OPINION: The Gigatown competition is well under way and Timaru is in a competitive spot - seventh on the leaderboard and nipping at Gisborne's heels.
Our challenge? To finish in the top five before September 2014. But what exactly is this Gigatown competition?
It is a competition run by Chorus in which towns fight to become the Gigatown.
The town with the loudest online voice will win the southern hemisphere's fastest internet - and at a discounted wholesale rate, too. This sounds a lot like a marketing campaign for Chorus, doesn't it? Well, yes, it is, but - more importantly - it is a marketing campaign for all of us to promote Timaru and show why we deserve to be the Gigatown. Winning Gigatown will open Timaru to bigger business and better learning opportunities, and much better internet for everyone.
The competition began in October. Timaru has faced some challenges, but has also done some great things so far. Our biggest challenge to date is building awareness of the campaign, so everyone knows about it. We dropped off the leaderboard at one stage - and had other towns thinking we could not compete at all.
However, Timaruvians fought back and the city is still climbing.
Great things have happened in Gigatown Timaru as well: For example, St Mary's Choir and friends singing O Come, O Come to Timaru - a tongue-in-cheek rewrite of an old carol.
It really highlights that #gigatowntimaru is bigger than just "young'uns and their interwebs", but is a real community effort. We also saw the free wi-fi extended to down at the bay as well.
This year can easily be the one Timaru becomes #gigatowntimaru. We are a powerful, eventful, flourishing community. Be sure to sign up at gigatown.co.nz to receive a confirmation email. Click on that email and then select Timaru.
Join us on Facebook at facebook.com/gigatowntim and write a comment about what you love about Timaru. To collect points for Timaru put it in this format: "I love #gigatowntimaru because ..."
You will see more of us out and about this year working toward the goal of becoming #gigatowntimaru. If you have questions, contact Aoraki Development Business and Tourism or go online to gigatowntimaru.co.nz
Angus Westgarth has been appointed Timaru's Gigatown ambassador by Aoraki Development Business and Tourism.
- © Fairfax NZ News