Dual benefits in supporting Gigatown

21:24, May 14 2014
CHARITY CALL: Plunket administrator Ella Wilson, Gigatown Queenstown spokesman AJ Mason and Trentta business development manager Andres Bedoya are working together to promote the Gigatown competition while benefiting local charities.

The Gigatown Queenstown team have come up with a new idea to earn Gigapoints as well as get important cash into the pockets of worthy local charities.

The Gigatown competition requires towns to earn as many Gigapoints as possible to compete to become Australasia's most wired town - winning 1Gbps internet services for three years, supplied by Chorus.

Points are earned by using the hashtag #gigatownqtn on social media and Queenstown is now sitting fourth on the leader board, having hit one million points on the weekend.

It needs to be in the top five in September to enter the final round of the competition.

Spokesman A J Mason said that like many competing towns the Queenstown team has offered giveaways to encourage participation.

"It wasn't really firing ... it was too much about one person. So we wanted a mechanism that would let folks do more for the community."


The idea was born to have a business donate $1 to a charity for every #gigatownqtn comment made on a new "Community Chest" post on the Facebook page. Each comment must be made by a different individual.

In stepped Andres Bedoya, business development manager at marketing agency Trentta, who was keen to support the competition.

"We specialise in social media and want to support Gigatown. We believe having a really good internet in town will attract investors and enable all these big companies and small businesses to become better and stronger."

He agreed to put up the first $250 to be donated to Plunket - $1 for every #gigatownqtn comment.

He chose Plunket as the charity as three years ago his child was born and he remembered the support of Plunket through ante-natal classes.

"It was a very special moment," he said.

Plunket administrator Ella Wilson said the organisation was delighted to be the first recipient of the Gigatown Community Chest.

"Plunket appreciates all the help we can get. We may be going to the community again soon as our building may need recladding."

Mason said that in the first 24 hours of the Community Chest there had been 110 responses giving him hope that the $250 would quickly be reached.

Several more businesses were lined up to take part each with their own charity.

How can you help? Go to the Gigatown Queenstown Facebook page. Find the Community Chest post and make a comment using the #gigatownqtn hashtag. You can comment as many times as you like as every comment earns Gigapoints but each individual can only earn $1 for Queenstown Plunket.

The Southland Times