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NZ’s Regional Digital Hubs to boost business and connection

The first of New Zealand’s three Regional Digital Hubs (RDHs) will be going to Northland, and is set to open at Kaitaia.

According to a recent press release, the Regional Digital Hubs will enable people to connect for business and accelerate economic development in the region.

Benefits of Regional Digital Hubs

The Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said that the RDHs will be a game changer for the region once they are set up and running by the end of this year.

The other two hubs are likely to be in Dargaville and Kaikohe.

People can gain a plethora of benefits once these hubs are active. The hubs will allow people to connect for business development and support.

It will also offer services such as free Wi-Fi connectivity, co-working spaces and guidance on the use of the internet for business and skills development purposes.

In addition, it will provide support as Northland is growing its digital footprint with two marae that have recently gone live as part of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) marae connectivity package.

Connecting Marae

As reported, this package will bring Māori communities together through investing in marae connectivity.

Boosting marae connectivity will include physically connecting marae to broadband networks and will provide technical support and training.

Marae are meeting places for whānau, hapū and iwi, and are central to many rural communities.

Improving connectivity will support communities to undertake economic activity and enhance their capability.

The two maraes, Oromahoe marae and Te Houhanga marae, in Northland, are the first in the country to be connected under the package.

The Minister added that in North Hokianga, they are funding work to progress marae connectivity at Ngāi Tupoto, Ngāti Manawa and Te Uri o Hina marae.

Another 11 marae in Northland are also looking to get connected.

Connecting marae will help communities seize business and education opportunities, as well as help whānau stay in touch and Māori to connect with their iwi.

Funding Digital Connectivity

Funding for these initiatives comes from the PGF local digital connectivity funding package of NZ$ 21 million.

This funding helps connect marae to the internet and establish Regional Digital Hubs in regional towns. These initiatives enable local businesses to access digital services in order to get online.

Improving digital connectivity was flagged as a key area of investment for the Provincial Growth Fund.

Digital connectivity serves as a catalyst for economic development and well-being. It lifts productivity and supports the other investments that the Government is making in the regions.

Improving digital infrastructure improves the lives of the people. It guarantees that people can experience the benefits of faster and reliable broadband, regardless of where they live.

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