Citizen Council Connect

Project Info

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Team Name


Team Members

Emily , Adam , Joseph , Ankita Dharne , Taylor , Lei

Project Description

Ensuring mutuality between citizens and government is vital in facilitating an active democracy. The Christchurch Residents Survey revealed various areas of concern for citizens, indicating a lack of information and opportunity for involvement in Council decision-making.

  • 29% were satisfied with the governance and trust that ensured people and groups had the information and opportunities for involvement in Council decision making at an all-time low
  • Citizens said that 15% say we make wise spending decisions, and 33% say that the Council makes decisions in the best interests of the city
  • "My feeling is that the councillors have more entrenched views when making decisions and are not always in touch with their customers, the people of Christchurch."
  • "[...] Sometimes I get the feeling the Council is looking after itself, its image, rather than doing the tough stuff."

Other problems include building, maintaining, and repairing water quality, energy, and roads.

We propose the creation of a publicly accessible website that displays locations the CCC has scheduled for maintenance activity and current maintenance activities being implemented, locations of power outages, water shutoffs, and helping citizens stay informed of the council’s current and prospected activity. This tool can be further extended to include other datasets involving other issues addressed by citizens such as road issues, water maintenance, and power outages, as well as other geographical areas of New Zealand. A survey form is available on the website to create a communication channel between citizens and CCC - Citizens with concerns are able to lodge complaints which will be directly forwarded to the corresponding responsible person on the council.

We also talked to the Christchurch City Council, who mentioned they don’t have a ticket to lodge or a system for incidents; most people have to lodge it directly by calling them or filling out a report on their website. They pick up on specific problems as it comes in, depending on the work happening. Showing that there is a need for such an accessible product.

Additionally, we have trained a model to help the government better interpret public opinion on government-proposed actions and policies by using sentiment analysis on publicly available social media data. Not only does this provide insight into the public's perspective on the council, but it also provides opportunities to identify characteristics of profiles likely to express negative opinions and their motivations.

This equips CCC with the demographic information required to implement more targeted approaches and campaigns to address concerns and clear misinformation that has already spread. CCC can also use this to identify any groups that are spreading disinformation, eg, groups which do not live in Christchurch, and use preventative measures to mitigate the spread.

#christchurch #aotearoa #auckland #new zealand #citizen #council #governance #trust #reporting #monitoring

Data Story

For sourcing our data, we relied on the data from Christchurch Resident's Survey and manual web scraping of user data from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit with specific parameters (e.g., to: @christchurchcc, “christchurch city council”) due to the dataset and API not being available to the public or on time.

We also combined multiple datasets from Open Data Christchurch Outlined activity, Scheduled Activity, Power Outage, and Water Shutoff so far,-43.53080,13,-43.52081,14

Sentiment analysis data

Additionally, we called Christchurch City Council about accessing the Resident Survey dataset but they did not have access for the public. They also said that most of their problems go through a report form but there is no way to track all of the incidents based on urgency or any factors. Moreso, as the incidents come in and what events are happening at the moment.
This data is then used to feed live (static for demo purposes) into our MapBox API.

We also considered data ethics important when accessing and scraping citizen data. To that end, we followed the “Data Ethics” from

Evidence of Work



Project Image

Team DataSets

Predicted Sentiments

Description of Use Statistical modeling of Sentiment analysis output could help identify specific demographics that are dissatisfied with government policy changes. The sentiment analysis could also serve as a form of cross validation to help confirm survey results and vice versa

Data Set

Christchurch Problems Social Media

Description of Use This data contains hand-scraped data from Christchurch Citizens opinions from social media. We used the following data to pinpoint exact categories, locations and sentiments of citizens

Data Set

Challenge Entries

Aotearoa Citizen Survey Actions

Best Solution to Citizen City Concerns

Go to Challenge | 7 teams have entered this challenge.

Disarming Disinformation: Leveraging Open Data for Truth and Trust

Combating disinformation

Go to Challenge | 5 teams have entered this challenge.

Data-Driven Misinformation Detection

Detect disinformation

Go to Challenge | 4 teams have entered this challenge.