Live-streaming Council meetings

June 16th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A trial proved a ratings flop, but the Wellington City Council is pressing ahead with plans to live stream its meetings.

The council spent about $5000 on a live broadcast of October’s inauguration ceremony for the new council on YouTube, with hopes of getting viewers “in the thousands”. As of yesterday, the video clip had gathered 782 views. …

Last year, the cost of live streaming all full council meetings was put at about $30,000 a year.

Deputy Mayor Justin Lester said he did not share Ritchie’s concerns.

“I don’t know what she’s on about really. People have been asking for this for a long time.”

Taupo District was the first council to start broadcasting meetings in 2010.

In 2012 it had an average of 15 viewers per meeting.

In principle this is a good thing to do – allowing people to see their elected representatives debating issues and making decisions.

In Canada many local authorities have their meetings covered on a local channel, and quite a few people actually watch them.

However it looks like the demand is not enough to justify the expense. 15 viewers per meeting for Taupo tells us something, and many of them may be bots!

InternetNZ used to record its meetings, as it wanted to show how transparent they were. So every meeting would be miked up with a dozen mikes, recording equipment and the like. A review a few years back found that the only people who had ever accessed the audio files were staff (off memory), and so it was dropped.

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11 Responses to “Live-streaming Council meetings”

  1. Manolo (13,754 comments) says:

    $30,000 per year to listen to a bunch of no-hopers? Surely not!

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  2. kowtow (8,445 comments) says:

    Proves they have absolutely no clue or care on how they spend our money.

    15 people could sit in on the meetings! Free.

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  3. Dave Guerin (32 comments) says:

    Why on earth would anyone want to watch an inauguration family, other than the councillors’ families? I can see a point in streaming some meetings, but not a swearing-in ceremony.

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  4. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    who wants to watch len brown chocka block up some woman on a table. No live streaming, thanks.

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  5. Lance Wiggs (3 comments) says:

    Tell them to call the folks from OneRoom (https://www.oneroom.co.nz/about). They specialise in repeated one-way broadcasting from set locations.

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  6. Steve (North Shore) (4,560 comments) says:

    “who wants to watch len brown chocka block up some woman on a table. No live screaming, thanks.”

    Fixed your spelling Dom Knots

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  7. Fentex (973 comments) says:

    It’ll happen one day and I’m surprised it cost as much as $5000 dollars. I’d happily do it for a lot less, though I wouldn’t stream it live. That seems a pointless expense as observers are in no position to intervene and so don’t need instant access.

    Two or three mics in the room, two or three cameras (four split into quarters of a screen?), recording unedited footage to be dumped to YouTube is trivial and cheap and would provide a reviewable record for everyone.

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  8. Dom Knots (155 comments) says:

    ahahaaa Steve. nice

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  9. KiwiFreckles (4 comments) says:

    New Plymouth District Council has been live streaming theirs for a few years now. Depending on the topic I occasionally tune in to get a sense of why they are voting the way they are. From memory the last time I watched it said there were 40 or so other people watching at the same time. Their meetings start at 4:30pm which is a buggar of a time when one has parenting responsibilities.

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  10. Johnboy (16,516 comments) says:

    To hell with you naysayer’s. I’m going to get my rocks off tomorrow watching David Carter dealing to the MP asshole’s like Trev etc. :)

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  11. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    As Fentex & Lance Wiggs have said, $5,000 a time? For what?! Fixed cameras and either live mix or record in each camera, then load the cards and do an edit. Maybe 4 to 8 hours work. No server costs if uploaded to Youtube.

    If they’ve been paying $5,000 they’ve been robbed.

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