Gigatown contest heats up

02:29, Jul 30 2014
damon odey
GIGATOWNTIM GREEN: Mayor Damon Odey shows #gigatowntim spirit with his green purchases at a local government conference.

With the end in sight of the year-long Gigatown competition, players in Timaru's campaign are changing strategy.

Gigatown is a competition being run by telecommunications company Chorus for the first town in the Southern Hemisphere to have one gigabyte speed broadband rolled out.

Timaru is currently in second position.

Mayor Damon Odey was in Nelson last week for a local government conference, where he continued to fight the good fight for gigtowntim.

Odey talked extensively to fourth-placed Porirua mayor Nick Leggett about each of their strategies.

"I revealed nothing," he said.


Odey believed Leggett was extremely committed to the job.

"He got married just prior to the conference and took his wife to conference. [Not such a ] great honeymoon but shows 100 per cent commitment," he said.

Odey talked to the mayor of another top five town, Nelson, and a Wanaka councillor about the competition.

"We believe there are great possibilities and other areas that the top five finalists may be able to leverage," he said.

Odey then hit the streets and bought Gigatown green sunglasses and a watch to wear to and from the conference.

"[I did it] to highlight our awesome position, and to scare any newcomers to the game away," he said.

Odey networked and leveraged help for Timaru from Selwyn councillor Sam Broughton.

Support which will be needed if Timaru makes the finals.

"I let him wear my Gigatown sunglasses with the Air NZ captains hat to hand lollies out on the plane and now I believe we have got some great support from our close neighbours Selwyn," he said.

Odey said being at the conference was inspiring and he enjoyed listening to presenters on local government issues and opportunities. "I also got to fly the #gigatowntim flag and I got to wind Tim Shadbolt up about his dodgy cheese rolls."

The Timaru Herald