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Faster rollout of broadband and mobile will improve connectivity to rural homes

The Government has announced that an extra $270 million will be spent on improving rural broadband and bridging cellphone blackspots in regions throughout New Zealand.

$130m will be spent on expanding fibre-optic ultrafast broadband (UFB) to another 60,000 homes and businesses in 190 towns.

$140m will extend the number of subsidised wireless broadband services to another 74,000 homes and businesses, as well as deliver mobile coverage to approximately 1000km of rural highways and more than 100 tourist areas.

Once completed, UFB will be available to 87 per cent of the population and 99 per cent will have access to high speed internet by 2022.

“The benefits of extra spending to expand connectivity for rural communities are immense. The services will lead to greater economic growth and better access to online education, social services and health information,” says Fiona Gower, National President of Rural Women New Zealand.

“Rural residents will feel safer with better mobile coverage, and the connectivity will reduce the feeling of isolation for those living in remote areas.”

In the past few years, RWNZ has been involved in discussions with nationwide broadband and mobile service providers and government agencies to ensure that rural connectivity remains a top priority. RWNZ is a member of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) and has provided feedback to Crown Fibre Holdings on the social and economic benefits of improved rural connectivity.

RWNZ policy work includes submissions on the RBI 2 and mobile black spots programmes, the draft Digital Technologies education curriculum and the Review of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

While the majority of the roll out contract has been won by Chorus and a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees; smaller wireless internet providers (WISPs) will receive work worth $13m.

Click here to read more about the roll out.


We spoke to Bridget Canning who is the operator of Wizwireless which is a provider of high speed wireless internet broadband for the Wairarapa region. 

“WIZwireless supports the Government in addressing the need to improve the broadband services that remote kiwis rely on and we will provide more and better services throughout the Wairarapa Region," says Bridget.

“WIZwireless is delighted that the Government has recognised the vital role that Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) already play in getting reliable and effective broadband to many rural and remote New Zealanders.

“WISPs all over New Zealand are going to deliver fast, modern broadband, that will meet or exceed the Government's target rural broadband specifications by using the latest fixed wireless technologies, this is how tens of thousands of rural kiwi's already get their broadband internet connections including WIZwireless.

“WISP's have proven themselves to be reliable, robust and resilient, during last year's Kaikoura earthquake Amuri Net was the only telecommunications network to come through intact and provided the community with vital connectivity in the days following the earthquake.

“This additional investment by the Government will allow us, the WISPs to upgrade our existing networks and build new sites that will expand our coverage to even more rural and remote internet users who are desperately in need of modern broadband connectivity.

“Individual WISPs who are participating in RBI2 will release their own plans for their local RBI2 programs, we are local businesses who know our communities very well and we are excited by the opportunities that will be created by improved broadband in our communities.”

Bridget received a Certificate of Special Recognition as an Enterprising Rural Woman, at the 2015 RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards for her business success to date.


 

Read All NewsRecent news


 

RURAL WOMAN LEADER ELECTED CHAIR OF LANDCARE TRUST

 

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is delighted that National President Fiona Gower has been elected Chair of the New Zealand Landcare Trust.

RWNZ has been a trustee organisation since the Trust’s inception over twenty years ago and continues to support its work in promoting sustainable land and water quality locally through its Members.

“Fiona is well-suited for the role of Chair of NZ Landcare Trust – she has been RWNZ’s representative on the Trust since 2016, has a deep understanding of farming and is very passionate about sustainable land use and improving water quality,” says National Chair, Penny Mudford.

“RWNZ works to build and support rural leaders and to provide opportunities for leadership development and growth.

“Fiona's experience as RWNZ National President, Board Member, and a former co-ordinator of the rural environment portfolio provides a great foundation for her new role at NZ Landcare Trust.

“We are delighted that Fiona was elected as Chair of New Zealand Landcare Trust and we will continue to support her,” says Ms Mudford.

ENDS

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact Penny Mudford ONZM on 027 246 1936

 

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria. 

 

 

RURAL SCHOOL BUS SERVICE REVIEW NEEDED

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is calling for a review of the school bus eligibility criteria, particularly in the rural areas.

“The safest way for children to get to school in rural New Zealand is by bus, however, the current eligibility criteria for the service means that children are being put in dangerous situations,” says Education Portfolio Convenor and Board Member, Sue Higgins.

“If children live within two kilometres of a rural school they are not eligible for the local bus service where there is one, and are forced to walk or cycle on roads with no shoulders, often used by logging trucks, stock trucks and milk tankers, making it treacherous for our children.

“RWNZ understands that parents are responsible for ensuring their children go to school, however, the rural bus is vital for farming families who have both a busy working life and distance, for those who live further away, to contend with.

“A review of the criteria applied to children’s eligibility for their local rural school bus service is needed – school by school.

