Waiouru is geographically isolated from many of the services and amenities of larger towns. However, it was considered likely that the geographic isolation did not impact so much on a town where, according to residents, there were few unemployed, retired, or elderly. There are a few people without transport, but they rely on friends and volunteers.
“You have to drive everywhere to get to anything significant.” “There are degrees of isolation here.” “It might get cheap rent, but I drive 20,000km a year…so there’s a flip side.”
Access to the internet and cell phone coverage is very variable in the Waiouru area.
“I live 20 minutes out of town and we have no cell phone service or internet”
“Cell phone coverage is not too bad. Hit and miss. Depends on who you’re with”.
“The school is the only place in the whole town that’s got fibre”
“My phone never goes to 4G. But now we’re getting fibre and that will negate the whole 4G 5G thing”
Groceries were considered relatively expensive in Waiouru with the largest grocery outlet being a Four Square shop. Most people do their shopping out of town if they want a ‘cheap shop’.