28 July 2000 Media Statement
Information technology initiatives for the East Coast
Chairman of the Tairawhiti Taskforce and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has announced two initiatives to improve
access to technology and the internet on East Coast.
The first involves the distribution of computers to the community. These computers have been provided from various
government agencies such as the Department of Work and Income (DWI) and are surplus to their requirements.
"We will be distributing around 2000 computers to schools and community groups over the next few months," Jim Anderton
"The computers are available for schools and community groups to extend and improve their use of technology.
"The involvement of DWI is a great example of how we are looking at solving problems across the entire government. DWI
had surplus computers and we have found a great way to utilise them.
"The second is a joint programme with Telecom to allow the community better access to the internet.
"Telecom is looking at extending their SeniorNet programme across the region. They are calling it CommunityNet and will
be trialing two schemes in the Tairawhiti region.
"The CommunityNet model sees the community setting up groups to receive funding and computers. The Tairawhiti taskforce
will provide accommodation and computers.
Each CommunityNet will be provided with a start up package of:
- 2 free phone lines and 2 years free phone rental
- $1,500 cash grant
- a free Xtra connection and free usage of Xtra for two years.
"The idea is that the CommunityNet centers will provide training and support for people in the region. They will
introduce people to the internet and increase their confidence in using it.
"In addition the Taskforce congratulated Telecom on continuing investment in upgrading the region's telecommunications
infrastructure. In the next financial year Telecom is investing $1.05 million in upgrading the their network.
"These community based initiatives are just the start. But they are a good start for the Tairawhiti area," Jim Anderton