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Free internet to remain without restrictions at Motueka Library

April 7th, 2011
[TDC press release]

The partnership agreement between the Tasman District Council and the Aotearoa Peoples Network Kaharoa (ANPK), the central government authority that provides the free broadband internet access in libraries, has been extended through a Council decision.

The partnership provides access to computers, training and broadband internet access in public libraries in return for a small contribution by the Council.

In confirming the decision Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne said "this arrangement has delivered a number of social and financial benefits to the communities that host public libraries.

"It has, however, been the subject of public comment in the past few months particularly about its effect on the competitiveness on local internet cafes and we have had to balance that impact with the wider good."

To take account of the benefits to the whole community the partnership provides there are a number of conditions that must be met, the most significant being that there will be no impediment to the free access for anyone.

"If the Council chose not to continue with this arrangement the Council would have to fund what has become an expected feature of Tasman libraries to the tune of $300,000 annually, in addition to the ongoing maintenance and renewal costs of the hardware" said Mayor Kempthorne.

In supporting the renewal of this partnership the Council has taken account of the increased expectations of the community regarding access to broadband, the positive effects the facility has provided in the form of increased overall library patronage - of which tourists form a very small percentage, the ongoing costs that would become the Council's/ratepayers' responsibility and the likelihood of further provision of broadband access by public and private providers.

(Editor's note: Read previous coverage of this issue here and here)

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