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First opened in 2005 in Manukau City in temporary facilities, the flagship Clubhouse 274 developed a three-year strategic plan aimed at significantly increasing digital fluency among young people and their families in Otara, and making it New Zealand's "most connected community".
In February 2009, a state-of-the-art, purpose-built community facility was opened on the campus of Clover Park Middle School and Te Whanau o Tupuranga, supported by ASB Community Trust, Tindall Foundation, and others.
Here youth can interact with ICT, mostly after school, and develop skills for the 21st century workforce in a fun and stimulating environment.
Learning is visually based and includes the ability to do video production, music recording and computer design.
The results have been stunning, with Clubhouse members having their work recognised globally.
On May 27 of this year Clubhouse 274 celebrated a major milestone event - the launch of New Zealand's world-leading model of a community-based, fully integrated, digital learning environment - the Clubhouse Connected Community Project.
At the launch, Prime Minister John Key and Minister Tariana Turia's representative announced the Government's commitment to spending $8.3 million over the next three years on Clubhouse 274 and Computers in Homes, to educate and empower communities with limited access to, and/or the skills, to use digital technology.
Today, Clubhouse 274 and the Clubhouse Connected Community Project deliver a world-class model of an integrated digital learning environment and a seamless set of digital solutions where Clubhouse 274 operates as a hub between schools and the community. This includes:
* A fibre network supported by, and part of, the Vector Metro Ethernet providing ultra fast broadband to a free community-wide wireless network built by Rural Link, to all Clover Park residents (5000 homes) in association with community partners such as Housing New Zealand.
* An online portal allowing the community to communicate, create and share digital content. This was developed with the University of Auckland, and funded by the Ministry of Youth Development and Manukau City Council.
* Provision of low-cost digital devices through the Intel Classmate Laptop project, funded by Microsoft NZ and the Auckland Airport Community Trust.
* A mobile Clubhouse 274, sponsored by Hewlett Packard NZ, which allows connectivity anywhere within the immediate precinct of the Computer Clubhouse Connected Community Project.
For more than six years, Clubhouse 274 has worked hard to establish a committed and ardent group of public, private, and non-profit sector partners who work tirelessly on behalf of young people.
Clubhouse 274 and the Clubhouse Connected Communities Project is a complementary match to the Government's programme of investing in education, 21st century infrastructure such as ultra fast broadband, and targeting life-enhancing skills development for youth with ground-breaking initiatives such as Trades Academies and the Youth Guarantee Programme.
There is plenty of evidence to prove that the Computer Clubhouse model delivers results.
Clubhouse 274 has investments from numerous New Zealand universities and the New Zealand ICT industry, as well as off-shore interests including Intel, the Adobe Corporation, Autodesk, and the National Science Foundation of America - effectively making it one of the few not-for-profit exporters in New Zealand.