Bay Online was originally developed in late 2017 to house the stories, news and articles initially published inside the quarterly Bay of Plenty community magazine – Bay Waka.

Due to the research and effort undertaken by many of the Bay Waka writers, we wanted an online archive to make it easy to identify local topics across our multiple publications in one place. Basically, we wanted to build a library.

Community Broadcasting

What transpired in actuality, was a community online hub that allowed us to not only archive Bay Waka stories but the community started sending in media releases, event information, and ad hoc stories that didn’t fit into Bay Waka. So, we began to publish to Bay Online in real-time.

As well, all the events, articles and posts each have social media share buttons, so anyone wanting to promote the published article or event, simply have to click on a Facebook button and post it. This broadcasting capability works particularly well for membership organisations or companies who have the capacity to have 10’s or 100’s of people utilise these facilities to post their articles and events onto multiple social media timelines.

Consequently, Bay Online has become a ‘community broadcasting hub’ already proven to be appreciated and supported by many individuals, businesses and key public institutions.

Site Statistics

The Google Analytics tell us an interesting user story in November 2018:

  • Past 12 months – 7,000 users – average time 2m 24s each
  • Past 3 months – 1,300 users – average time 5m 05s
  • Past 14 days – 221 users – average time 4m 35s
The other interesting fact is that 85% of users are new to Bay Online so we are pleased to see such a positive uptake while still in the early days.

Social Enterprise approach

Bay Online operates as a social enterprise, maintaining financial independence from Bay Waka. In mid-2018 it received a generous $2,500 grant from the Freemasons Charitable Trust which was used to refine the design while continuing to help fund the timely publishing on a daily basis.

Additional income is slowly increasing through ongoing strategic partnerships and advertising.

We are proud of Our Bay of Plenty community and Bay Online. Like Bay Waka, it is created ‘in our community’, ‘by our community’ and ‘for our community’. It continues to help develop the idea of building ‘a sense of belonging in our community’.


If you want to get in touch to share your ideas please use our Contact page.