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A story of lack of inter-regional, regional and within district transport options compounded by poor, unreliable or no access to the internet or mobile services which are the key tool used to address isolated or rural communities with less essential and primary services based within their communities. And how this lack of accessibility compounds social, health and education issues.


Fibre internet improved access in most areas, but Ohakune and rural Ōhura still had issues. Cell phone reception was good in residential areas, but patchy or absent in rural areas and highways. Copper wire telephone infrastructure was degraded and unmaintained. Public transport was very limited and informal systems helped those without personal vehicles. Grocery deliveries were available across the District. Rising fuel costs added extra burdens on families.

Key Themes

  • Most areas have better internet with fibre, but Ohakune and rural Ōhura struggle
  • Cell phones work well in towns, but not on farms and roads
  • Old phone lines are broken and ignored
  • Few buses and trains, people rely on carpooling and hitchhiking
  • Groceries can be delivered everywhere, but fuel prices hurt families
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