Menu
Farmers call for better rural connectivity

Farmers call for better rural connectivity

$21m "a drop in the required connectivity bucket"

Credit: Dreamstime

Federated Farmers has dismissed the Government's pledge of $21 million to create a series of regional digital hubs in rural areas as merely "a drop in the required connectivity bucket".

Federated Farmers' telecommunications spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said the lack of regional connectivity had been highlighted by the introduction of mandatory payday filing.

From 1 April 2019 any organisation with more than $50,000 in payroll will be required for file payroll data electronically within two days of payday, rather than monthly as a present.

"If you have decent connectivity then you will be able to comply with this change simply," Hoggard said. ""Staff will be able to log their hours via their smartphones, which can go into your cloud-based payroll software, which will then automatically pay everyone, and send the required data to IRD.

"However, without decent connectivity, smartphones are useless along with cloud-based software, and then that rural businesses paperwork mountain just got a little higher."

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on 4 February that the government would invest in Regional Digital Hubs (RDHs) in towns to connect local people and businesses to digital services, as part of the $21 million package for digital connectivity in the Provincial Growth Fund.

RDHs were described as "place-based facilities which may include key digital services such as free connectivity (via WiFi), co-working spaces for businesses and potentially council activities, event spaces, some support for technical connectivity and guidance on use of the internet for business purposes.

They will open initially in Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti/Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatū-Whanganui and Tai Poutini/West Coast.

Separately, under the PGF the government has awarded contracts worth $130 million for the, previously announced expansions of the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two/Mobile Black Spots Fund programme saying these would take coverage to 99.8 percent of the population over the next four years.

However, the focus of the PGF is on a number of 'surge regions': Tairāwhiti/East Coast, Hawke’s Bay, Tai Tokerau/Northland, the Bay of Plenty, Tai Poutini/West Coast and Manawatū-Whanganui.

With Tai Poutini/West Coast the only one on the South Island PGF focus areas account for only 15 percent of the South Island land mass.

"We’re caught between the competing forces of slowly catching rural up to what urban takes for granted and quickly seeing urban shoot further ahead of where rural could reach," Hoggard said.

"Rural can’t be left to lag behind the rest of the country. The current service provided to rural New Zealand is best politely described as sporadic."


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags government

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments