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Some residents were concerned that the new subdivision near Ōwhango was not well connected to the village by footpaths. While some noted a lack of footpaths within the subdivision itself, for others it was not a significant concern:

"The issue is that in this new subdivision, where these families are going to be raised, is that there is not any footpaths. If they're going to go to the school, are you going to drive all the time?"

"Yeah, getting across that main road is a bit of a problem."

"It's about 3km, it does spread, it's probably about a kilometre from the edge of Ōwhango. Just count the number of kids. One, two, three, four, five... and then (redacted) and (redacted)... and then there's (redacted). And then the new guy..."
"It's such a quiet road (within the subdivision) though, it's not too bad. But the whole getting across the (State Highway) road is the problem. The crossing of the main highway would be more of a concern for me, sending them that way to school."

"And there's that walkway along the railway, that's not maintained. Down the side there. That grassy… thing that comes along. But it means they're not biking along the main road."

"It's not great, so most of them are being driven to school. Which is not great for the school, there are too many cars going to the school and too many cars outside of the school. Council wants them to put parking on the school property, which puts all the problem on to the school. "

"We would like the 70km sign moved to the other sign of the Kawautahi Road"

"That's a good idea. Mmm."

"We need to get on to that."

"Moving the 70km zone is great, but it's a Waka Kotahi issue."

"I think the Council can pressure. I'm sure they can. I'm sure we can talk to the Council about that."
"It sounds like a great idea, it would make a big difference."

"On the railway working sort of track, on the western side of the rail way line from Kawautahi road to Ōwhango here in the village. People go up and down there on their bikes so there is quite a track and that's something that if we can have that maintained by council or someone, something, so that children ... it's long grass, but if it could be mown so the children could ride their bikes along there."

"It's fenced off from the railway."

In terms of roading and infrastructure, participants expressed that they,

"…hope Ōwhango doesn’t change too much, too quickly. A lot of people like the community spirit. Like the old worldliness of it all. Some roads needed to be sealed, but a lot of roads I’m quite happy to leave unsealed. It discourages people from going down them."

"You come here and drive around our little streets here and there are not a lot of footpaths, and I actually don't mind that. We've got nice wide verges and people can walk on them, and it has a much, much softer, calmer sort of feel about it rather than walking around all on concrete. That's one thing I like about Ōwhango."

Cell phone coverage is in Ōwhango and the immediate surrounds was considered good, albeit restricted to coverage to a few service providers:

"I think it’s good for most if you’re on Spark, or Skinny, if you’re affiliated with that. As long as you’re on that particular network."
"Reception is pretty good but obviously as soon as you get into some of the hills you lose it a bit."
"But that’s because we’re locals and know what we’re dealing with. But somebody turns up and they’re on one of those other plans, then they can be stuffed. Like tradesmen when we were building our house. It was a problem for them. If they got lost or whatever. So it’s a problem for people who aren’t local."

In 2020, internet service in Ōwhango was available but considered very slow and problematic for some small businesses. Since that time some fibre has been installed, but participants were not clear where it was available, and for others fibre installation was cost prohibited:

"Internet through the wire is available in the village."
"We've got fibre here in the village. "
"Oh really, I thought it was on this side but not that side?"
"Fibre, I know (redacted) looked at getting it up Hammond Place because they're big users but it was going to cost everyone on Hammond Place over two grand to get it from the main road up there."
"So does that mean you'd be able to get it on the rural broadband?"
"Right now we're on wireless broadband which is fine for us but if you were a heavy user you might need to, might want something better. I personally don't have any problem with the internet."
"Yes, nor me."
"Ours is quite good."
"I just paid $600 to go onto AoNet for the rural..."

Given the lack of public transport service in Ōwhango, most people who did not have a private vehicle got by with the help of friends or family, and some took advantage of grocery delivery services.

"Friends and family. Yeah, phone a friend, or a neighbour."
"Groceries can get run out here from New World now. I think they would do it once a week. But not many people know."

Whilst residents felt that groceries would be more accessible for all if a dairy were to open in Ōwhango, they were less sure that it would be a sustainable business:

"You can buy milk at the café. I’d love to see more stuff that you can buy there like bread. But that’s not their problem."
"Someone is welcome to open up the dairy again, I would love that."
"And that’s one of the reasons why people say the place needs to grow. The problem is that the place would have to be the place of Matapuna to justify a dairy. And right now a dairy in Matapuna is not viable."
"But there was a dairy here for many years."
"When the population was bigger and travelling to Taumarunui was seen as the big trip for the day."
"Now it might be more for people passing through."

Although an InterCity bus travelled through Ōwhango, it was a source of frustration that it did not stop in the village without passengers paying an extra charge. The train that travelled through the area was not seen as a source of transport for local people to travel around the District and considered more applicable to tourists:

"The Intercity bus will stop here if you pay a surcharge. So I’m going to pick up (redacted, personal name) next Thursday from Taumarunui. He's travelling from Wellington to Taumarunui because it's about a third of the cost for me to run into Taumarunui to pick him up than it is to get the bus to stop here."
"The train stops in National Park, now it will stop in Taumarunui. It costs a lot more money than the bus, but it's really a tourism thing."

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