Nearly 300,000 people from around the world have watched a Waipā District Council Zoom meeting on YouTube, many of whom pretend they are actually in a busy meeting to avoid family, co-workers or household chores.
The Waipā District Council, which covers an area south of Hamilton, has found unlikely internet fame with hundreds of thousands of viewers flocking to its YouTube channel.
Video of a regular Zoom meeting of the Corporate and Finance Committee broadcast in April 2020 during the first Covid crash in New Zealand has been viewed nearly 300,000 times.
Many people commented that they had played the video so that other members of their household would think they were in an important meeting and leave them alone.
“Does anyone else use this just to make it sound like they’re in a meeting so their other family members don’t bother them while they’re working from home?” Wrote one commenter.
“Does anyone else listen to this through the speakers and then listen to music through their headphones while your family thinks they are in a work meeting?” wrote another.
“I literally put this zoom call at work to make it look like I was busy, I was avoiding having to deal with a stressful person. AND IT WORKED, thank you.”
One man said it brought him more sleep in the morning because his family thought he was in a meeting, another said it helped him avoid housework, others said they used it to make their parents think they were studying.
“My wife asked why the person speaking has an accent … I am in America,” wrote one man. “My answer: ‘He is the project leader for the new program that we signed up to use. Weekly meetings with him until the launch of the fourth quarter.'”
Many people left comments simply thanking the council, while wondering if anyone saw it out of “genuine interest.”
Video is also the first result when searching for ‘meeting’ on YouTube.
Waipā District Council Deputy Executive Director Ken Morris said the response to the meeting was “unexpected” and was “quite high for our YouTube channel.”
“It’s great to see the Internet community find humor at Zoom council meetings, especially as the ongoing pandemic makes it difficult to meet in person.”
Morris said the meeting highlighted “our transparency as a council” and hopefully that “would reinforce the confidence that our taxpayers can have in Waipa as a well-managed and well-governed district.”
Councilor Marcus Gower was also praised for his clever choice of Death Star Zoom background, as people commented on how they loved the accent, but many mistakenly thought it was British or Australian.
“I love how everyone has a normal background and Marcus is on the death star or something,” wrote one person.
“I ended up learning more about his advice than I did about my own company,” wrote another.
“Thank you, now I can work in peace,” wrote one, echoing the opinions of hundreds of thousands of people, it seemed.