Digital Porirua Trust Launch

11 March 2009

Digital Porirua Trust Launched by Prime Minister at Te Rauparaha Arena

Digital Porirua was officially launched by the Prime Minister, the Honourable John Key on Wednesday 11 March 2009.

Hon John Key and others at the Digital Porirua launch.

Hon John Key (centre), with the Mayor (seated at right), Porirua City Council CEO Dr Roger Blakeley (standing at back), observe Catherine Mu demonstrate the use of a Digital Porirua computer, at the launch of the Digital Porirua Trust.

Technology changing lives in Porirua

Today, Hewlett-Packard and the Digital Porirua Trust announce an initiative that will dramatically improve Porirua community’s access to essential new technologies.

The Digital Porirua Trust has used a $400,000USD education grant from Hewlett-Packard to build a network of community access points in church halls, marae, community centres and schools within Porirua. The centres are designed so people feel safe to explore new ideas and develop themselves through the use of technology.

The community access points form part of the wider Digital Porirua project. It recognises the important part technology plays in connecting our communities, helping people work together, increasing business productivity and helping individuals reach their aspirations.

"Digital Porirua aims to make access to technology easy: Whether it's meeting the broadband needs of our high tech industries, better connecting our communities with the use of community portals, or bringing the benefits of technology within the reach of all in our community," says Dr Roger Blakeley, Trust Chair and CEO Porirua City Council.

“With the help of Hewlett-Packard, we are on a clear path to achieving our goal to become a digital city. The Digital Porirua Trust has been created to administer the grant and oversee the community activity on a day-to-day basis.”

“It is exciting to see access to technology having such a profound influence on the lives of people from all ages in our city. With many children using the centres to do their homework while retired community members learn how to keep in touch with friends and family online.”

One group of children is setting up its own internet radio station from the Porirua Gospel Church so they can share their creativity with over 800 homes within their community.

HP made the decision to focus the entire grant on one deserving community with a clear goal of effecting considerable change to the way everyone within that community used technology.

“The Digital Porirua Trust received the grant because Porirua could already demonstrate its commitment to becoming a digital city through ICT infrastructure development and community programme initiatives,” says Brent Kendrick, General Manager, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard New Zealand.

“The Digital Porirua Trust’s vision for its community was very compelling for HP, particularly alongside our own commitment to helping New Zealand businesses, communities and individuals grow through the use of HP’s innovative products and services.”
“HP is proud of to be part of a community project of this magnitude.”

About the HP Education programme

The 2008 Education Grant from HP is worth $400,000USD – comprising approximately $55,000 cash and $345,000 of HP products – including servers, desktop and laptop computers and printers.

HP continually re-focuses its strategy to align its social and community investment more closely with its business objectives as they evolve.

For example, In 2007 three out of thirteen education grants (Technology for Teaching grants) awarded across the Asia Pacific region went to New Zealand projects, and included:

  • Brooklyn Primary School, Wellington: Enhancing student numeracy capability through the use of digital learning objects on tablet PCs.
  • Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology: Building and using interactive engagement software.
  • Massey University, Palmerston North: Fostering integrative learning using mobile learning technologies.
  • In 2006 a Technology for Teaching grant was awarded to Canterbury University.
  • In 2003 the University of Auckland received an HP mobility grant.

About Digital Porirua Trust

Trustees come from: Porirua City Council, Porirua City Community IT Educational Trust, Porirua Community Access Points, Porirua Chamber of Commerce, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Mana Prinicipals Association, Ngati Toa Rununga, Pacific Islands Forum, Quorum Group Consultants.

Its vision is for Porirua to be a city of well connected communities where taking part in new technologies is easy.

It is working toward the achievement of this vision via the Porirua Digital Strategy which focuses on four areas:

  • Content – ensuring local content meets local community and business needs.
  • Confidence – advocating for or ensuring high levels of service delivery
  • Connection – providing ready access to technology and skills development,

by fostering Collaboration within communities, including residents, businesses and the government.

About HP

HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

  • Images from Digital Porirua Trust Launch

Digital Porirua Trust launch - official party.
Digital Porirua Trust Launch - official party: from left, Mayor Jenny Brash; Hon. John Key, Prime Minister; Keith Watson - Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard New Zealand; Porirua City Council Chief Executive Dr Roger Blakeley; and e-LearningTrust Chair and Founder Graham Kelly.

Prime Minister John Key talking to a member of the public at the Digital Porirua Trust launch.
Prime Minister John Key talks to Val Dargan using a community computer, looked on by Mayor Jenny Brash and Porirua City Council CEO Dr Roger Blakeley.

Speeches - Audio Files (all in mp3 format)

Speeches - Video Files - YouTube links

  • Mayor Jenny Brash (3.42 mins)
  • Hon John Key (8.06 mins)
  • CEO Dr Roger Blakeley (8.54 mins)
  • e-Learning Porirua Trust Chair and Founder Graham Kelly (9.30 mins)