How to use technology such as Facebook to better communicate with the Rotorua public was one of the talking points at the first Rotorua Lakes Council meeting of the term.

The full meeting, held this morning, went off without a hitch as both items on the agenda were passed unanimously.

All councillors were present to discuss item one: the future schedule of the remaining meetings for the year and item two: the adoption of the council's annual report for the year ended June 30, 2016.

It was decided there would be two more full council meetings in 2016, on December 1 and 15, as well as a council committee meeting on December 8.


The second item generated more discussion about the clarity of the annual report, with the auditors present to answer questions. However most agreed it only needed minor changes.

Click here to read presentation of Annual Report

One issue, raised by Charles Sturt, was the annual survey of the public's satisfaction with the council.

Chief financial officer Thomas Colle said there were some disappointing results and that further analysis of the results found the survey was skewed quite heavily towards people in the 50+ and affluent bracket.

He said the Green Corridor, the planned children's health hub and the City Focus had a significant impact on the survey results; that people who had an issue with these projects had low satisfaction levels with council services in general and those who did not had high levels of satisfaction with council services.

Mr Sturt pointed out that most of those aged 45 and below no longer had landlines.

Tania Tapsell added to this saying, "I think we need to take feedback through Facebook," she suggested.

Councillor Karen Hunt added to that by saying the council needed to utilise technology in order to communicate with the public.

"It would be good if we could add a 'frequently asked questions' drop down to the website beside the annual report to make it more user friendly."

Mayor Steve Chadwick agreed and said "we need to move into a better use of electronic space".

The meeting then went into a closed session and the public were asked to leave.

Mrs Chadwick told the Rotorua Daily Post after the meeting the council had "started the term with clarity".

"There were some really good questions and good discussions as we try to establish the same level of knowledge so we can go forward in the next three years.

"We had free and frank discussion and it was really good, through the process of signing off the annual report, to get clarity around the council's long-term financial sustainability.

"It was great to have auditors from Audit New Zealand present so we could ask questions and it was very pleasing to hear that they are happy and confident about our financial position," she said.

Speaking after the meeting, new councillor Raj Kumar said he enjoyed his first meeting.

"It was pretty good. I think it moved very quickly, it looks like some lessons have been learned from last term.

"I raised some issues and I felt comfortable, I just have to settle in and get the hang of things," he said.