Broad­band boost on the cards

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By STEVE ED­WARDS

Mata­mata-Pi­ako has gone from the bench to the start­ing lineup in Gov­ern­ment’s ul­tra- fast broad­band roll­out.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy Spokes­woman Amy Adams, joined by Prime Min­is­ter John Key in Mor­rinsville last Thurs­day, said Mata­mata, Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha are ‘‘strong con­tenders’’ for in­clu­sion in a UFB ex­ten­sion.

‘‘The list of ad­di­tional towns to re­ceive fi­bre to the home, and the or­der of roll­out, will be de­ter­mined fol­low­ing a com­pet­i­tive bid process, which will take into ac­count the cost of de­ploy­ment, strength of con­sumer de­mand, and reg­u­la­tory and other as­sis­tance from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties,’’ she said.

‘‘How­ever, based on the method­ol­ogy used for the orig­i­nal roll­out, this could see a num­ber of towns be strong con­tenders for in­clu­sion in the UFB ex­ten­sion.’’

The an­nounce­ment fol­lowed a re­cent meet­ing be­tween Mata­mata- Pi­ako mayor Jan Barnes and dis­trict business lead­ers with MPs Lind­say Tisch ( Waikato) and Scott Simp­son (Coro­man­del) about the im­por­tance of bring­ing the UFB roll­out to the dis­trict.

Speak­ing to Fair­fax after Adams’ visit, which she at­tended, Barnes said she was ‘‘ab­so­lutely de­lighted’’ by the out­come.

Man­ager of the Mata­mata Pub­lic Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion, Sue Whit­ing, was also very happy with the an­nounce­ment.

‘‘It is nice to know some one lis­tened to us,’’ she said.

Her Mata­mata group, along with the Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha business as­so­ci­a­tions, re­quested a meet­ing with Tisch, Simp­son and Barnes and pointed out that their ar­eas had not been con­sid­ered for the UFB roll­out and that they should, she said.

Also present was Mor­rinsville Business and Pro­mo­tions As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Nigel McWil­liam, who said its was ‘‘great news’’ for Mata­mata-Pi­ako.

‘‘We are now on the plan for the im­ple­men­ta­tion for this very im­por­tant in­fra­struc­ture which will support the dis­trict’s con­tin­ued growth,’’ he said.

‘‘ UFB will en­hance the ef­fi­cien­cies for busi­nesses al­ready here and can only en­cour­age other business to invest in our dis­trict. Business means jobs and strength of com­mu­nity.’’

Te Aroha Business As­so­ci­a­tion chair Shaun O’Neill said it is ‘‘awe­some news’’.

‘‘Let’s make sure that our three towns are at the front end of the roll­out,’’ he said.

‘‘We be­lieve that we can make a pretty per­sua­sive ar­gu­ment to be first off the block, given the level of in­dus­try and com­merce that is con­ducted in our dis­trict.

‘‘This is the best dis­trict in New Zealand for agribusi­ness and has the most rapid tourism growth in New Zealand.

‘‘ The ad­di­tion of ul­tra- fast broad­band will be fan­tas­tic for our ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and be a real at­trac­tion for any new business to our dis­trict.’’

Waikato MP Lind­say Tisch said the in­clu­sion of com­mu­ni­ties in his elec­torate, in­clud­ing Mata­mata, was ‘‘ex­cit­ing news’’.

‘‘ I am de­lighted about this po­ten­tially huge tech­no­log­i­cal and com­mu­ni­ca­tions boost to our re­gion,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s great news for busi­nesses and it’s great news for house­hold­ers.’’

Huntly, which is also in the Waikato elec­torate, was also in­cluded in the an­nounce­ment.

Tisch said he was asked if he could host a ‘‘ ma­jor pol­icy an­nounce­ment’’ in Mor­rinsville, se­lect­ing Coop­erAitken’s business cen­tre as the venue.

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