Amy Adams

Public-private partnerships can work

by Amy Adams, MP for Selwyn

As the former Minister for Communications, I was invited to attend a recent function to mark the completion of the first phase of the Ultrafast Broadband programme (known as UFB1).

I am very proud of the former government’s achievements in this area, which have resulted in New Zealand becoming one of the most well-connected countries in the OECD.

The UFB programme is a public-private partnership between Crown Infrastructure Partners and four partners — Northpower, Enable Services, WEL Networks and Chorus.

UFB1 is a fantastic illustration of how well public-private partnerships can work, having been completed within budget and one month ahead of schedule. With the result that 79 per cent of New Zealanders now have access to high-quality broadband services.

The programme has been especially popular here in Selwyn with our growing townships of Rolleston and Lincoln both in the top three areas nationwide in terms of uptake.UFB is a game-changer for our smaller regional towns, which have previously been hamstrung by inadequate connectivity but are now able to make use of online tools and services for work, education and leisure.

The second phase of the programme (UFB2) is well underway. Work has been started in several parts of Selwyn this year including Leeston and Southbridge, with many more areas due to receive UFB2 for the next two years.

The goal is for 87 per cent of New Zealanders to have access to UFB once phase two is complete.

As this is my last column for The Record before Christmas, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.

My electorate office in Templeton will close for the holiday break on Friday, December 20 and will reopen on Monday, January 20.