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ICT Minister visits Westport and Nelson

3 March 2002

IT and Communications Minister Paul Swain is visiting Westport and Nelson this week to be briefed on broadband initiatives in those areas.

Paul Swain has been visiting government funded broadband pilots around New Zealand over the past two months – the Westport and Nelson initiatives are ones that have been kicked off under the local communites’ own steam.

“Last year the government set a goal is to ensure all kiwi communities can access two-way high-speed Internet services by the end of 2003,” Paul Swain said.

“We are funding five regional pilot schemes in the Far North, the East Cape, Taranaki, Wairarapa and Southland to test the potential for bringing together broadband demand in regions in a commercially attractive way for suppliers.

“Local communities in Westport and Nelson have taken the bull by the horns and gone ahead with some of their own initiatives and that’s fantastic news.

“I look forward to hearing what progress has been made while I am there on Tuesday.

“Information from these initiatives will be fo benefit to other New Zealand communities who want better telecommunication services in their regions,” he said.

Paul Swain is also attending ‘Innovate’ in Christchurch on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Around 500 innovators are expected to join venture capitalists, community leaders, educators and industry associations for this event. This is a chance to show off New Zealand innovation and to progress the drive to get New Zealand back in the top half of the OECD,” he said.

Ends

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