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Internet “Channel” Launched For Rural NZers

11 June, 2002


Internet “Channel” Launched For Rural New Zealanders

Business tools for farmers -- and an online “meet and greet” section for rural people who want to make e-friends -- are features of a new website launched by Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Northland) Inc.

federatedfarmers.com has been in development for some time, says Northland Federated Farmers president, Ian Walker.

“We wanted to create a place for rural people to meet and share information. Most of the existing rural sites focus heavily on farming and business. We are targeting a broad audience with federatedfarmers.com – anyone who lives in a rural area, or has an interest in rural life.”

The website has a special section for country kids, with its own discussion board. Mr Walker says federatedfarmers.com hopes some enterprising children design their own content for the KidZone, guided by the site’s editor.

Singles who live in country areas often find it hard to meet partners, a trend that sparked last year’s Middlemarch knees-up in Southland. A study had warned that if Middlemarch continued to lose population, there was a risk the school would close, and amenities like health services would continue to run down. Middlemarch was determined not to fade from the map, and organised its weekend dance to bring eligible singles together. Mr Walker says federatedfarmers.com’s Meet & Greet concept had the same focus, but was online – accessible to anyone, anywhere.

“It’s free, you can make contact without leaving your lounge, and it’s a way for singles who live in remote areas to meet new people. Meet & Greet is also for people who just want to make friends and have a yarn online.”

The site’s Trading Post and Rural Service Locator allow businesses, or rural people who want to buy and sell items, to submit their own classifieds, and offers for products and services.

Much of the site can be freely accessed, including the KidZone and Meet & Greet. The business section of the site, which includes downloadable tools such as Employment Contracts and Sharemilker Agreements, is for paid-up members only. There is an annual subscription fee of $285 plus GST for businesses, and $160 plus GST for farm workers.

The channel can be viewed at www.federatedfarmers.com

Ends

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