New opportunities with digital hub launch in Ōpōtiki
Ōpōtiki’s new digital hub was launched on Tuesday 24 November 2020 and provides a wealth of new opportunities for individuals, community groups, and small businesses to access high quality digital access and technology.
The launch was an opportunity to explore some of the hangarau matihiko (digital technologies) as Rachel Esson, New Zealand's National Librarian Te Pouhuaki, zoomed in from Wellington.
Ms Esson acknowledged the work of library staff, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), council and the community to get the new Hub off the ground. She acknowledged that the space would be even more important during the national downturn following COVID-19.
Ōpōtiki District Council has been developing the digital hub with a $400,000 grant from the PGF’s digital connectivity funding package.
Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, explained that the hub would move into the new Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi which was being built just a couple of doors over.
“The library has always offered incredible support for a range of digital services and I know those became particularly vital for people during the lockdown and even more has been done by our incredible library staff.
“We had always intended to do more as we moved into Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi in September next year, but this funding allowed us to move that intention forward and open this regional digital hub so we can start to get the benefits now, while Te Tāhuhu is being built next door,” Mayor Riesterer said.
The Mayor pointed out that the facilities would benefit the whole community, for contractors and small businesses looking for occasional office space or meeting rooms, shared spaces, hot-desking, and video conferencing, to young people wanting to know more about virtual reality or 3D printers. All these were now possible.
“I am sure in some of the larger centres in Aotearoa, good internet is taken for granted, but in our district there are still some areas and many people with limited ability to access the internet or the tools to use it. This space helps to bridge that gap and provide a space for the community to come together, foster entrepreneurship and connect - in both the physical and technological sense of the word!” Mayor Riesterer said.