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Sister Cities: Connecting Globally

Hon Clare Curran
Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

24 May 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT

Sister Cities: Connecting Globally

Relationships between New Zealand centres and their international sister cities will benefit from multiple Government initiatives that are improving connectivity, says Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran.

The Government’s work to improve connectivity and help people connect with others overseas was outlined to the Sister cities Conference in Lower Hutt today. Ms Curran’s message was delivered by local Labour list MP Ginny Anderson.

“This year’s Sister Cities Conference is all about Connecting Globally Through Technology. This is vital for New Zealand. We once faced a ‘tyranny of distance’ which hindered our ability to efficiently connect with the rest of the world but that is no longer the case,” Clare Curran said.

“Technological advances are continually fuelling even greater change, and I’m determined to make sure that New Zealand keeps pace with these changes by working to improve our international connectivity.”

“More than 1.29 million households and business can access fibre but less than half – 42 per cent – are actually using it. That needs to be higher and UFB uptake needs to improve to help close the digital divides by 2020.

“Getting more people connected is also fundamental to building an inclusive, digital economy. Change is happening at a pace not seen before allowing the development of new business models and increasing the speed of digital innovation.

“It’s important we give our young people the skills to use digital technology to build personal global connections, and show them how these connections can be used to foster international understanding.

“I’m encouraged to see the variety of opportunities specifically for young people being discussed through the Sister City initiative,” Clare Curran said.

“The Sister Cities initiative is a fantastic platform for the mutual exchange of ideas, education and culture. And our improved digital connectivity is only going to make it easier for New Zealanders to take part in these international conversations.”

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