Twizel Wi-Fi base moving

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by Alexia Johnston

Twizel’s Wi-Fi base will soon move to a new location.

The town’s free public Wi-Fi point will be transferred from the Twizel Area School library to the Mackenzie District Council office in Market Pl.

School principal Bill Feasey encouraged the move after school staff became concerned late last year about the number of visitors wandering through the school.

The school’s board of trustees told the Twizel Community Board a growing number of unknown people were congregating within the school and around its main entrance, which had created security and pupil welfare concerns.

The visitors, who included many tourists, had been seen smoking on school grounds and had been known to hang their laundry in view of the main entrance.

Library equipment was often being unplugged by visitors to the school so they could charge their own devices and teachers had avoided taking children to the library at certain times because of overcrowding and pupil welfare concerns.

Mr Feasey said there were still “wanderers”, but numbers had eased slightly with the departure of summer.

Mackenzie district councillor Paul Hannagan said the switch would not necessarily stop people from hooking into Wi-Fi near the school, but putting up a sign to deter the general public from entering the school grounds could prevent the other problems it had faced until now.

Mr Hannagan said it was not known when the switch would be made.

However, some progress was being made.

The Mackenzie District Council office was an obvious choice for the new location after it was announced it would be getting fibre-optic cable installed.

Local companies had been approached to complete the job.

Once up and running, the service could be used by up to 250 people at a time.