Hidden council message

Vital council information was buried inside a pile of junk mail easily thrown away, Shore residents’ groups say.

“It was not their brightest decision,” Birkenhead Residents Association spokesman Warwick Jones says.

Mr Jones was among those who didn’t see the draft local board plan information arrive in his letterbox.

That’s because it was tucked inside an advertising brochure along with other advertising material, he says.

Mr Jones retrieved his copy from his recycling bin days later after someone pointed out how it had been sent.

People with no junk mail stickers could have missed out altogether, he says.

It may have been a cheap way to deliver the information but it didn’t work, Mr Jones.

He urges the council to deliver the information separately in future.

Castor Bay Residents and Ratepayers Association secretary Fiona Downes understands it was a problem across the Shore.

“It needs to be delivered separately because it was a waste of money the way they did it,” Ms Downes says.

She says the council probably expect it to be delivered in the way it was and people were still aware of the submission process through other means.

Auckland Council says external companies deliver council publications and it monitors delivery carefully so improvements are made.

“The method of delivery is extremely cost effective, especially when compared to the cost of posting an addressed summary to every resident,” the council says.

The council admits sometimes its mailers are put inside advertising material in error.

The fact they’re not personally addressed also means they’re less likely to be read, it says.

Although hand delivery was the main method of distribution, information was also available at libraries and council service centres.

Credits

Written by: LIZ WILLIS
Reprinted with permission: Auckland Now – North Shore Times

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