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Launch Of Wairoa Dot Com - Community Computer Hub

The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Jim Anderton and the Minister of Maori Affairs Hon Parekura Horomia joined forces today to launch Wairoa dot com, the first of 13 community computer hubs for the Tairawhiti East Coast region.

Mr Anderton said the Wairoa community computer hub will provide a bank of 20 computers for community use.

"I am pleased to open Wairoa dot com, which is part of the Labour-Alliance government plan for regional development. This community identified their need for community access to computers, and today's launch is one step that helps to make this a reality," Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Anderton said today.

His sentiments were endorsed by the Minister of Maori Affairs, Hon Parekura Horomia who said, "I believe that e-technology is probably one of the most powerful things that could be available to East Coast communities. It is a key for participation in many areas of society. I encourage all communities, particularly Maori communities, to get on board the cyberwaka."

Mr Anderton said the Wairoa dot com announcement is a part of the 44 page report of the groundbreaking Tairawhiti Development Taskforce which is being released today (Friday 24 November).

"Surplus government computers will be used to set up the other 12 community hubs over the next six months. My colleagues Hon Parekura Horomia, and Hon Trevor Mallard have been involved in helping locate resources for the hubs. The Ministry of Economic Development has sought sponsorship. Telecom and Ihug have both assisted and provided the latest technology to connect this hub in Wairoa to the rest of the world.

"The Ministry of Economic Development has sought sponsorship and Telecom and Ihug have both assisted and have provided the latest technology to connect this hub to the rest of the world. Telecom have also helped in other ways and Affco have provided furniture. The Government welcomes these companies willingness to work in partnership," said Jim Anderton.

Mr Horomia said "The Tairawhiti Development Taskforce has considered the entire region and a vast range of long term options. Wairoa dot com was one raised by local people that we were able to follow up immediately. Other issues have been identified with approaches that will require more work."

The Tairawhiti Development Taskforce has been meeting since May 2000. The Mayors of Wairoa and Gisborne invited Jim Anderton, Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Parekura Horomia and Janet Mackey MP to help improve prospects for jobs and businesses in the Tairawhiti region.

The Taskforce has been made up of local people, runanga, local and government agencies and government leadership, to bring a “whole of government” approach to implementing a sustainable development programme on the East Coast.

The full report will be released during two public meetings at: 10.30 am at the Wairoa Community Centre, Marine Parade; and 2.30 pm at the Army Hall corner of Fitzherbert & Stout Streets, Gisborne.

Ends

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