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Cellphone reception in Owhango is viewed to be relatively good, dependent on service provider. Internet on the other hand is perceived to be slow.

“We’re on the main road but I have had untold trouble here as well and during the past I’ve put up with them for a long time and you’ll finally get someone saying that’s not right, and they fix it and then everybody’s got it better for a while. And fibre won’t rectify those issues because I’m still on copper. And we could go 5G and I could get all my internet from the cell phone tower but I don’t want to do that. It has an impact on my business.”

“The school is on a different system and it’s very good.”

Like other parts of the district, the lack of public transport is a key cause of isolation in Owhango.

“Young kids when they leave school out here, they have to have transport, and unless they own their own car, they’re stuffed.”

Lack of transport is seen to be factor in isolation and loneliness. There is a belief that if you are unable to drive or own a vehicle, you will live elsewhere.

“You just tend to not be here if you don’t own a car, because if you live in the village and don’t own a car, you’re poked. You tend to rely on friends and family but some people don’t necessarily have that. It depends on others. It’s probably not something you could fix, and you just wouldn’t come and live here if you needed to get to places and couldn’t drive.

Years ago we used to have a bus. There used to be a long time ago.”

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