber of Commerce board member and associate of the Venture Centre.
Mr Clode, former general manager of Spark Digital Tauranga, developed the discussion document with Jo Allum, co-founder of the Venture Centre.
"Digital technology has become part of our everyday lives and is constantly changing and improving the way we do business, communicate and make decisions," said Mr Clode.
"The majority of people we have conversations with believe the council needs a digital strategy that looks outside the walls of the TCC," he said.
"We need a strategy concerned with what businesses and citizens in Tauranga want to do, as well as what the council needs to do internally."
The discussion document has been designed to gather input and comment over the Christmas break and has been emailed by local government agencies to their databases and circulated on social media platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.
Ms Allum said Ms Loader's meeting had brought her together with Mr Clode.
"Both Murray and I had both been collecting input from colleagues in our digital community and researching examples of what's become known as 'smart-city' or civic-tech' movements from around the country and the world for quite a while," said Ms Allum.
They were working alongside the city council to improve access and services, encourage awareness and inclusion of digital technologies in council choices, and demonstrate the benefits of digital participation she said, adding the strategy document sat alongside work already undertaken by council.
Mr Clode said the entire community had a role to play in co-creating a city where people wanted to live.
"Digital capability is not the only component to that, it is just a small part, but I believe most people would agree it is an increasingly important part."