13 Mar 2014

Broadband for rural Maori homes

7:32 am on 13 March 2014

Rural iwi across the country are in talks with Vodafone about how to get them hooked up or upgraded to broadband internet.

A laptop being used on a farm.

A laptop being used on a farm. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The telecommunications firm wants to get 240,000 non-urban homes online by June 2016 as part of the Government's rural broadband initiative.

Vodafone manager Caitlin Metz says the company has consulted some Maori groups to discuss providing faster internet to communities such as in Northland.

She says it has built and provided service from towers at Karikari, Ruatangata and Maungakaramea and is providing broadband to the eastern Bay of Plenty settlement of Ruatoki.

So far, she says, about 180,000 rural homes are using broadband, many of them Maori.