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Barbara Kuriger – MP for Taranaki-King Country

Jonathan Young – MP for New Plymouth

Hon Chester Borrows – MP for Whanganui

Media statement

26 January 2017

Local MPs welcome UFB expansion in Taranaki

Taranaki MPs Hon Chester Borrows, Barbara Kuriger, and Jonathan Young have today welcomed news of phase two of the Government’s ultrafast broadband programme to the Taranaki region.

“I am excited about the Government’s announcement today that the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) programme will be extended to 151 additional towns across New Zealand, plus 43 suburban fringe areas around the larger centres which were covered by the first phase of the programme,” says Kuriger.

“This expansion is great news for the country, and especially great news for the Taranaki region. Nine towns across Taranaki are set to be connected, driving the growth of our region and helping provincial New Zealand stay connected to the rest of the world,” said Kuriger.

"Broadband didn't exist in 1999 but now we couldn't function as a modern society without it, because it is essential to do business, educate, and engage outside of Taranaki conveniently,” said Borrows.

"This is like the arrival of domestic electricity and telephone services were back in the mid-20th century - absolutely essential,” said Borrows.

“News that broadband is coming to Stratford, Eltham, Manaia and Patea is welcome indeed as there are many households and businesses in these towns dependant on modern connectivity. Thousands of households and businesses are already making the most of the UFB network since phase one of the rollout, and phase two will enhance the connections,” said Borrows.

“Improved connectivity is valuable in growing our regional economy, driving innovation, and supporting our local education and health services. This expansion will enable more businesses that rely on the digital internet platform to be located in Taranaki and connect with speed and reliability to anywhere in the world,” said Young.

“I have spent time over the last 2 years talking with businesses, understanding the connectivity needs and working with the local authorities to put together the proposal for the extension of UFB,” said Young.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Inglewood community who rallied together to produce an awesome video highlighting Inglewood’s bid for ultrafast broadband. This has resulted in Inglewood being one of the towns identified for connection,” said Kuriger.

Taranaki towns already connected include New Plymouth and Hawera. Today’s announcement extends the rollout to Urenui, Inglewood, Waitara, Okato, Opunake, Stratford, Eltham, Manaia, and Patea. The expansion means an additional 23,000 locals will be better connected.

More information about the rollout is available at www.broadband.govt.nz.

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