Thursday 27 August, 2020

The topic of rural connectivity too important to give up on

With the reemergence of Alert Level 2 restrictions in New Zealand, TUANZ has reimagined the annual Rural Connectivity Symposium format, and pushed the date out slightly, to allow the event and surrounding conversations to proceed.

The Rural Connectivity Symposium will now be held on September 16 and 17 with a hybrid online and in-person format.

TUANZ CEO Craig Young says, “The topic of the future of rural connectivity is too important to give up on. Cancellation was never an option on the table. What we’re learning this year is the importance of a Plan B, C, and even D.”

Traditionally the Rural Connectivity Symposium is a one day event with up to 150 attendees with a mix of the public sector, industry partners, rural communities and members of the public. This year the event will be held across two days.

The first session will be an online webinar providing an update on progress to date. Attendees will have the option of joining the second session through an online platform or in person at one of the regional locations in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington or Christchurch. The theme of the second session is ‘Where are we headed and what do we want?’

Young says, “We believe the combination of online and in-person sessions in multiple regions will make it more accessible. We really wanted to retain an in-person element to the event to help groups share their stories and gather aspirations and ideas.”

“We’ve significantly reduced the ticket price to $39.99 and all registered attendees will have the option of a refund.”

Confirmed speakers for the online session include Hon Kris Faafoi, Minister for Broadcasting, Communications, and Digital Media; and Mike Smith, Chair of WISPA and CEO of Ultimate Broadband.
During the combined online and regional session, attendees will hear from Andrew Watene, Associate Director – Food, Agribusiness and Export Lead at KPMG; H.E. Peter Ryan, Ambassador to NZ from Ireland; and Chris Goldsmith, NGCC Director at NZ Police.

This year’s event is supported by our Premier Partner, Chorus, and our Conference Partners, WISPA and Kacific Satellite.

TUANZ hopes to be able to hold the Rural Connectivity Symposium in-person in Hamilton on April 22, 2021.

The event will be held Wednesday 16 September 2020, 1-3:30pm, Online and Thursday 17 September 2020, 1-5pm, Online and at regional locations in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

TUANZ invites people who work or live in rural communities, along with anyone interested in the future of rural connectivity to attend. For more information visit or to register to attend visit:


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