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Minister welcomes Southland’s broadband initiative

10 October 2003
Minister welcomes Southland’s broadband initiative

Southland is to receive $1.0 million under New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme to help implement Southland’s Whole of Community Broadband Initiative, Regional Development Minister, Jim Anderton, said today.

Venture Southland is to receive the funding to implement an initiative that will deliver a portable broadband telecommunication service to 92-95% of the population.

The initiative, which also has the support of Southland's Community Trust, will provide Southland with high speed Internet services for all schools in the region, regional toll free voice calling on the network, flat rated national toll calling, and 14 additional cellular sites and 22 wireless data sites.

The funding from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise allows Venture Southland to build on the $2.75 million the region is receiving under Project Probe to provide broadband services for educational institutions in the region, the Progressive Party leader said.

“It means they can widen the provision of broadband services to also meet regional industry and business needs.

“The region has been working hard at diversifying its economy, particularly by increasing tourism and horticulture ventures to reduce its dependence on agricultural commodities, but the lack of quality infrastructure has held them back.

“The broadband project will enable Southland to participate in the global economy. As well as allowing existing sectors of the economy to grow, it will also provide opportunities to develop new sectors that require good information and communications technology infrastructure,” the Progressive leader said.

This is the tenth major regional initiative to receive funding under New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Regional Partnership Programme. All initiatives are a mix of private and public sector funding.

Editor’s Note:

About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) is the New Zealand Government's trade and economic development agency, formed from the merger of Trade New Zealand and Industry New Zealand. Using its network of offices in New Zealand and around the world, NZTE works with businesses to help grow their international competitiveness, profitability and capability. www.nzte.govt.nz

The Regional Partnership Programme

The Regional Partnership Programme provides guidance and grants to help regions identify and develop sustainable growth strategies, and put them into action.

Funding of up to $100 000 per region per three years for strategic planning, up to $100 000 per 12 month period for capability building and up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives per three year cycle is available to help regions realise their potential.

There are 26 regional partnership groups who can apply for funding. The regional partnership groups include local authorities, economic development agencies, businesses, tertiary institutions, iwi and community organisations. one-off initiatives.

www.progressive.org.nz or www.beehive.org.nz

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