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Motueka Online to continue under new ownership

October 23rd, 2017

Popular community news website Motueka Online has been saved from the threat of closure by a change in ownership.

Motueka resident Shawn Hansen last week officially took over the administration of the site from its creator and former editor, David Armstrong.

Hansen said he was excited to take on the challenge. He had started on the development of a new site that would have a modern, clean look and additional functionality.

''It's very archaic as it is now,'' Hansen said. ''It's very text heavy.''

Armstrong himself last month cited the need for the site to be revamped when he announced that after nearly eight years at the helm, he had decided to either close it down or pass it on to someone else.

There had been rapid changes in the online media industry, which meant the site had become ''somewhat dated and in need of an upgrade'', Armstrong said.

When he announced Hansen would take over, Armstrong said he was ''much relieved'' his successor had stepped up to take the site to a ''new, more modern level''. ''From the talks we've had, I know that he's not only very skilled up in the technical aspects but also very passionate about the future of Motueka,'' Armstrong said.

Hansen said he would run Motueka Online as a portfolio in his business, Propellr,'' in which I freelance on marketing, managing social media and website designing projects''.

The site would continue to focus on news and community events ''and so forth''. There was also a plan to ''develop it into something more''.

''I'll be decluttering ... and recategorising it.'' Hansen, who works fulltime in the aviation industry, said Armstrong was welcome to remain as a contributor.

''Going forward, I'll be looking for other people as well,'' he said. The original site would remain while the new-look site was developed, which could take three months or more.

''It's a lot of work to develop a site from scratch,'' Hansen said.

Armstrong described Motueka Online as the largest and most active non-profit community news website in Australia and New Zealand. The website was a finalist in the community section of the Australia and New Zealand Internet Awards in 2015.

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