The COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Act 2020 has made changes to the way Council meetings can be conducted while the Epidemic Preparedness (COVID-19) Notice 2020 is in force. It’s likely to be in force until at least 25 June (unless revoked prior). It could be extended. The changes amend the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 to allow online meetings. Specifically the following is enacted:
- Agendas and any associated reports may be made available free of charge on the local authority’s Internet site or posted.
- Open to the public means:
- Broadcasting live the audio or video of the meeting for free; and
- Making a recording or written summary of the meeting available on it’s Internet site for free.
- Minutes may be made available free of charge on the local authority’s Internet site or posted.
This is significant because as I have noted in this post, there is significant digital exclusion in Aotearoa-New Zealand. In the rush to ‘online-ness’, let us not forget those being left behind.