Participants feel internet access is variable, inconsistent in quality and in some cases not good enough to conduct business.
Cell phone coverage has recently improved with only outlying areas experiencing patchy coverage.
“The struggle is people say the internet is not good enough, though it must be improving. I think the internet’s been really good. They’ve just put in fibre now. But that’s not in Raurimu. We are a big community in itself. If you can do business on the internet now? Some people would say no. We do have broadband, but I don’t know. We only got cell phone 18 months ago. Before than we didn’t have cell phone on any network. I don’t know what the problem is but this guy that wanted to work there said there was something wrong, may be the line wasn’t fast enough. There’s definitely times of day, like if you want to watch a movie on a Friday night, it’s like pause…wait….pause… it goes again, or if I do work at the same time they want to watch a movie it doesn’t go well.”
“It’s similar in Whakapapa, it’s pretty much the same up there, they don’t have good broadband at all or cell phone.”
“Here in National Park cell phone is fine.”
“Even the paging network isn’t great. There’s quite a few fire fighters in Raurimu and their pagers don’t even go off. It affects the truck going out the door”.
National Park residents feel isolated and experience barriers to accessing health, social and other services. This is viewed as a barrier to the village’s growth.
“We’d get a lot more people from places like Auckland if we had more services. There’s a lot of people moving to places like Horopito and Ohakune, from Auckland. And they just seem to be closer to services.”
A car is essential to access any services due to National Park’s geographic isolation.
Children’s pursuits are limited by location and travel times, to access and participate in, sports and other extra-curricular activities.
“It’s difficult for afterschool activities though. My son likes to do this thing afterschool on Tuesday but I take the kids swimming in Taumarunui on Tuesday. So I can’t get him in Ohakune, so a friend brought him back today so he sits in her office until she’s finished work. And we’re lucky that that was available otherwise we’d have to say to him, ‘I know you’re desperate to do it but no, we can’t do it.’ I actually feel quite teary about that he because he was so desperate to do it and I’m so grateful to those guys. It feels hard to ask that of people, I know they’re willing but it’s hard to ask.”