The Hati Nati Café in Ruatoria runs a community hub to provide digital access and build capacity for the town. The free Wi-Fi is great for the tourists and the computers serve the greatest purpose in the community during the school holidays for the students when the computers are actively used every day and it can be x3 people deep. In the community parents come and use the computers to do their bills online etc. We were also asked by the local Ruatoria RSA if we could run classes for online banking when we lost the last bank on the East Coast in 2015.
We have 500 people in this community and hundreds more in the outer communities of Te Puia Springs, Waipiro Bay and Tokomaru Bay. As the only provider of an Internet Cafe and free Wi-Fi we are frequently used even after hours. As we are quite rural being in the heart of Ngāti Porou it is off the beaten track so when Digital Wings made a kanohi ki te kanohi visit it was hugely appreciated to see the provider come and see how what they have provided benefited the user.
We encourage local enterprise and are currently hosting an exhibition of local artists. Going forward we have just secured a partnership to build a digital platform where we will own and run it here on the coast to develop a local tourism industry run by our own people. Our part of the partnership is to provide a SEO and a coder who will learn how to operate the platform and then teach others identified in the community to build sustainability within this community and ensure its survivability locally. This is huge for our next steps forward as a community so we have gone back to Digital Wings to discuss more computers specific for this project but also to ensure our local sustainability going into the future.