New resident gets stuck in for Nelson

SALLY KIDSON
Last updated 14:27 08/05/2014
Michelle Lang
SALLY KIDSON/FAIRFAX NZ
LABOUR OF LOVE: Michelle Lang worked five 10- to 12-hour days for free on a video about how Nelson would benefit if it was the first town in the southern hemisphere to get lightning-fast broadband

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Michelle Lang feels so grateful to be living in Nelson she is donating much of her free time working on a campaign to bring superfast broadband to the city.

Michelle worked five 10- to 12-hour days for free on a video about how Nelson would benefit if it was the first town in the southern hemisphere to get lightning-fast broadband connection of one gigabit per second (1Gbps).

Her video, made up of her 75 drawings showing how Nelson would profit, was picked as the top video in a mini competition as part of the gigatown campaign run by Chorus.

"I believe in this. I think it is a good cause that is really going to do wonders for Nelson and bring in business and put us on the map," Michelle said of the gigatown Nelson campaign.

Gigatown Nelson's winning video won the city a mural painted by internationally renowned graffiti artist Elliot O'Donnell, or Askew One.

Askew One painted the mural on the back wall of Morrison Square last week. He also painted a black and white painting on a wall in Fresh Choice Nelson's carpark for a coffee and a few beers.

Michelle is a refugee of 9/11 and the Christchurch earthquake and feels lucky to be living in Nelson. She works in research and does statistical analysis for a US company, so her flexible work schedule allows her to donate so much time.

Her video was judged the best by an independent panel of judges led by Sheldon Grizzle in Chattanooga, in the United States. Chattanooga was the first town in the US to get an internet connection 200 times faster than the national average. Its fast internet connection speed has transformed Chattanooga from an industrial mountain town into a progressive centre of adventure, arts, culture and technology.

Askew One spent two days working on layered mural on a wall of Morrison Square that borders Selwyn Place.

The mural is of Rex Johnston, 9, and Sofie Hobbs, 10. The children are part of Central School's group GigaCentral. The group is backing the gigatown campaign and is making a video as part of the gigatown schools competition.

Sofie and Rex were chosen because they represent the face of Nelson's future.

The win has propelled Nelson into second place behind Wanaka in the competition.

Gigatown Nelson supporter Karen Lee worked to a tight time frame to ensure the mural happened in Nelson. She thanked everyone who had helped it go up.

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Karen says the mural win was fantastic, and gave the town a legacy from the competition no matter what happened.

She hoped more people would sign up to support Nelson. Supporters should also take an education-based quiz and earn Nelson extra points which was part of this months' gigatown mini competition.

Karen says Michelle is one of a number of supporters working on the competition. Michelle did fantastic artwork for the campaign, and had submitted a huge number of instagrams in a previous competition.

"She's our creative genius."

To sign up to support Nelson visit gigatown.co.nz.

- Nelson

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