Long wait for UFB roll out

Piako Post - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MIKE BAIN

McWil­liam claimed for­mer Prime Min­is­ter John Key promised Mor­rinsville some ur­gency on the mat­ter in 2014. For­mer com­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter Amy Adams dis­putes the claim.

Mor­rinsville and Te Aroha were in­cluded in the Gov­ern­ment’s Ru­ral UFB2 roll out for 2020, Mata­mata was 2019.

Cham­ber mem­bers met with Min­is­ter for Small Busi­ness Jac­qui Dean, who spoke about busi­ness as­sis­tance and ini­tia­tives on the Gov­ern­ment’s web­site.

‘‘Jac­qui Dean’s sugges­tions were met with laugh­ter be­cause the as­sis­tance she was ad­vo­cat­ing, the files are large and to down­load them you need to be con­nected to UFB,’’ McWil­liam said.

He said the elec­tion was an op­por­tu­nity to send a mes­sage to Gov­ern­ment.

New Zealand First leader Win­ston Peters had a copy of the Cho­rus pro­posal, Na­tional can­di­date Tim van de Molen had spo­ken to his leader and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had been in town.

‘‘The cham­ber has met with all the can­di­dates stand­ing for the Waikato seat, but none of them have any real in­flu­ence.

‘‘If Jacinda Ardern wants to do some­thing for her home­town, this is it.’’

The cham­ber looked to the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil to as­sist in un­der­writ­ing the Cho­rus pro­posal.

The coun­cil sup­ported the busi­ness com­mu­nity’s push but re­mained cau­tious.

Mayor Jan Barnes said if her coun­cil was to front the es­ti­mated $1.4m cost, the process could take up to nine months.

It could be fur­ther de­layed if sub­jected to a le­gal chal­lenge.

‘‘If ratepayer funded, all the risk would be on coun­cil, and a re­quire­ment for busi­nesses to agree to pay the vol­un­tary rate for costs to be re­cov­ered,’’ she said.

‘‘At best, work could be­gin 12-18 months ear­lier than the pro­posed Cho­rus timetable.

‘‘We are bet­ter placed lob­by­ing Gov­ern­ment to speed up the in­stal­la­tion in our towns.’’

MIKE BAIN

Frus­trated by slow in­ter­net speed is Mor­rinsville busi­ness owner Dar­rell Rus­sell from the Pi­ako Group.

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