Digital Initiatives


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For five years in a row, Whanganui has been named a Smart21 intelligent community by the Intelligent Community Forum. 

​​​Whanganui: A leader in th​e digital world​​

In 2013, Whanganui was recognised as one of 21 communities around the world which have taken conscious steps to prosper in the broadband economy. Whanganui was the only place in New Zealand to make the list and was selected from nearly 400 entries!

In 2014, the theme of the for the Intelligent Community awards was ‘community as a canvas’ which highlights the importance of strong cultural infrastructure in creating communities which are ready for the growing digital world. Last year the theme was ‘innovation and employment’. Again, Whanganui was selected as a Smart21 Intelligent Community. 

The theme for 2015 is The Revolutionary Community and, for the third time in a row, Whanganui was selected once more! 

A series of initiatives has led to Whanganui becoming a ‘smart’ community, from being one of the first districts in New Zealand to get ultrafast broadband, to our vision of being 100 per cent connected through the work of the Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum and through initiatives like Computers in Homes and the Awa City Clubhouse​.

The ultrafast broadband​​ journey

In 2009, the Whanganui District Council campaigned strongly for ultrafast broadband to be rolled out in our community. The rollout has been completed and was launched on 15 May 2015.

Ultrafast broadband means businesses can reduce their reliance on in-house servers and move to remote, cloud based storage. Essentially, this means businesses based in Whanganui can work anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in getting ultrafast broadband for your household, you can contact Orcon, Inspire NetSparkAtrixMyRepublic or Snap.  If you want to set up ultrafast broadband for your company, Inspire NetMyRepublicLamberts Business SystemsSnapCall PlusSolarixSpark DigitalFX NetworksOrconCompass Communications, Atrix and Kordia can help.  

Frequently asked questions about Ultrafast Fibre

Whanganui Digital Leaders’ Forum​

Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum logoThe Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum (WDLF) is a sector-wide forum which meets regularly to maximise opportunities for Whanganui in the digital world. Sector groups represented in the forum are included in the diagram below.  Find us on Twitter at @WhanganuiDLF or on Facebook. 

Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum strategy
Follow Whanganui Digital Leaders Forum on Twitter

Inspire Free Wifi​

Woman using Inspire Free Wifi on the riverbank
Inspire Free Wifi is a free, local wi-fi network available for anyone to use at a number of sites around Whanganui. It is brought to you through a partnership between the Whanganui District Council and Inspire Net.

Free wi-fi hotspots are listed on this page.

How does it work?​

All wi-fi devices are able to access 1 gigabyte of data per month, via Inspire Free Wifi, at no cost. All you need to do is register your device while visiting one of the sites located in the urban area, and you have access to your data for a month. The next time you access the network, once the month has expired, you will connect via a webpage which will allow you to register for another month. You will not be bombarded by advertisements, nor will you have to visit any other sites when you connect.  

Looking for more data?​

There are additional paid plans for those looking for increased data capacity. For further information on the Inspire Free Wifi network contact Inspire Net on 0800 484 363 or click here to email the Inspire Net helpdesk.

Other digital resource​​s

Download  t​​​​he Top7 logo 

If you are a Whanganui-based business, organisation or resident, you can use the Top7 Intelligent Community logo on your website or email signature to promote this recognition to the world!

Conditions of use include not changing the logo in any way, unless you need to reduce the size.

Click here to save the Top7 logo.

When the image loads in your browser, right click your mouse to save it.​

Looking for digital s​​ervices​​ in Whanganui? 

Digital services and products available in Whanganui can be easily found in one place thanks to 'Digital Whanganui', an online directory supported by the Whanganui District Council and UCOL Whanganui.  

Web designers, programmers, photographers, IT support, hardware and software outlets, web writers, government and community organisations are listed in the directory, with others encouraged to add their listing for free.  

Visit to view the listings or to put your digital service online. 

Programme Di​​​rect​​ory of​​ Le​arning Op​​portunitie​​s

The Programme Directory of Learning Opportunities 2017 is available for people wanting to find out more about tertiary level study and career services in Whanganui.

The directory includes a variety of Whanganui education providers and uses the vocational pathways tool developed by Careers NZ to help learners decide which direction they want to take. It also includes a list of youth services and study resources. 

​Digita​​l Journey

Digital Journey is an online hub which assists businesses to gain an understanding of the opportunities online technology offers. It provides an interactive assessment to determine how businesses are using online technology and builds a customised action plan with recommendations about how to increase use.  ​

Become a Community Champion
Broadband in rural neighbourhoods

Do you live rurally and want to be part of getting your community connected to the internet? Inspire Net has launched a ‘Community Champion’ initiative to find people who are happy to be a contact person between Inspire Net and their neighbourhood to see if they can get broadband up-and-running through the installation of a repeater. To find out more, or become a Community Champion, email or download the information booklet.

Get your b​​​usiness online for free

Businesses in our district are able to increase their online presence and be more easily found in Google searches, thanks to

The website, which was created by digital agency Socialise, is a free digital toolbox for small businesses which includes contact details, maps, photos and links to social media. It also provides free information to business owners about how they can use Facebook, Xero and blogging to do better business, as well as a dashboard to track online views.

Because of our district's work to get everyone connected to the internet, Socialise has chosen Whanganui businesses to pilot the programme. ​


Page reviewed: 28 Aug 2019 12:55pm