21 September 2012
Mr Alex Harris
c/o [FYI request #519 email]
Re: Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 (LGOIMA) – Search Engine
Dear Mr Harris
I refer to your email dated 24 August 2012, requesting information under the Local Government
Official Information and Meetings Act 1987, regarding search engine optimisation for Auckland
Council recreation assets, including Mt Smart Stadium.
1. Has the Auckland Council or any of its subsidiaries hired anyone to provide "search engine
optimisation" for its recreation assets, including Mt Smart Stadium?
2. If so, who, how much are they being paid, what instructions were they given, and all
documents, communications and advice relating to the contract.
As my previous correspondence to you advised, Mt Smart Stadium has an in-house sales and
marketing team employed by Regional Facilities Auckland (RFA), a Council Controlled
Organisation. My previous correspondence to you also advised that the in-house marketing team
promotes Mt Smart Stadium through a dedicated Facebook and Twitter page, and also makes use
of the online venue search directories ‘Convention Incentives NZ (CINZ)’ and the ‘Corporate Events
To answer your most recent query, I set out responses in order below.
1. The in-house marketing team at Mt Smart Stadium has procured the services of One Stop
Internet Shop to provide search engine optimisation. Their email defining the scope of their
activity on behalf of Mt Smart Stadium is provided as an attachment.
2. The information relating to how much they are being paid is withheld pursuant to section
7(2)(b)(ii) of LGOIMA so as not to unreasonably prejudice the commercial position of the
service provider. I attach the remaining information as requested.
Your initial query referred to ‘forum spam’ in at least one NZ-based discussion forum. This was
alarming and as such we investigated this possibility. I was confident at that time that the spam was
not generated as a result of web based activity by Mt Smart Stadium or their service providers.
It is of concern to me that your most recent query highlights that you are still encountering spam.
Again, we have investigated this possibility and have been assured by the in-house marketing team
and their service provider that spam is not intentionally being generated on behalf of the Stadium.
I wish to assure you that Mt Smart Stadium would like to remedy any unwanted posts or forum
spam. As previously requested, it would be appreciated if you could help us identify where you
encountered the spam relating to Mt Smart Stadium so that any unwanted posts may be remedied
I thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention and I trust this answers your query.
Should you believe we have not responded appropriately to your request, you have the right by way
of complaint, under section 27(3) of the LGOIMA, to apply to the Ombudsmen to seek an
investigation and review of the decision.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me
p.p. John Robertson
Corporate Sales and Marketing Manager