Tuesday 23rd May 2017,
Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Over the last five years the current Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) has been in the process of being rolled out by Chorus and Vodafone, bringing better broadband capability to those living and working outside urban centres. The programme has the promise of connecting over 95% of rural schools to fibre, and fixed wireless broadband capable of 5 Mbps to over 85% of rural households and late in 2015 the rural connectivity target was increased to 50Mbps by 2025. However, rural NZ is yet to see the full impact of improved RBI capability and there remains gaps in coverage and uptake.  This event combined with an election year gives you the perfect opportunity to help shape the future of rural connectivity. (The day’s Programme is now available at the bottom of this page)

TUANZ, RHĀNZ and NZYF have identified that the challenge in rural connectivity remains a strategic imperative for each organisation. The Government has been progressing their RBI2 and the Mobile Blackspots programmes. These programmes make $150m available for extending connectivity and the Government has asked for flexible and innovative approaches to making the best use of these funds.

In 2015 TUANZ and  RHĀNZ relaunched the Rural Connectivity Symposium in the belief that working together is the best way to gather a strong and unified rural voice. That symposium was a huge success in bringing rural users together with those with specific sector knowledge. 

Last year NZYF joined the partnership to bring a further dimension to the debate and discussion.  The 2016 Rural Connectivity Symposium provided an opportunity for rural stakeholders to gather together and share concerns and ideas about what was working, where we are today and what still needed to be done.

The focus of the 2017 event is to hear from a range of speakers of how connectivity is helping improve emergency and disaster responses in rural New Zealand, rural health outcomes, rural business opportunities and rural living in general.  We look forward to you joining us in Wellington for this critical event.

Please join us


8.50AM TO 7PM


This year, the Rural Connectivity Symposium is also day one of an exciting programme where two individual days are being linked together to strengthen the message of the need to ensure communities and individuals are able to “live, work and play well” where they choose in NZ. Providing services and care “Closer to Home” demands that we address the many challenges this places on us to think at least 10 years ahead and work back from there. Day one (Rural Connectivity Symposium) provides a focus on the future needs of rural communities and the importance connectivity has on them. Day two is the Emerging Tech in Health day brought to you by NZ Health IT and Health Informatics NZ and challenges us to look at how healthcare will be provided in ten years’ time, especially closer to home, what part technology will play in this and the need for the country’s infrastructure to support all of this. People living in rural communities have specific challenges when it comes to their healthcare and the providers of this care are having to design and implement new ways that meet the demands of a diverse population whilst facing chronic workforce shortages and increased pressure to perform. The solutions for rural communities are also transferable to urban areas and technology is the conduit by which all of this can be brought together.


Pricing (incl GST):

TUANZ Member $149

RHĀNZ Member $149

NZ Young Farmers Member $149

Non-Members $349

Event Programme


Time Topic Speaker
08:50 Welcome & Karakia Chair
09:00 Ministerial Opening Minister for Communications, Hon Simon Bridges
09:30 Political Panel – What should be done next? Chair – Andrew Cushen, InternetNZ
10:15 Future Outlook for Ag Business in NZ Ian Proudfoot, KPMG
10:40 Break – MORNING TEA  
  Current and Future Plans  
11:00 How has RBI1 and UFB2 changed the landscape? Russell Stanners, Rural Connectivity Group
11:30 Local solutions for local problems Murray Pearson,Wireless Internet Service Providers Association
12:00 Other options for connectivity (Fixed , Satellite)
12:30 Table break session – Thoughts from the morning  
12:45 LUNCH served from 12:45  
  What did we learn from Kaikoura  
13:30 Welcome Back  
13:35    How did we cope with a major rural event?    Chair
From the Doctor –  Dr Chris Henry, Kaikoura Integrated Health Centre
What Farmers needed – Gavin Forrest, Federated Farmers
How did the network cope?
  Improved Rural Outcomes  
14:25 The future of rural leadership Chelsea Millar, Grassroots Media and NZYF
14:45 The use of Data on Farms LIC (TBC)
15:15 Break – AFTERNOON TEA  
15:30 Table break session – Further thoughts?  
15:50 How technology is changing health care in rural communities Dr Ruth Large,ACEM & Waikato DHB
16:15 How national telehealth services are improving access to health services for rural communities Homecare Medical – Brian X, Homecare Medical
16:40 Day Summary & Closing  
17:00 Networking Drinks/After5/FLINT Julia Jones, KPMG speaker

The Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand (TUANZ) is the only truly unique independent voice of the users of digital technologies in NZ and the Government and media look to TUANZ to speak on behalf of the businesses and individuals who are our members.  TUANZ also works to keep members connected and informed.  As a not for profit membership organization TUANZ has over 30 years of positive change in its history.


The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHĀNZ) represents a united voice from across multiple rural sector organisations. We were established in 2012 as a charitable organisation and our aim  is to provide solutions and influence policy affecting the health and wellbeing of rural communities. We currently have 44 national organisations as members.


New Zealand Young Farmers is a national membership organisation.  We provide opportunities for young people with an interest in the rural and primary industry sectors to reach their potential through participation in social, education and leadership development activities and events throughout New Zealand at community, regional and national levels.  Formed in 1932, New Zealand Young Farmers is a registered charitable organisation governed by a Board made up of Young Farmer members and strategic primary industry partners and is managed by a team of 26 employees. New Zealand Young Farmers’ broader objectives is about actively engaging young people from across the wider community in the primary industry sector, and inspiring and empowering them to be the business leaders of tomorrow.