The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.
“Connecting the three Marae – Takitūtū, Te Niho o Te Atiawa and Toroānui – to high speed broadband will make a big difference for the people of Parihaka,” Shane Jones said.
The investment is part of the $21m investment into marae connectivity and regional digital hubs programme announced in February, of which $20m was funded by the PGF.
“Marae are meeting places for whānau, hapū and iwi, and are central to many rural communities. Improving connectivity helps them remain relevant for younger generations, and provides economic opportunities for local people,” Shane Jones said.
Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta said this investment is a further example of working alongside the Parihaka community to improve their connectivity to each other and the wider community.
“The opportunity to extend the reach of the ‘Parihaka story’ via the web strengthens the enduring legacy contribution of tūpuna Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi to promote peace and reconciliation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
The Parihaka community agreed a reconciliation agreement with the Crown in 2017, which included an apology for the invasion by Crown troops in 1881 following peaceful protests against land confiscations. More than 400 residents were imprisoned following the invasion.
The digital connectivity project is part of wider infrastructure development being undertaken by the Parihaka Papakāinga Trust on behalf of the community following the reconciliation agreement.
The Marae have been connected with upgraded equipment from Primo Wireless, one of Crown Infrastructure Partners’ existing rural broadband partners based in New Plymouth. The Marae have a 100Mbps connection with uncapped data, are linked together and have access points providing widespread wifi access across the entire Pa.