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16 April 2019

Memo to:             Mayor and Councillors

Memo from:         Administration Advisers

Subject:              Governance Committee 18 April 2019 – LATE ITEM



13.     Late Item: Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy 2 - 10

Document R10115

A report titled Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy is attached and to be considered as a minor late item at this meeting.  This report is an additional report and will be taken as item 13 on the public agenda for the Governance Committee meeting on 18 April 2019.

Section 46A(1)-(6) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Standing Order 9.8 require that agendas are distributed with the associated reports.  As this report was not distributed with the agenda for this meeting, it must be treated as a late item to be considered at this meeting. In this case, the item is a “minor matter not on the agenda”, in accordance with section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 and Standing Order 9.13.


In accordance with section 46A(7A)(b)(i) the Chairperson must explain at the beginning of the public part of the meeting that the item will be discussed.  However, the meeting may not make a resolution, decision or recommendation about the item, except to refer it to a subsequent meeting for further discussion.





That the Governance Committee

1.    Considers the item regarding Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy at this meeting as a minor item not on the agenda, pursuant to Section 46A(7A) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.



Item 13: Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy


Governance Committee

18 April 2019




Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy



1.       Purpose of Report

1.1       To provide an update on progress in developing the Communications and Engagement Strategy, and agree to the framework for the development of the strategy.





2.       Recommendation


That the Governance Committee

1.    Receives the report Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy (R10115) and its attachment (A2172259);




2.       Background

2.1       Two workshops have been undertaken to seek feedback from elected members on the topics of Council “Communications” and “Engagement”. Information gathered from these workshops will be used to inform the development of the Communications and Engagement Strategy.

2.2       This report provides a high-level summary of the workshops, and seeks agreement on the framework for developing the strategy. It is proposed that a draft of the strategy will be presented at the 13 June 2019 Governance Committee Meeting for recommendation to Council.

Communications Workshop

2.3       This workshop was held on 11 December 2018. The discussion covered a range of topics relating to how Council communicated with the community. This included how we tell our story, the timeliness of messaging, the impact of social media, and how to reach different community segments. There was also a focus on budgets associated with communications activities and on measurement and performance targets.

2.4       A high level summary of the expenditure on communications activities was requested, and can be seen in Table 1. This outlines total expenditure relating to the design, production and communication of Council information to the public.

Table 1: Council expenditure on communications mediums by year




2018-19 (YTD)

Advertising (Print)






Public Notices


General Adverts (bus timetable changes/water restrictions)


Information (Our Nelson, Healthy Streams, Burn Bright in Community papers)


Digital Advertising




Nelson App - Festivals/Events










Festival Posters





Banners/Brochures/Posters/Our Nelson newsletter






Website Hosting/Development








Festivals/Nbus/Nelson Nature





Our Nelson Delivery

Graphic Design




Documents (Annual Plan/Long Term Plan/Arts Festival Brochures), animated videos, brochures, Our Nelson newsletter, posters etc.





General Signage - all of Council










2018-19 (YTD)





Note: $21,315.02 in 2018-19 relates to Arts Festival Advertising and Design.


2.5       Table 2. highlights the key advertising mediums broken down by reach (defined by CPM – the cost to reach 1000 people). It is worth noting the higher expenditure required to communicate through print. This is due to printing/delivery costs that the other mediums do not incur.

From Table 1 it can be seen that there is a greater spend on lower CPM print relative to other print (i.e. more $ are spent on the Our Nelson newsletter than general print advertising).


Table 2: Cost to reach 1000 people by medium






Our Nelson – standalone newsletter (CPM for 1 full page)


Our Nelson - Nelson Weekly (CPM for 1 full page)


Nelson Leader – (CPM for 1 full page)


Nelson Mail – (CPM for 1 full page)




Note: Cost above does not include design

Reach metrics = Facebook (impressions), website (unique users), radio (surveyed listenership), print (based on the number of households receiving the publication - 20,000. This does not take into account multiple readership within homes for print publications).


