Gisborne Council launches app for service requests

2:02 pm on 2 December 2019

Reporting abandoned vehicles, dumped rubbish or potholes is going high-tech with an app developed by Gisborne District Council staff.

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Billed as "the easiest way to report an issue to council", GDC Fix can be downloaded for free from app stores.

From today, requests for service lodged through it will be sent to the council's customer service team to be assigned to a council officer or contractor.

Users can attach pictures of the issue and locate it on a map, and those details will be collated in an email sent to the person assigned to fix it.

It is hoped these features will make it easier for council staff and contractors to identify and resolve requests, and make the process generally more efficient.

The app was presented to councillors during Thursday's operations committee meeting.

It is part of an inaugural summer campaign - Kia ora Tairāwhiti - which brings together a number of council projects.

These include new customer service principles and education campaigns for responsible camping, water restrictions and road safety.

Gisborne District Council communications officer Jason Chambers said similar apps could cost up to $18,000 a year to subscribe to, but GDC Fix had been developed in-house.

Over the past six months, it was brought to life from an idea council staff had, following floods in June 2018, for an app to determine where resources should be deployed during civil defence emergencies.

Features of GDC Fix include the ability to view by map the issues identified across the district and to track a request for service, from being lodged to resolved.

The app will be promoted on social media and at community events this summer with the catchphrase "tap that app".

There was concern around the council table that a new avenue for reporting issues with council assets or services would add to an already heavy workload over summer, given an influx of visitors.

But customer engagement manager Anita Reedy Holthausen said a spike in requests for service was anticipated and the council would be staffed accordingly.

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