Wheels set in motion after think-tank
With support from business leaders, Matamata-Piako District Council says it is putting in a strong case to the Government for ultra-fast broadband (UFB).
At an economic think-tank in Morrinsville in February, organised by the council, UFB arose as the number one priority identified by those attending, council communications officer Adele Preston said.
‘‘ Central Government have announced that additional funding is available to extend ultra fast broadband coverage, rural broadband coverage, and to address mobile blackspots,’’ she said. ‘‘We are submitting a proposal for our district to receive these enhanced services.
‘‘To gain a better understanding of the current broadband and mobile coverage in the area, we ran a survey and received over 400 responses. This provides us with the information that will help us put a strong case to central Government.’’
Other topics discussed at the think-tank included car parking issues, a lack of infrastructure/ commercial land and opportunities around tourism and district promotion.
Following the economic development event, Preston said the council met with staff from major businesses in the district.
‘‘ The main constraints to growth identified at the meeting were relationships with Waikato Regional Council, water supply/ wastewater, availability of skilled staff and the lack of access to gas supply,’’ she said. ‘‘ We have set up an economic development working party to work through all of the ideas discussed at the think-tank. The ideas have been prioritised and the group is reviewing the various issues.’’
Preston said the council has also created a new ‘‘case manager’’ position so that businesses can have one main point of contact. James Ross is able to assist businesses who may need to deal with different departments of council for a project or new venture.
‘‘James’ role has been created to make doing business easier and help establish new businesses in our district.’’
The working party investigating options
is for additional car parking in Morrinsville, Preston said. ‘‘We are looking to understand the current issues, exploring areas of vacant land that could be used for car parking and evaluating the costs of different options.’’
The Registration of Interest was tabled at council’s corporate and operations committee meeting on June 24. The approved document needs to be with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment by July 3.