2.6       Data received through the 2017-18 residents’ survey shows the preferred mediums to receive information from Council (Table 3). Printed publications are preferred by older age groups, and social media mediums are preferred by younger age groups.

Year on year there is an increase in preference for social media mediums from 6% across all demographics in 2016 to 23% in 2018. Expenditure in this area is therefore increasing (as per Table 1).

Table 3: Preferred medium for communication - responses from Residents Survey by demographic


Our Nelson




Social Media








16-39 years







40-64 years







65+ years







(Figures shown as a % - multiple choices were allowed). Only mediums that had a percentage of responses greater than 5% are listed.




Engagement Workshop

2.7       This workshop was held on 2 April 2019. The discussion sought elected members’ views on engagement and what the key outcomes are from good engagement. It was noted that metrics are yet to be determined to report on successful engagement. Alternative methodology for the resident’s survey is also being investigated to determine timely and more relevant feedback.

2.8       Key points from the discussion are summarised below.

Engagement enables community views to inform Council decision making. Councillors are key figures in engaging with the public, and their engagement role in the project should be identified at the planning stage.

Identifying key stakeholders and determining the engagement for those stakeholders needs to be considered at the project scoping stage.

Outcomes of successful engagement include new people submitting to Council, an increase in awareness of Council activities, a sense of ownership of projects by the public, and an increase in trust, confidence and awareness of Council activities.


Framework for Draft Strategy

2.9       The following framework has been developed for the Communications and Engagement Strategy. This framework is based on local government best practice from New Zealand and overseas (primarily Australia and the United Kingdom).


The purpose of the Strategy is to provide direction for how Council will communicate and engage with the public:

•     to inform decision making
•     to better understand community needs
•     to raise awareness of services or issues
•     to build/strengthen relationships
•     to develop acceptance of proposed change
•     to increase trust and confidence in what Council does.

It is intrinsically linked to the Council’s vision of being the Smart Little City.


Outlining current practice and the changing local government environment. Identifying challenges and highlighting opportunities


·     Transparency

·     Responsiveness

·     Consistency

·     Collaborative approach

·     Respect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi

·     Reflect our community’s diversity

·     Set appropriate expectations

·     Encourage a respectful dialogue

Objectives/Desired Outcomes of Strategy

Key outcomes of the Strategy include:

·     Enhanced community input into Council decision making and planning

·     Improved trust, confidence and awareness with identified stakeholders/public

·     Well informed community

·     Proactive approach, with communications and engagement plans developed at project initiation

·     Staff provided with tools necessary for effective engagement

·     Clear metrics to report back to governance to show success

Legislative Context

Set out statutory context including Local Government Act requirements and relevance to other acts (such as the RMA and Reserves Act). Linking Strategy to Special Consultative Procedures, Significance and Engagement Policy, and engaging with Māori / iwi.

Focus areas of strategy:

·            Targeted Engagement

Identifying communities of interest and stakeholders to involve in the project/event/activity. Overview of engagement methods to reach and receive feedback (see Appendix 1 for examples) from relevant groups and, as appropriate, the wider community. Outline of metrics to measure success.

·            Communication of Council activities/events/projects

Delivering simple, clear messaging through the right medium, to the right people, at the right time. Overview of communications mediums (see Appendix 2). Outline of metrics to measure success.

·            Promotion of Council services

Actively promoting Council general services to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of Council by the general public – conveying the value proposition.


2.10     The framework sets out the proposed structure of the Communications and Engagement Strategy. It incorporates feedback from the workshops that have been held. It is recommended that the Committee amend the framework as necessary and approve it as the basis for a draft to be brought back for adoption.

Author:          Paul Shattock, Manager Communications


Attachment 1:   A2172259 Appendices for Communications and Engagement Report


Item 13: Update on Communications and Engagement Strategy: Attachment 1

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