Improved information services to replace Otaki i-SITE
Council is working with the Ōtaki community to ensure residents and visitors still get the information services they need when the town’s i-SITE, located in the old court house building, closes at the end of June 2015.
The decision to close the i-SITE was made after research showed half the people using local i-SITES were seeking general rather than visitor information and that many just wanted to book ferry and bus tickets.
This reflects the fact that over half the people using it weren’t tourists but locals seeking general information. There is also a trend nationally where the use of i-SITEs is declining as people switch to computers and mobile devices to get the information they need.
The research on local i-SITE use also supported the district having one central i-SITE. The Paraparaumu i-SITE will now become the Kāpiti i-SITE, providing enhanced information on all local towns.
Councillor Penny Gaylor says the Ōtaki i-SITE will remain open until the end of June but she and the Ōtaki Community Board are putting plans in place to ensure local residents and visitors won’t be disadvantaged by the closure.
“This includes ways of making information available in smarter, more effective ways,” she says.
“Local community and council service information will continue to be provided at the council service centre at the Ōtaki Library, as well as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Bookings for bus and ferry services will be provided by other business outlets as well as online and freephone services.”
Councillor Gaylor says to reach more visitors, tourism information will be provided through a wide range of methods including maps, brochures, display panels, online and through local businesses.
“It is planned through the Kāpiti i-SITE to present a more colourful and compelling story about the district, its history and attractions with targeted messages to attract visitors, new residents, businesses, investors and students.
“The unique character of each of Kāpiti’s ‘string of pearls’ towns will be told starting with Ōtaki as the ‘pilot’ in developing this enhanced approach to storytelling and visitor information.”
The old courthouse building remains an important heritage asset for the community and is not being moved. An open process will be used to invite expressions of interest for would-be tenants before the i-SITE closes.