Taupo District Council offers better online services

The Taupo District Council is the governing body for the Taupo region in the central North Island of New Zealand. The Council’s role is to enable democratic local decision-making and meet the current and future needs of its constituents relating to high quality infrastructure, local public services, and performance of regulatory functions.

Datacom provided Taupo District Council with everything they needed in a short time frame, at low cost.

The Challenge

In March 2012, the Prime Minister announced ten results as part of the Better Public Services programme. Result number 10 specifies that New Zealanders should be able to complete up to 70 percent of the most common transactions with Government easily and in a digital environment. Taupo District Council is just one of the organisations in the process of aligning itself with this goal. In 2013, Datacom and Taupo District Council launched digital Land Information Memorandum (LIM) services, so the Taupo District’s constituents could apply for information on land and buildings online.

The LIM service was award-winning. The initiative was so successful that Taupo District Council decided to expand on this offering by introducing new functionality to allow people to also apply for building consents over the internet.

The Solution

Because Datacom had already developed a building consent process for other councils, Taupo District Council was able to reuse and adapt this to their needs.

Applying for a building consent is a complex process, and one that can be confusing when filled out on paper. Datacom’s building consent process, based on our Sphere product, simplifies and streamlines the process while guiding the user through it.

Originally, the implementation was a soft-launch to 10-12 clients or designers. Feedback was positive from the group and the solution was made available more widely.

The project itself was very short – less than a month from start to finish – and cost the District Council very little. The benefit to constituents of being able to apply for building consents online for the past year, however, has been huge.

“Our customer experience has improved dramatically through the convenience of online vetting and submission. In addition to this we have seen significant cost savings internally associated with reduced printing, scanning and vetting where an application is done online.”

David Greaves - Consents and Regulatory Manager, Taupo District Council


  • Approximately 40 percent of building consents are now submitted electronically
  • One architect filed 30 building consents online in eight months and estimated a saving of 60 hours of time during that period
  • Significant reduction in paper and scanning for both customer and council, which resulted in cost savings
  • A higher level of convenience as customers and council staff no longer have to physically attend vetting and other building related meetings when applying online
  • Customers can now lodge building consents anytime, anywhere
  • Leveraged Datacom’s intellectual property and knowledge of regulatory bodies

Technologies Delivered

  • Datacom Sphere software
  • Minimal integration of software with Taupo District Council’s existing systems

The Partnership

Because Datacom had worked with Taupo District Council previously, and had done similar work for other Local Government bodies, the Council trusted Datacom to deliver the project and do it right. Datacom provided Taupo District Council with everything they needed in a short time frame, at low cost.