Fast-track for free Wi-Fi in Raetihi

By Staff Reporter

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Clive Manley
Clive Manley

Ruapehu District Council may fast-track plans for free Wi-Fi in Raetihi to resolve issues caused by people gathering to use the library Wi-Fi after dark.

Police had asked council to turn the free library Wi-Fi off after hours, as it had become a gathering point for young people at night.

At the Waimarino-Waiouru Community Board (WWCB) meeting last night, council chief executive Clive Manley said the underlying issues of vandalism and other anti-social behaviour would require a co-ordinated approach from the whole community to resolve.

"As member of the community, council is committed to doing all we can to be part of a constructive solution," he said.

"We would like to see the free Wi-Fi back on 24/7 as soon as possible, however this will not be before we have been able to install security cameras outside the Raetihi office and library which is expected to take three to four weeks, all going well."

He said the timing of the decision would be made collectively by council, WWCB, police and the community.

"In the interim, council will also be working on bringing forward installation of free Wi-Fi throughout the Raetihi central business district," Mr Manley said.

There had been criticism of the council for not consulting the community before switching off the library Wi-Fi, which Mr Manley said was acknowledged.

"Council accepts that the WWCB and the community would like more of a heads-up on what is planned in these types of issues," he said.

"Police and council were concerned not only about property damage but the health and safety of staff and the young people congregating at night.

"In instances such as this, where people's health and safety are concerned, council will often need to make immediate operational decisions."

- Wanganui Chronicle

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