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Addressing digital divide

Technology for all at Kaiti Mall regional hub

A special karakia marked the official opening yesterday of a new regional digital hub at Kaiti Mall.

Morehu Pewhairangi from Te Hahi Ringatu led the karakia and about 20 invited guests were led around the new upstairs space as the hub was blessed with holy water.

Tairawhiti Technology Trust, which already runs a drop-in technology hub at Kaiti Mall, received funding of $400,000 for the business hub through the Provincial Growth Fund.

Trustees spoke at the opening, with Maurice Alford emphasising the importance of community engagement and interaction to make the hub a success.

The regional digital hub will address the digital divide, with the aim of making technology accessible to all.

Monthly business seminars are planned and help and advice will be on offer for people wanting to start new businesses or improve existing ones.

“Over the next five years we’re going to work hard to make a difference,” said trustee Polly Crawford.

The new business hub consists of rooms set up for hot-desking with multiple computer work stations, a conference room, kitchen and bathroom.

The hub will allow people to connect for business development and support, and offer services such as free Wi-Fi, and guidance on using the internet for business marketing and skills development.

An open day followed the blessing with the public invited to come in and see the new space and find out more about what would be on offer in terms of education in business and technology.

The hub will be open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

HAPPY TO HELP: Tairawhiti Technology trustees at the opening of the new regional digital hub yesterday. From left are Polly Crawford, Matt Clark, Maurice Alford, Carolyn Carpendale and Helena Mill. Picture by Liam Clayton