Connecting New Zealand councils and the public

Gore District Council wanted a new way to digitally communicate important messages whilst giving residents a better platform to talk to them. In an area of New Zealand known for its fishing, Datacom’s latest app proved to be the catch of the day.


Gore District Council is a small, rural council located towards the southern tip of New Zealand. Looking after a population of over 12,000 people, the Council wanted to explore a new and modern way to communicate and engage with its residents.

The challenge


Using social media to publish updates and information was initially a very successful way for Gore District Council to communicate with the public. Residents engaged with messages and proved they valued digital communication.

However, over time the council noticed the limitations of channels like Facebook. Key messages were often lost in news feeds and missed by those who needed them most.

Gore District Council needed a way to find its customers as opposed to their customers having to find them. The solution also needed to continue to give the public an opportunity to digitally communicate with the Council.

The solution


Antenno is an engaging and effective mobile app developed by Datacom. It is available to the public to download for free on Apple’s App Store and Google Play (Android).

Created to help councils and other public sector organisations communicate with the community, it also gives the public an opportunity to contact the organisations directly, for instance by reporting issues.

Gore District Council can create content, including council alerts, notifications and engagement opportunities, which are allocated a topic and are map-defined to an appropriate and relevant area. The public can then receive this information directly to their smartphone.

The Antenno platform also provides the Council with usage reports and analytics, so it knows how successful its post has been. This includes how many people received the message, the level of engagement (interaction) and topic preference trends.

"We created Antenno to help public sector organisations, like Gore District Council, and the public equally. It’s wonderful to see the positive impact Antenno has had already for members of the local community."

Mark Matijevic, Director, Local Government Solutions, Datacom


The Datacom difference


Datacom made it very easy for Gore District Council to understand Antenno, and how the public and the Council could both benefit from using it.

From the initial concept to demonstrating the reporting and notification processes, Datacom explained each step in an easy, understandable and relatable manner.

Datacom gave members of the Council an opportunity to download Antenno to test it and learn first-hand how the public could use it. Staff then encouraged their family and friends to use Antenno, helping to promote the app via word-of-mouth. This opportunity to learn how to use the app from a customer’s point of view provided valuable insight.

The results


Within weeks of launching, Antenno had been downloaded over 600 times.

The app has helped the public stay informed about subjects that matter most to them, in the most convenient way. Antenno has replaced lengthy emails and the need to watch social media channels for messages as members of the public can now receive  specific communications directly. Examples of this include a weekly recycling and rubbish reminder, and notifications about flooding and road closures.

The Council has found it easy to create posts and target relevant customers, whilst the public has enjoyed receiving direct messages which are specifically useful to them.

Residents can also now submit reports with photos, improving communication between the public and the Council. One resident commented that “Antenno makes life simpler. I love the wheelie bin reminders, street closure alerts, etc. Absolutely fantastic!”


Download a PDF copy of Datacom's case study.


"The councillors have been getting good feedback from the community. Datacom’s Antenno has helped the public engage with us, and us with them, better than ever."

Sonia Gerken, Communications/Marketing Manager, Gore District Council