WCC Creates Digital Team

23 January 2015

Wellington City Council has created a new Digital Team to improve the way Council delivers its online services.

Kevin Lavery, Celia Wade-Brown and Pete Herlihy.

CEO Kevin Lavery, Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and UK GDS's Pete Herlihy

The aim is to make it easier for the public to interact with the Council online, including paying for a range services through its website. 

“The creation of the digital team shows Council’s commitment to improving our customer experience and the way we deliver our services in the Smart Capital,” says Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

The Digital Team’s first project was to enable customers to pay invoices online. Tom Hovey, Digital Manager, says people can now pay for nearly everything – from dog registrations to venue hire – on our website using a desktop computer, smartphone or tablet.

“Until recently, you had to come into council, create a direct debit or post in a cheque. Now you can pay for a growing number of services and fees online. This saves time for both customer and Council.”

The next project the team is working on is a calculator that will give customers an instant, accurate price for their building consents. Mike Scott, Manager of Council’s Building Compliance and Consents team is very excited about the new Digital Team.

“We’re currently completely overhauling our customer experience and looking forward to providing a better service online.”

Last year, the Council was visited by Pete Herlihy from the UK government’s internationally recognised digital team. Originally from Wellington, Herlihy spoke with the Mayor, CEO and senior IT managers about using technology to improve service-delivery.

"It really is great news that WCC has recognised the importance of developing a strong digital capability and culture, right at the heart of the organisation.“

Economic development agency Grow Wellington welcomes the creation of the team. Business Attraction General Manager Melissa Davies says, “The Wellington region has the highest concentration of web and digital-based companies per capita in New Zealand. It’s apt that our high tech capital has a tech-savvy Council. This initiative makes the region more attractive to technology experts and other businesses.”

Hovey says he’s keen that everything the team develops has the potential to be used by other Councils as well. “We don’t want to do this in isolation. Where we can team up with other Councils and industry, we will. We want to move fast and share ideas and expertise.”

The Digital Team is now looking for talented people to join the team. Be part of an exciting new development helping to transform Wellington City Council. Email tom.hovey@wcc.govt.nz if you'd like to join the team.