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Electronic Community Networking Launch Today

Mayor Mark Blumsky will today launch Wellington Community Net, an initiative of the 20/20 Communications Trust.

The launch is at 5.30pm in the foyer of the Wellington Central Library, Victoria Street.

Wellington Community Net is funded by Wellington City Council through the 20/20 Communications Trust. It offers a range of information and communications services to the Wellington region. WCN will offer free web hosting for non-profit organisations as well as training and other support services. Wellington Community Net can be accessed at

www.wcn.net.nz

Mayor Blumsky says the Wellington Community Net is a way to ensure that, just like our wider society, Wellington's information society includes people from every part of the community. “Information technology is at the heart of Wellington's future development and I want to ensure everyone can share in this progress.”

Duncan McLachlan, the Strategic Marketing Advisor at Wellington City Libraries, says Wellington Community Net’s launch at the Central Library is a deliberate move to match up the enhanced networking abilities of technology with the broad reach that Wellington City Libraries have into local communities.

The Community Net initiative will further Wellington’s reputation as the digital Capital and New Zealand’s future-focused city by aligning our information society technology issues with The Helsinki Accord - which the Mayor will be signing at the launch.

The Helsinki Accord is based the belief that:
 cities are essential to the process of building a fair Information society because they are the geographical, political, socio-economic and cultural entities where millions live, work and directly exercise their rights as citizens and consumers
 the effective creation and implementation of information society technologies in our diverse societies has the potential to improve:
-the quality of life and work of individuals
-the employment opportunities
-the quality and cost-effectiveness of processes and services
-the practice of government and democracy at all levels
-the prospects of the social economy and sustainable development.

 there is the need for conscious steps to improve social cohesion and help avoid the division between information-rich and information-poor citizens and communities both inside societies and between societies;
 the convergence and globalisation of information society technologies and services need new forms of governance and co-operation;
 the early phases of development of the information society imply a learning process in which the sharing of experiences, results and lessons among cities will be most beneficial;
 there is a need to provide innovative mechanisms for an informed interaction between cities and the private sector at local and global levels.

For further details please contact
John Stears, Wellington City Libraries, tel 025 249 4514
Clare Coman, 20/20 Communications Trust, tel 479 8636 Mble 025 602 7945.

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