Meet Hauraki District Council

Hauraki District Council, a local government authority in New Zealand serving just over 21,000 residents, oversees the rich reclaimed dairy lands of the Hauraki Plains, the rugged beauty of the Karangahake Gorge and Coromandel ranges, and the rolling farmlands of the Golden Valley within its district. 
The council is responsible for providing essential services, managing infrastructure, and engaging with the community to ensure efficient governance and service delivery. Amidst dramatic scenery and rural tranquility, arts, crafts, cafés, history, and heritage, the council also oversees a range of community facilities including swimming pools, halls, parks, reserves, and more.

The challenge

Before implementing MyDatascape and revamping the council's website, Hauraki District Council faced several challenges with the existing website appearing outdated and being hosted on a content management system (CMS) that was no longer supported by the service provider.
“Our previous service provider informed us that we would need to migrate to a different platform if we wanted to continue with their services. This initiated the whole process of determining the best way forward for us." – Matthew Radford, IT Manager 
Additionally, the council's online services provision through its existing ERP was limited in capability, hindering effective engagement with the community. The council needed to address these challenges to improve its online presence and streamline self-servicing capabilities for residents.
"Our previous website used frames, perpetuating accessibility and web standard issues on every page. As a result, we received low rankings in ALGIM assessments. The web platform lacked improvements, unlike Datascape, which provided ongoing enhancements. Without incurring substantial development fees, we were stuck with the same design for six years. The modern design we were promised was overestimated and quickly became outdated in appearance." – Jill Steadman Read, Website Administrator 

The solution

To address these challenges, the council evaluated various options and ultimately chose to implement MyDatascape to optimise self-service capability and refresh its website using Datascape Websites. MyDatascape offered a comprehensive solution that streamlined website management, online services provision, and integration with the council's ERP system. 
The platform's API integration capabilities and standardised forms were key factors in the decision-making process, with Hauraki recognising the need for a powerful and flexible platform to modernise its digital infrastructure and improve community engagement. 
“Everything was integrated within a single product suite. We didn't have to use separate platforms for website functionality, customer services, and payment processing. It may sound generic, but it's an incredibly powerful platform. There's so much that you can do with it.” – Matthew Radford, IT Manager 

The outcome

The implementation of MyDatascape and the refreshed website with improved search functionality has had a significant impact on Hauraki District Council's operations and community engagement. The council initially focused on improving customer interaction and simplifying self-servicing processes. Over time, the adoption of MyDatascape has led to the automation of internal business processes, reducing administrative overhead and improving efficiency. 
"The website has a clean look with ample white space, user-friendly content tools, and the ability to develop forms with seamless integration." – Jill Steadman Read, Website Administrator 
The council has worked to create a more efficient and user-friendly experience for residents, with a continued commitment to providing streamlined and convenient interactions across various services. This focus on improvement will extend into the future, with plans to further enhance the experience as the dog registration season approaches. By automating processes and improving self-servicing capabilities, the council has been able to enhance its service delivery and anticipates further improvements, especially during peak periods such as dog registration season. 
“From a change management perspective, we acknowledged that change can be daunting and provided continuous support to address any hesitation about adopting new processes with MyDatascape. As our team began to recognise the benefits, they valued our efforts to assist them in reducing administrative burden, making the transition more favourable. 
We were fortunate to have the luxury of time, which allowed us to gradually introduce core components of MyDatascape and incorporate additional business functions over time, particularly those involving customer interactions for renewals, applications, and payments, with a focus on streamlining the overall process from the customer's perspective.” – Matthew Radford, IT Manager 

What’s next? 

The council's adoption of MyDatascape and their new website has set the stage for future Datascape initiatives, such as the implementation of Antenno and the development of a subsite for their local library. Antenno, a community engagement mobile app, will enable targeted two-way communication to residents, improving community awareness and engagement during service disruptions and changes. 
The council's decision to adopt these solutions reflects its commitment to leveraging technology to strengthen the relationship with their community and streamline operations in 2024 and beyond. 

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