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Setting up

Created 20150610 - last updated 20200424 

Community groups are set up by enthusiastic individuals who inevitably move on .
To ensure the ongoing existance of your group it is essential that it not be dependent on any particular individual.
Over half of the e-mails provided by Councils for ratepayers groups in their areas during the setting up of this web-site have proved to be invalid, leaving us with no means to contact them.
Here are some suggested PROTOCOLS that may solve this problem.

Check out Civil Society's Resources page and these models of excellent web-sites provided by

    Set up an e-mail address for your group so  that you can easily network with your members AND with other groups, Council , elected representatives, Members of Parliament etc....
    P.O. boxes are expensive, slow and ineffective points of contact.  

     Use free open platforms such as gmail.com ( google mail ) or yahoo
      Never use pay-for 'walled garden' platforms such as .xtra.co.nz  / .slingshot.co.nz that have to change when you change your provider.
    Choose a name that displays who your group is so that outsiders don't have to guess who  e-mails are coming from.
    Acronyms aren't likely to mean anything to people who aren't familiar with your organisation, are difficult to find in searches, and provide an unnecessary level of obfuscation.
    e.g. rp&r@slingshot  ( ??? !!!who is this ? )  vs  ratepayersandresidents@gmail.com  ( oh ! ) 

    You can make blocks of e-mail addresses of all your members, and of all the elected representatives in your council or on your ward or community board etc.
  These can all be stored within e-mails sent to yourself.  Once you've sent an e-mail it will be automatically stored in your Contacts list.

  If you choose  to set up a gmail address, it automatically gives you the right to set up a ( totally free) website on
You don't need to know anything about coding and there are lots of tutorials on how to do it on youTube .
 e.g. watch this
   It is likely that, if you can't , or don't have time to set this up , that there will be someone in your community who can . 
 Delegate tasks !  
Having a gmail account also gives you a YouTube account ( for video ) a Picasa account ( for pictures ) -  which you can use to store video and images which can be displayed to your membership through e-mails / facebook / or on the website
Put 'created on 'and 'last updated' on everything you put up on your websites.
There are ratepayers' web-sites out there that were created in the 1990s that haven't been updated and which provide no reference to what year they are referring. 

Community Comms Collective has been set up to help groups like ours to get set up.


  N.B. Never assume that everyone you want to reach uses Facebook.

  Group or Page ?   A page is where you can say who you are. 
                            A group is a forum within which topics can be posted, discussed,debated.
                            Administrators can decide to limit the audience to members, or open it up to the public.

  Facebook requires that pages and groups be set up in association with someone's account.

  People who don't have a facebook account might be able to view a 'page' - which basically profiles your organisation, but they will not be able to join or interact, with a 'group' ( which may be set as 'secret'/'closed'/'public') .

Groups provide a very useful forum within which issues can be brought to the attention of others and discussed.

The problem is, there are so many people who are not on, or who are on - but who rarely log in ( and so many who refuse to get on ) facebook, that its effectiveness is actually quite limited.

If you do/have set up a presence for your group on facebook, be sure to put a contact e-mail address , web-site URL ( if you have one ) and a telephone contact number in the ABOUT section.

 Please join : Ratepayers and Residents of New Zealand  ( facebook GROUP )
 Please like : Ratepayers and Residents of New Zealand  ( facebook PAGE )

There are alternatives to facebook ( which have yet to gain popularity - but they might be useful for communicating within your community.