Stratford - ‘Access to world-wide commerce and society’
The Aotearoa People’s Network Kaharoa has provided important benefits to both the town and rural populations of Stratford.
Awareness and use of the People’s Network has been high from the outset. Foot traffic through the Stratford District Library increased immediately on installation of the service. The People’s Network has contributed commercial and networking benefits to the farming sector, in particular.
Making life easier
Having the People’s Network available at the library simply makes life easier. The community is able to do things that they could not do before, such as applying for jobs online, researching family histories, finding information and social networking.
The free nature of the People’s Network, the range of information provided and speed of the network were seen as strengths by the community.
The service has provided a benefit to users and the community as a whole, and it has changed the way the library’s role and function is perceived in the community.
Supporting the farming sector
Farmers have experienced several essential benefits from using the People’s Network. Access to quality broadband is a problem in this region, preventing farmers from taking advantage of business opportunities, information and networking - more and more of which is occurring online.
The reliable, fast internet connection provided by the People’s Network has supported farmers to communicate with organisations like Fonterra, access online information and services, and participate in networking opportunities that ensure that their farming practice is informed and up to date. Internet access and the opportunities that it enables are critical in a farming district such as Stratford.
"Farmers in rural situations have felt isolated from potential social networks. Having internet connections and the Aotearoa People’s Network provides a way of socially networking that could be useful to well-being."