West Coast

Cheryl WestcoastRegional Coordinator
Cheryl Smeaton
Mobile: 027 466 7290

Annual Report 2015-2016: Ngā mihi nui koutou katoa, kei te Tai o Poutini, Greetings from the West Coast. We’ve had a wonderful year with our digital literacy programmes this year. We’ve enjoyed working in many new community spaces with our laptop learning pods; we’ve struck up close relationships with the libraries in our towns as we helped them to launch Stepping UP in their centres.

We’ve also learned all about KiwiSkills and we’re putting that to good use in our communities. Most exciting though, we’re working with remote communities to the next step – making sure our families are connected with each other and to the internet by building the infrastructure with them.

We have a new tutor based in the West Coast; Sharon Flemming joined us in January 2016. Sharon is enjoying working with the CiH programme and the other 2020 Trust digital literacy programmes. We hope to be able to continue our programmes in 2016/17.

DORA supports school after fire

DORA, the mobile digital learning classroom, is still residing on the West Coast and has been worth her weight in supporting Westland High School following a devastating fire in which the entire administration block including the school internet hub was lost. Term 1 2016 saw her become the school hotspot and a quiet breakout room for students. We continue to find new uses for the bus and it will be a sad day when she finally leaves us for new adventures.

KiwiSkills a success

KiwiSkills is proving a popular programme for jobseekers in the community with a number of employment mentors and consultants bringing their clients in to take up the offer. Through this we have caught up with a number of families who don’t have computers at home and we’ve met adults who have never used computers before in their lives and work. We have one class having completed their CiH, now booming through KiwiSkills with another following close behind.

Helping remote areas

In July 2015, we took a bus trip with DORA down through the South Westland communities and we spent time with children and their families in the more remote towns and locations in our rōhe. We looked again at possibilities for making CiH a distance-based programme, whereby our tutor uses Team Viewer and Skype to support parents with their learning where they are unable to get to town to join a class. We trialled the programme with two families down south and it worked very well for them.

Teaming up with mana whenua

We also began working with our mana whenua; Poutini Kai Tahu, based in Bruce Bay and Arahura at the Te Tauraka Wāka ā Māui and Tuhuru Marae respectively. Both marae have beautiful new facilities in place.

Mana whenua is working to bring whānau home to develop the communities around their marae. Their goal is to re-establish the tūrangawaewae as a place for whānau to live, work and protect the future. They have sought our support to find solutions for accessing internet in and around the communities and our wider CiH team have come to the fore.

We were very pleased to bring Ivan Lomax and Leon Symes to the West Coast to work with the two hāpu, to explore the terrain and understand the connection needs for mana whenua, local business and industry and for the families living and working in the area. Our plan is relatively simple – using the school’s fibre internet backhaul connectivity to create community hotspots – and extend that with mobile data options to take care of cellular ‘blackspots’ with the support of existing ISP providers. We will continue that work into the new CiH year and hope to have the infrastructure up and running in Spring 2016. It’s a great example of how our National CiH whānau is a wealth of expertise and resources and when we work together for the good of the community, no problem is too big!

Recent Graduations

The map shows Computers in Homes Training Centres where students from local schools have graduated recently. Zoom & drag map, click icons for details

Information sourced from the Digital Inclusion Map

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