Statement from Mayor Dave Cull, Dunedin City Council:
"The GigCity win was extremely important for Dunedin’s economy because the tech sector is a growing component of the business ecosystem.
Gig speed internet has allowed us to build on our strengths and provide even more tech solutions across a range of industries including health, sports performance, gaming, film, 3D, education, finance, agriculture, software development, database management, web development and e-commerce.
There have been many good news stories around growth in the tech sector. Examples include gaming studio RocketWerkz which opened its doors with five staff in early 2015 and has now grown to over 40 staff with more expected to come on board.
Our ICT sector continues to grow from strength to strength. It is our strongest growth sector in terms of employment, now employing around 2000 people (up 6.1% on the year before) and contributing around $330 million to local GDP.
Around $475,000 of the $700,000 given to Dunedin by Chorus as part of the Gigatown prize package has now been distributed to the community.
About $207,000 of this has been distributed by UpStart Dunedin for local tech start-ups. As an example, funding recipient Such Crowd is a crowd-sourcing platform for events that allows event planners to test demand before confirming events. The platform allows people to register interest and they are only charged for tickets if enough interest is generated.
And around $268,000 has so far been distributed by the Digital Community Trust to assist organisations in our community to create initiatives that showcase how ultra-fast broadband technologies can contribute to the social good of our city. Again as an example, one recipient, Hive Dunedin, aims to create a network of environments in which young people can engage with innovation, digital media and web-making activities.
Since the GigCity win, all these projects among both the business and wider community have greatly improved the four digital ‘C’s’ – capability, content, connectivity and confidence – across our community.
The combination of fibre, wireless and education through various projects mentioned above has meant Dunedin is much more digitally aware and connected than just a few years back."
Photo by Gregor Richardson: Digital Community Trust chairman John Gallaher (left), Enterprise Dunedin economic development programme manager Fraser Liggett, and GigCity project co-ordinator Lesley Marriott.