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Waitakere Officially A “Wired” City

Media release
30 July 2004

Waitakere Officially A “Wired” City

It’s official – Waitakere has taken the first steps toward becoming a “wired” city with the launch of a city web portal that has been developed by the Council and community in collaboration.

The initiative – described as the first that has been developed “from the bottom up” was launched today by IT and Communications Minister David Cunliffe and representatives of the Council and the community.

Waitakere Online – the City’s new electronic gateway – the first step toward the goal of creating a homepage of choice for all residents, businesses and visitors to Waitakere City. It currently provides a sophisticated selection of links to local web sites, information, and includes a local electronic business directory.

Although the vision of a totally “wired city” is still years and millions of dollars in the future, the portal is a first step towards it. It is the beginning of a journey not an end in itself.

Mayor Bob Harvey says the opening of the Portal is a step towards the sustainable Eco City developing into an EcoTech city.

He says the portal has been brought together by a wide range of community based people and organisations working on different aspects of putting the community on a linear process that the Council was project managing and facilitating.

With support from the telecommunications industry and the public as users, the site could grow to serve a wide range of local needs, providing features such as a calendar of local events, hosting free email addresses for all Waitakere residents, such as in the case of other free email sites, and for the hosting of community web sites. Its functionality could also be expanded to include tools to customise each individual's home page – for example, sports lovers could receive the latest rugby results when they open their customised home page.

Minister Cunliffe meanwhile described the Government’s Draft Digital Strategy explaining the various initiatives it was taking to ensure that all facets of the community – private, commercial and Government had the encouragement, the means, support and critical mass to ensure that the E-environment could be maximised.

“The key message of the strategy is that how we use ICTs is what really counts. We have to have smarter ways of doing things-understanding what we want to achieve, and using the technology to achieve it.

We must work to realise the benefits of ICTs by transforming government by seizing the opportunities that technology provides.”

Waitakere Online is one step in a process by local government to seize these opportunities and have a community driven portal that provides local, up-to-date content for residents and encourages usage of the internet.

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