“It’s time the Government showed leadership on keeping our rural children safe on their journey to and from school,” says Mrs Higgins.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 

Rural school bus service review needed.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand released a media release calling for a review of school bus eligibility criteria.  Read More

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit. 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

16 August 2018
For immediate release

 

RURAL MATERNITY CARE IN CRISIS

The downgrading of maternity care in rural Otago and Southland will be catastrophic says Rural Women New Zealand(RWNZ).

“On top of the news that Lumsden’s birthing unit has been downgraded to a pre- and post-natal care unit, RWNZ understands that Wanaka has lost its bid to have a primary birthing unit and this does not bode well for rural communities,” says Board Member and Health Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Whilst RWNZ is somewhat pleased that Lumsden will retain care facilities for any woman with pre- and post-natal needs, women ready to give birth will need to travel at least 50 kilometres to the nearest delivery suite.

“Wanaka is expecting 200 births this coming year and there will be no primary birthing unit, and like Lumsden, will become a hub.

“The Otago-Southland region has a huge hinterland with many young parents who are choosing to have families and raise them in this wonderful part of the world and are at risk due to distance from the maternity care they are entitled to.

"No consideration has been given to those parents who have needed the services provided at Lumsden and already travelling up to two hours, now having an extra 50 kilometres added.

“When assessing maternity needs there is always two lives to consider, the mother and the child, and its outrageous that at the time in their lives when they should be close to their families they are not able to be, due to poor decision-making.

“It is not acceptable that pregnant women in rural areas of the South Island are now miles away from anywhere that can support them to have safe births, something a rural impact analysis would have highlighted.

“It’s time the Government and DHB ensured rural communities have the same access to maternity care as urban communities expect,” says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

For more information, please contact National Office.

[email protected]

04 473 5524

 

 

 

 

 

Rural maternity care in crisis

Thursday, August 16, 2018

 Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement that Lumsden will lose its birthing unit.  Read More

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

New Zealand's farming women celebrating 125 years on

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Please read below our media release about Suffrage125 celebrations with RWNZ across the country. 

 

NEW ZEALAND’S FARMING WOMEN CELEBRATING 125 YEARS ON

Rural women across the country have been celebrating the 125th year of universal suffrage in a variety of events says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“The 125th celebration of the day women finally won the right to vote is such a big milestone in New Zealand’s history that commemoration events will to be held over several days,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ Suffrage Day celebrations ranged from sharing family stories about collecting signatures on the petition, marches through rural towns, to our involvement in the ‘What Women Want’ project.

“Other events include capsule openings, celebrations alongside other community groups, and screenings of women-centric movies including ‘She Shears’.

“Our social media campaign in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary Industries showcasing New Zealand’s primary sector women is my personal highlight of the Suffrage 125 commemorations.

“Many of our Members will be celebrating right up until 28 November, which is the date of the first election in which women could vote in 1893,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

For further information, or to schedule an interview, please contact:
Rural Women New Zealand
National Office
04 473 5524
[email protected]


 

 Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

 

 

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards will be held on the evening of Tuesday, 20 November 2018 in Wellington in the Banquet Hall at Parliament.

A review of the Enterprising Rural Women Awards has been completed by the RWNZ Board with feedback from members and participants, external advice, and the awards partners.

The awards have been renamed the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards and NZI is the Premier Partner. The categories have been broadened, the application process has been updated and the judging criteria strengthened.

 

The NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards give an outstanding opportunity to showcase your business. The event attracts extensive media coverage and promotional opportunities. All winners will receive a membership of Rural Women New Zealand for one year. All category winners will each receive $1000 in prize money and a trophy, and the Supreme Winner will receive a further $1000 in prize money.

 

 

“Winning the Supreme Award was such an amazing result. I am proud of my achievements and honoured to be surrounded by such inspiring, talented and strong women,”

- Debra Cruickshank of Tannacrieff Wines, Supreme winner 2017.

 

The categories for the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards 2018 are:

  • Emerging business: Awarded to a business starting out in its journey and achieving exceptional results. Open to businesses that have been running from 2 – 5 years.
  • Love of the Land: Harnessing the potential of New Zealand’s land, environment or products of the land, to create a successful business enterprise.
  • Creative Arts: A business specialising in the creative arts working in a rural environment or using rural materials.
  • Innovation: An enterprise that challenges the status quo to bring something new and innovative to the market or utilising rural resources in an innovative way.
  • Rural Champion: A person or business who champions the rural sector or a rural enterprise – an outstanding contributor who goes above and beyond the normal in their support rural enterprise. Open to anybody.
 

A Supreme winner will be chosen from all category finalists, who has shown excellence and outstanding achievement across all entry criteria.

Please read the media release launching the NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards here:

If you are interested in supporting the awards as a category partner, please contact [email protected].

NZI Rural Women New Zealand Business Awards

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

  Read More