Hawera Hot Spot aims to attract more than those wanting free wi-fi access

Nikki Watson and Margie Jones are looking forward to the Hawera Hot Spot launch on July 22 at 10am.

Nikki Watson and Margie Jones are looking forward to the Hawera Hot Spot launch on July 22 at 10am.

Townspeople and visitors alike will no longer have to gather at the Hawera Library for internet access - the CBD is getting free wi-fi. 

The Hawera Hot Spot, intentionally named after Hawera meaning 'breath of fire', will give the town access to free wi-fi along the length of shops on High Street.

The project, which was initiated by Bizlink with the help of the Hawera Community Board, PrimoWireless and other local partners, will be launched on Saturday, July 22 between 10am and 1pm at the Square on the corner of Union and High Sts. 

Co-ordinators Margie Jones and Nikki Watson said it seemed a little "prehistoric" having people huddled outside the library. 

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"It's just bringing us up to speed with modern-day living really," Jones said. "So that people see Hawera as an up to date town, not somewhere that's kind of left in the dark ages."

She said this was beneficial for a large group of people. 

"It's good for the locals, but it's also a way to attract people into town and provide something that our visitors are looking for," Jones said. 

Kelly Ellis, a PrimoWireless 'hunter gatherer', said the hot spot was simple to use and  didn't require a log in, or password. 

"It's just available there for people to use and there isn't a set limit," Ellis said. 

"However, it is going to be monitored and where there are people downloading lots of things, they can be kicked off." 

A large aim of the wi-fi is to bring people into the CBD, and Ellis said it tended to work. 

"The idea is, as it happened in other towns, it draws people into the central business district," Ellis said. 

Jones said there will be signs and flags to direct people into CDB to find the wi-fi. 

"It's got our little wi-fi sign which we had linked in with our hot spot, because it's got our flame. 

"It's the breath of fire."

The community is asked to come along on the launch to partake in fun activities, and learn more about the wi-fi. 

Ellis said there  would be 'hot spot wizards' floating around to help people get on to the wi-fi, and answer any questions.

There will be hot sauce tasting and voting to suit the theme as well as other activities on the day. 

People with a hot sauce recipe are encouraged to enter it in the competition by getting the finished product to Bizlink by 2pm on Friday, July 21. 

 - Stuff

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