Okiwi residents will get improved mobile coverage when a new Vodafone cell site goes live at the end of May.
Chair of the Great Barrier Local Board, Izzy Fordham said, “The Okiwi community have worked very hard to make the case for this new cell site, so the Department of Conservation’s decision to grant concession for the facility is very welcome.
“Okiwi is a fairly isolated part of the island, surrounded by rugged terrain, so understandably, these conditions make the economic case for new infrastructure quite challenging.
“This decision means mobile coverage will extend to key community hubs including Okiwi Primary School and a new headquarters planned for DOC,” said Izzy Fordham.
Data services to improve
“I wish to gratefully acknowledge Auckland Council, Vodafone and DOC for hearing our calls and for delivering these important services, which will bring positive benefits to the daily lives of residents and to the many visitors passing through the area.”
The new site will provide 3G mobile voice and data services by leveraging the existing Vodafone cell site on Kaikoura Island and repeating this signal into the Okiwi Valley.
Vodafone spokesperson Caitlin Metz said, “We are delighted to bring the very first cell phone services to this community, which can now look forward to being connected like other settlements on the Island.
The location of the Okiwi repeater and supporting solar array has been carefully positioned to minimise visual effects and disturbance to the DOC Estate, whilst maximising coverage for users of Okiwi Village and airfield.