Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

NetHui a hit in Rotorua (+ video)

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For many people at a hui in Rotorua today, the "internet is like breathing".

Meeting new people and hearing other's ideas on internet-related topics were the goals for about 75 people from around the region who attended the NetHui event at the Rotorua Lakes Council.

It included discussion sessions on topics suggested by the NetHui community, such as digital citizenship in education, Maori ICT, culture and heritage online, digital inclusion and rural business.

This year there has also been NetHui events held in Nelson and South Auckland, brought to the communities by InternetNZ.

Each community helps tailor the programme and lead the day, aiming to make each event about issues which actually matter to them.

InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter said the event was people talking together about the internet, how they were using it and what their hopes were.

"It's a chance for people to come and share their own experiences and learn from each other."

Mr Carter said it was the first time they had brought the event to Rotorua.

The event was mostly a conversational learning opportunity, he said.

"It's a way for people to learn and find out more about internet topics they are interested in and will meet other people that might share their concerns or have another perspective."

Whakatane ICT consultant Hurricane Hunia, attended with a few of his colleagues.

"I love to hear what people are doing and how they are doing it, and the issues they are facing and how they are overcoming it."

Mr Hunia said he had seen people having the same challenges as him so he was hoping to catch up with them. He said there had also been great Maori participation.

Rotorua's Chey Milne said he did not work in the internet space, but in media where the "internet is like breathing".

He said he had enjoyed hearing people's different ideas and perspectives, and meeting new people.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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