Provincial Growth Fund support for West Coast Internet and mobile coverage confirmed


Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media

20 August 2019       Media Statement
Provincial Growth Fund support for West Coast Internet and mobile coverage confirmed

Provincial Growth Fund support for earlier access to better internet services and wider mobile coverage on the West Coast was announced today by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.

“Hartmount Place (North of Punakaiki), Gladstone, Kiata and Haast will receive Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) coverage, providing fibre-to-the-premise broadband connections for residents and businesses” said Mr Jones. “In addition, Moana, Kumara, Kaniere, Fox, Franz Josef/Waiau, Whataroa, Hari and Ross will be accelerated in the UFB build schedule, from their original completion date of 2022 to 2020 and 2021.”

“The Pike River Memorial Trail, the Waikori Road entrance to Paparoa Track, Coglan’s Lookout and car park at Punakaiki, and the ‘Hole in the Hill’ glow worm cave inland from Charleston and Clarke’s Bluff will receive new mobile towers that provide mobile service to customers all three of New Zealand’s mobile networks Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees” said Mr Jones.

“These Provincial Growth Funded additions and changes to the UFB and the RBI2/MBSF programmes will greatly benefit the Coast by providing additional greatly needed connectivity which supports economic growth, social inclusion and health and safety,” said Mr Jones.

Finally, a fibre ‘backbone’ link will also be built to connect Hawea to Fox, providing resilience for communications networks all the way up the Coast, and enabling the UFB and mobile towers to provide high speed broadband. This link has been out to tender and Crown Infrastructure Partners is currently entering into negotiations with potential build partners. Further announcements on this link will be made in due course.

Including these new areas along with the connectivity infrastructure already being built on the Coast, the Government is investing $91 million on the Coast alone.

“I am pleased to say that this additional and accelerated UFB coverage and these new areas of mobile coverage are locked in and confirmed, and I look forward to the infrastructure being deployed soon and made operational so that Coasters can reap the benefits” said Mr Jones.


  • The new and accelerated UFB towns, and the additional mobile coverage, were initially announced on 29 November 2018 as part of a $45 million Provincial Growth Fund boost for South Island connectivity (see
  • The Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB) programme is the urban broadband scheme, deploying fibre-to-the-premises to 87% of the population by 2022.
  • The RBI2/MBSF programme is a programme making enhanced broadband available to approximately 84,000 currently under-served rural households and businesses by 2023, and making mobile coverage available to State Highway ‘blackspots’ where there is currently no mobile coverage, high traffic and high incident rates (to support public safety). It is also being deployed to tourism locations around New Zealand where there is currently no mobile coverage, to support tourism and economic growth.
  • The UFB and RBI2/MBSF programmes, including the Provincial Growth Fund Digital Connectivity programmes, are being managed by Crown Infrastructure Partners along with several private sector partners deploying the infrastructure (see

Media contact: Roger Mackey 021 540 805