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The general lack of services or difficulty accessing services in Ohakune was seen to contribute to older people leaving, but also younger people, too.

"In the last six years we would have lost two staff and their families, they’ve moved out, with their families due to a lack of services. Optometrists, indoor facilities for children."

Limited public transport options were described, with the one bus a day that travels from Whanganui enroute to Hamilton and the train that stopped in Ohakune mentioned by participants. It was noted that putting these inter-regional services aside, there was “nothing for around town.” Transportation problems sometimes impacted businesses getting workers to their jobs:

"Even yesterday I went past the station and I saw people getting off the train and they had their bags and I thought, oh well, they’re in for a walk! There’s no taxi, no bus!"
"But their accommodation provider should be picking them up. But if they’re Bach-caring it, there won’t be."
"Transport is a problem with getting staff to work as well, but we did sort out transport for them. We did try that. But yes, transport was a big issue."

The Waimarino Health Shuttle was noted as a resource to assist people in accessing health and other goods and services in Whanganui.

I’ve used them once because my car was getting done. They took me to Whanganui to the hospital. But then to Pak n Save, Countdown. I was like wow! So I don’t know how much, it’s just a donation. They might go everyday but I know they go on weekends and take a lot of old people to do their jobs.

While there were private transport providers available to drive tourists around, they were considered to be expensive and not a valid option for local people to get around.

"There is a transportation plan submitted in the revitalisation plan but from the sounds of it, it hasn’t been adopted as a public transit system that would benefit tourists and locals alike."

For those in the community who did not, or could not drive,

"They rely on friends.
Or else they hitchhike. People that live here.
Yes, people who live here."

Whereas in 2020 variable or mixed reports of internet accessibly and quality in the town were reported depending on whether you lived in the township or rural areas, in 2023 even those living in the urban area expressed dissatisfaction with the speed and quality of internet.

"It's terrible."
"Especially when it rains."
"I’ve got fibre and it's still terrible."
"I've been waiting for fibre for 12 months. Apparently, they're going to do it next month but apparently, it's still not that great."
"It made barely any difference."
"It's horrendous. I’ve got two teenagers and pretty much when they're home I can't watch anything."
"We saw that during lock down."
"At the school it's inconsistent. Also, when the students were working from home during COVID on devices, then it couldn't manage."
"Even in hospitality at seven o’clock at night, the Eftpos is just ‘doo doo doo doo doo’ because everyone is using it. On a Saturday night it's horrendous."
"You can’t get internet on the first seven k’s on the Mountain Road. Did you notice that? Only a kilometre from town!"
"The cell phone reception drops as well for a stretch of that road."
"I’ve been stuck on the road and trying to update and see what’s going on and you can’t."
"I saw fibre advertised, fibre – ultrafast internet. We got fibre a few months ago and it’s like, nothing new at all. I talked to our family who lives in Tauranga or Auckland and they’re like, “How’s your fibre? What’s your ping?” or whatever the number is and I’m like, we have fibre, but theirs is…ours is, like, it’s still loading. You just pay more for the same thing."
"We don't have fibre in Rangataua. We've had to change our provider four times over the years. We start off with them, and for the first year or two it's great. Then all of a sudden it just plummets and we switch providers and we're now with Starlink and it's good."

With no noticeable change expressed since 2020, Cell phones are still considered patchy.

"Mine’s good."
"Very patchy."
"In Rangataua it’s on and off."
"Here’s not too bad, I’ve got a work phone and a home phone and you can get some signal if you head toward Whanganui. Toward Horopito, nah."
"I’ve heard in some places in the world there’s a thing called 5G. If you get 4 here, you’re lucky."

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