Katikati’s new regional digital hub in The Centre, Pātuki Manawa, will be open on December 3 for the local community to discover new opportunities for grassroots digital access and small business potential.
The inaugural Digital Hub Open day will be from 3pm to 6pm and everyone is welcome to explore the opportunities that can be accessed by individuals, local businesses and community groups.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council has been developing the sub-region’s first digital hub with the first instalment of a $400,000 grant it received earlier this year from the Provincial Growth Fund’s (PGF) digital connectivity funding package.
Council’s Customer Service and Governance Manager Barbara Whitton says it’s a great day for the sub-region and is the first step in Council’s aim to improve digital literacy and increase access across all its communities.
“This digital hub offers 24/7 secure digital access for businesses and self-employed people, offering free Wi-Fi, co-working spaces and space to present digital products and services.
"Early in the New Year there will be a focus on developing services that will aim to increase community entrepreneurial and digital capabilities and skills,” says Barbara.
“Digital connectivity is something many of us take for granted, yet there is still some limited ability to access the internet or the tools to use it in our communities.
"This digital hub aims to connect the community using digital technologies, shared space, hot-desking, video conferencing and meeting spaces. It's a tech-space for business, freelancers and community to come together.”
On the day there will be free demonstrations and experts on site to introduce people to the opportunities available.
The Digital Hub will provide a professional environment for people wanting to participate and collaborate within their community, start businesses or explore business ideas.
Central Government’s digital connectivity fund of $21 million is to improve community technology skills and give easier access to digital resources across several regions in New Zealand.
Katikati was one of five regions to receive PGF funding for a digital hub. Each receives $400,000 over a five-year period. The other regions are Gisborne, Levin, Woodville and Murupara.
There are now 13 regions nationwide with digital hubs.