We’re exploring what it means to be a smart city

Smart places

We’re exploring what it means to be a smart city – a place that uses technology, data and new approaches to make people’s lives better, easier, and safer.

We’re on the lookout for new technology and fresh thinking that will make our city an even better place to live, work and play. It could be something that improves our city’s sustainability, reduces running costs or energy consumption, or makes life more productive and fun for residents, businesses and visitors.

What we’re already doing

Person looking at a Maptionnaire on a smart phone

Collecting data to improve journeys

We’re using a cool tool called Maptionnaire to help us make future transport decisions. It was developed by the clever team at Opus, and enables us to survey the community to find out how people currently move around the city to see how things can be improved. People were able to plot their information on an interactive map. We’ve already carried out our first survey and we’re now using what we’ve found out to help make decisions on all sorts of things that make a journey easier or more enjoyable.

Pay by plate parking meter

Pay by plate parking

Lower Hutt now has paperless parking meters around the city. The parking meters might look the same as the old ones, but the new technology inside them means people enter their licence plate number when paying for parking, instead of getting a paper ticket. The new system saves money on the regular maintenance associated with the meter’s printing function, and will save the production of thousands of paper tickets every year.

Dog tag technology

Hutt City Council is one of two New Zealand Councils trialling Doggone technology – a new and innovative dog tag and app developed to quickly and safely reunite lost dogs with their owners. The technology includes a Bluetooth tag and app that sends location updates when the dog passes within 60m of someone else with the Doggone App.

Kate McKenzie, Mayor Ray Wallace, Ken Laban, MP Chris Hipkins, Karen Poutasi, Larrie Moore, Will Graham, Joni Araiti, Matt Reid, Nic Drew-Crawshaw, and Rata Street School students.

Bridging the digital divide

The TAKA WIFI initiative has given 125 tamariki at Naenae’s Rata Street School access to Wifi at home in an effort to bridge the digital divide. The initiative is a partnership between Hutt City Council, TAKA Trust, Chorus, Ministry of Education and Network for Learning. Council’s aim is to extend this initiative across all schools in the north east.

People looking at the view from Te Whiti riser track

Te Whiti Riser track sensor

Council’s Active Leisure team operates a sensor on the popular walking track the Te Whiti Riser to gather information on who’s using it. The sensor measures the number of track users, whether they’re walking or biking, and in which direction they’re going. The technology is used to measure the use of tracks and assess the need for maintenance, improvements and further development.

CSI EQR on a smart phone


We’re trialling a new system that will enable us to electronically monitor ground shaking beneath some of our key buildings during an earthquake. It’s a world-first seismic monitoring system called EQRNet which has been developed by Canterbury Seismic Instruments (CSI). It will provide us with information about how ground motion varies across the city and how council structures perform. We’ve selected 10 buildings for the 6 month trial and the information will be made available to the public through our website.

Smart projects around the world

Got a smart idea?

We’d love to hear about your idea for our city

send us a proposal