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My Waikato app encourages participation in river clean-up

My Waikato app in use.

The Waikato River Authority is using a Waikato Regional Council mobile app to get people engaged with the clean-up of the river.

Waikato River Authority chief executive Bob Penter says the authority, which oversees the Vision & Strategy for the improved health and wellbeing of the Waikato and Waipā rivers, has 250 projects it’s funded on a channel of the My Waikato app.

My Waikato, which is free to download, is an app on which the regional council shares data and information via a pin drop on a map.

“We have seven years of funded projects marked on the app, with quite a lot of detail provided,” says Mr Penter. “The task to restore and protect the river is a huge undertaking, and we believe that My Waikato will go some way toward helping us get more people engaged and participating in river clean-up. Anything that can help harness social change as part of the Vision & Strategy is extremely worthwhile.”

Other information currently being shared on My Waikato includes projects worked on by Enviroschools in the region. The public can also use the My Waikato app to report possible breaches of the Resource Management Act, such as discharges to water and air or illegal earthworks on the land and in coastal environments. 

Waikato Regional Council communications and engagement section manager Nicola Chrisp says the free app was developed as a fast and simple way for the council and others in the community to share what’s happening in the Waikato region.

“My Waikato shows you a cool interactive map, with pins dropped at locations of interest. Pins can be about all sorts of topics like the environment, economy and the community. Each topic appears as a layer or channel. You choose which channels you want to view.

“If you come across a load of dead fish in the water, a weird smell or something else unusual in the environment, you can drop a pin on the map to instantly let the council know. 

“The app enables community engagement and citizen science through smart, real-time, geo-specific technology. It spatially captures observations so users can see and report on the things they care about, and makes information from many different authorities easily accessible from a single source.”  

Users can click on an existing pin to view the details as well as share their own comment on it for others to see and respond to. 

Ms Chrisp says new channels of work will be added to My Waikato according to demand.

Simply search for My Waikato in your iOS or Android app store to download the app for free. If you want to see a particular channel added or have any feedback about the app, email digital@waikatoregion.govt.nz.  

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