Gi­ga­town cam­paign seek­ing fund­ing

Coun­cil told win­ning would sig­nif­i­cantly ben­e­fit Wanaka’s lo­cal econ­omy

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Gi­ga­town Wanaka has asked the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil for $20,000 to boost its Gi­ga­town cam­paign de­spite be­ing in com­pe­ti­tion with Queen­stown.

The coun­cil’s draft an­nual plan re­ceived two sub­mis­sions from Wanaka Cham­ber of Com­merce chair­man Alistair King on be­half of the cham­ber and Gi­ga­town Wanaka.

‘‘Gi­ga­town Wanaka got off to a strong and suc­cess­ful start, but we are now be­com­ing out-gunned by towns that have ded­i­cated staff and coun­cil fund­ing that is well be­yond that of Wanaka, said.

The win­ner of the Gi­ga­town com­pe­ti­tion, held by Cho­rus, would be the first town in the South­ern hemi­sphere to ac­cess a one gigabit per sec­ond in­ter­net con­nec­tion.

Wanaka is top of the com­pe­ti­tion on 1.62 mil­lion points, ahead of sec­ond-placed Nel­son on 1.38 mil­lion points. Queen­stown was fourth on 1.08 mil­lion.

Gi­ga­town Wanaka will be ap­proach­ing other as­so­ci­a­tions for in­vest­ment. The cham­ber, Lake Wanaka Tourism and Wanaka businesses are be­ing

‘‘ King asked to help raise $50,000 to fund ad­min­is­tra­tion, pro­mo­tions, mar­ket­ing ma­te­ri­als and op­er­at­ing ex­penses.

‘‘We are very con­fi­dent that Wanaka will win the Gi­ga­town com­pe­ti­tion and the re­sult will be ex­tremely pos­i­tive for your busi­ness and the town econ­omy, ‘‘ King said.

The cham­ber sub­mis­sion asked for the plan to in­clude a $250,000 in­vest­ment in ul­tra-fast broad­band in Wanaka, up from an ear­lier pro­posal of $180,000.

Coun­cil­lor Lyal Cocks said the additional fund­ing would al­low businesses on the north­ern side of Ard­more St to be in­cluded in the roll out – in­creas­ing the num­ber of businesses with ac­cess to ul­tra­fast broad­band by about 25 per cent.

‘‘It’s an in­fra­struc­ture project which will pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic en­abler for busi­ness in Wanaka,’’ he said.

Wanaka was not in­cluded in the govern­ment’s ul­tra fast broad­band ini­tia­tive.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Gi­ga­cone: This cone erected on Mt Iron in Fe­bru­ary was used to help pro­mote Wanaka’s Gi­ga­town bid. Sup­port­ers of the pro­posal are now seek­ing coun­cil funds to boost the cam­paign.

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