Rural Connectivity not ready for COVID-19

Rural New Zealand is facing a COVID crisis thanks to the Government’s failure to secure their digital future, says National’s Digital Economy & Communications and Rural Communities Spokespersons Melissa Lee and Joseph Mooney.

“Alongside the Government’s failure to provide New Zealanders with a plan to get our country back in business and end the MIQ Lottery of misery the Government continues to leave rural connectivity behind causing real fears that families across our regions will be unable to access critical health services and information when COVID strikes their towns.

“Rural New Zealanders have already had to do the hard yards during lockdowns of the past 18 months facing network congestion, poor connectivity options and data limits that have seen many of them having to choose between their child’s education or keeping their businesses afloat. This is morally bankrupt for those working in the primary sectors keeping our economy intact.

“We need the Government to act immediately to reassure rural families they will be able to access digital health and COVID support services when DELTA reaches their communities.

“The Government has to urgently strengthen rural New Zealand digital connectivity before it’s too late.

“The Government must act now before COVID reaches rural New Zealand and regional New Zealand faces a health crisis” says Lee and Mooney.