Council  Watch New Zealand

.. previously Avant Internet Services Ltd (1998-2018)

Council Watch - New Zealand

This trial fledgling website has been set up to help get the Council Watch movement off the ground in New Zealand, following the excellent start made in the UK. Although many councils here in New Zealand already live-stream and archive their meetings, just looking at the viewing numbers on youtube, shows the lack of numbers viewing proceedings that they should be interested in.

The Council also publish a lot of information on their websites and on their youtube channels, but each is laid out differently, and navigating to go to the information you are interested in, can involve a bit of time and fiddling.

This site will assist in getting to the required information, and to help highlight resources that you may not have known were there.

A selection of existing council watch channels in the UK, are listed here.

Tips on engaging with Councils

Colchester Council Watch

North Yorkshire Council Watch

Stockport Council Watch

Eastbourne Council Watch

Council Watch in the UK

Groups around the UK are subjecting their local councils to intense scrutiny. We invite you to do the same, in New Zealand.

Shine the Light on Your Local Council

As readers of this paper know well, darkness is always vanquished by light. Here in Colchester we have been putting our council in the spotlight. A group of us has been going along and speaking at their meetings for just over a year. Bit by bit, we shine a light on the unlawful and incorrect assertions that have been passed down to them by central government.

We are lucky with the councillors we have in Colchester. Whilst we disagree with a lot of what they say and do, its apparent that the majority are good people trying their best. But how can good people make good decisions if they don't get good information? They can't. So thats been our mission—educating them so they can.

We have persistently and patiently shown them that the green agenda isn't remotely green. Wind, solar, EVs and lithium battery production are environmentally destructive and toxic, plus the end products are a potentially lethal fire hazard. They haven't wanted to listen and they haven't liked what we've said but little by little we have made headway. They've agreed in principle to a net zero debate and the head of scrutiny has promised to scrutinise the Council's decision to declare a climate emergency (if hes re-elected in May!).

After nine months of watching their meetings and learning how the council operates, it became apparent that everyone locally should know what we have learned. So the Colchester Council Watch YouTube Channel was born. Every week we take it in turns to watch their meetings which are streamed online. We make notes and time stamp the important parts and then from those notes make a highlights video.

We have accidentally ended up with a worldwide audience—people everywhere can relate to the attitudes and inane council procedures and policies the councillors both create and endure! It becomes strangely compelling viewing and of course the councillors themselves watch it as they are in it and want to know what we are saying about them. The video comments section is gold-councillors get direct feedback from the masses in no uncertain terms and it makes a difference.

Every Council needs 'Council Watchers' to put every last one of them in the spotlight!

To help people do this, we've created a resource folder with all our Council speeches, FOI, emails and research, as well as video tutorials on how to speak to the Council and start your own YouTube channel. If video isn't your thing then consider creating a website with written articles instead. A template has been created for this.

Reasons to start a Council Watch in your local area:

It keeps everyone up to date in your local area, so that any issues can be dealt with sooner rather than later
It enables people to really see the personalities and viewpoints of the councillors they have voted for.
It allows people to see how councils are run and aims to encourage other people to become councillors.
Our current lack of knowledge is what got us into the state we are in and your own council watch helps to start to address this issue.
Councils everywhere are either being amalgamated into bigger institutions or they are going bankrupt which means they are even less interested in working for local people.
In order to turn this around peacefully, we must take action now; we need to get out of this political system and into a people-based system.
We all need to play our part because, if we don't, every right and freedom will be further eroded.
This needs to be done in a respectful manner; we cannot assume that everyone within your Council knows the full picture of what is happening. This is part of our collective education.

Get going and get your council in the spotlight today. Local level is where our power is and it's time we all reclaimed it.

Rachel Mathews

Colchester Council Watch

May 2024