Waitangi's Te Tii Marae is one of 17 marae in Northland now connected to broadband internet thanks to the Provincial Growth Fund's marae connectivity scheme.

The marae was connected to ultra-fast broadband in December last year and had additional hardware - like indoor and outdoor wi-fi boosters and security cameras - installed early this month.

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Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said many rural areas had very slow or no internet - a tool vital in today's world for education, business and community wellbeing.


He said marae were often the centre of small communities and their being digitally connected cannot be overstated.

"In the case of Te Tii, the entire Paihia community is benefiting from the connection as the project has sped up the delivery of UFB fibre optic cable in the area.

"Te Tii marae also has a range of high-tech equipment including a wi-fi booster, video camera, and audio-visual gear, along with digital training support.

"Everyone at the marae can use the equipment for business, education, community engagement and keeping in touch with whānau and friends elsewhere," he said.

Other hardware installed at Te Tii Marae, which Jones said was an incredibly significant place, includes a router to service the broadband connection, switching equipment, computer cabinet and associated cabling, and an AV video conferencing bundle.

In February 2019, the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) allocated $21 million to connect rural towns and marae to the internet to give local people and businesses better access to digital services.

"The PGF has made huge progress on the marae connectivity package in a year. Whānau and communities around the country tell us this work is needed and valued."