Wanaka seeks help in Gigatown bid

17:00, May 25 2014

Gigatown Wanaka has asked the Queenstown Lakes District Council for $20,000 to boost its Gigatown campaign despite being in competition with Queenstown.

The council's draft annual plan received two submissions from Wanaka Chamber of Commerce chairman Alistair King on behalf of the chamber and Gigatown Wanaka.

"Gigatown Wanaka got off to a strong and successful start, but we are now becoming out-gunned by towns that have dedicated staff and council funding that is well beyond that of Wanaka," King said.

The winner of the Gigatown competition, held by Chorus, would be the first town in the Southern hemisphere to access a one gigabit per second internet connection.

Wanaka top of the competition on 1.61 million points, ahead of second-placed Nelson on 1.35 million points. Queenstown was fourth on 1.07 million.

Gigatown Wanaka will be approaching other associations for investment. The chamber, Lake Wanaka Tourism and Wanaka businesses are being asked to help raise $50,000 to fund administration, promotions, marketing materials and operating expenses to see the project through to completion.

"We are very confident that Wanaka will win the Gigatown competition and the result will be extremely positive for your business and the town economy," King said.

The chamber submission asked for the plan to include a $250,000 investment in ultra-fast broadband in Wanaka, up from an earlier proposal of $180,000. Wanaka was not included in the government's ultra fast broadband initiative.



The Southland Times