Porirua backing Nelson’s Gigatown bid
After narrowly missing out on a spot in the Gigatown finals, Porirua has thrown its support in behind Nelson.
Nelson finished fifth in the first round, just ahead of Porirua in sixth place, and has joined Wanaka, Timaru, Dunedin and Gisborne in the Chorus-run competition.
The prize is three years’ cheap access to 1 gigabit, high-speed broadband, a $500,000 community fund and a $200,000 innovation fund. The finalists must now submit a winning digital strategy for their town and how they will use high-speed fibre to support growth in other regions – which is where Porirua comes in.
‘‘Porirua showed they have real tenacity and the will to succeed during the last round, trading us point for point right down to the wire,’’ said Nelson campaign coleader Matt Dodd.
‘‘ So we decided to approach them about partnering with us on the strategy if we made it through to the final.’’
The result is that two people, Dodd and Porirua’s Gigatown campaign manager Chris Lipscombe, will represent Nelson on a Chorus- organised trip to Chattanooga, in the United States, to learn how the city has benefited from gigabit speed fibre.
Mr Lipscombe said it was about combining the digital strategic thinking of the two cities to create a gigabit-enabled centre of New Zealand.
‘‘We believe that we need more than one Gigatown to deliver real benefit to New Zealand. If Porirua can’t be in the final, we want to contribute to a digital strategy that will really deliver benefits for central New Zealand,’’ he said.