Northpower has bought the remaining shares of an entity tasked with delivering ultra-fast broadband across Whangārei and Kaipara.
The lines company has bought the remaining shares belonging to Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) in the subsidiary Northpower Fibre Limited— a venture formed to deliver the Government's Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) initiative to 33,000 homes and businesses across the two districts.
The partnership with CIP, the Government's infrastructure funding entity, began in 2010 and delivered high-speed fibre optic connectivity to residents in Whangārei by 2014.
A second agreement in 2017 expanded connectivity to towns including Ruakākā, One Tree Point, Waipū, Dargaville, Mangawhai, Maungaturoto, Ruawai, Paparoa, Kaiwaka and Hikurangi.
This second phase of the rollout was completed in January this year.
"Our high-speed fibre network has been delivered by Northlanders, for Northlanders, and is a great example of working in partnership with the Crown, local suppliers and global technology players. Our network connects Northland to the world and provides a critical platform for improving outcomes for our region," Northpower Group chief executive Andrew McLeod said.
Buying the remaining share of the Northpower Fibre Limited subsidiary has been a strong focus for Northpower Group, McLeod said.
CIP chief executive Graham Mitchell said from a government perspective, his entity has firmly achieved the social and economic outcomes demanded from their significant investment in Northland.
"The Ultra Fast Broadband initiative has unlocked prosperity and improved social outcomes for communities across New Zealand. In particular, we have been delighted to work with Northpower as one of the first joint venture partners to deliver fibre benefits to these Northland communities."
Northpower Fibre chief executive Darren Mason said the company continued to invest in the fibre network, and has a strong focus on innovative solutions for connecting new subdivisions and satellite communities within proximity of the core fibre network.
"Customer demand for fibre connections has exceeded all expectations, with the need for fast and reliable access increasing as New Zealand responds to new ways of working during Covid-19.
"Independent testing reveals that fibre continues to outclass other technologies across every measure, significantly outperforming fixed wireless and satellite technologies on speed and reliability."
The price of the share buy-up was not disclosed.
Northpower operates and maintains both the electricity distribution and fibre networks in the Whangārei and Kaipara region, with more than 60,000 connected customers. It is owned by the electricity consumers of Whangārei and Kaipara, and employs more than 1200 staff.