The Ventia team at Arrowtown

In the historic and picturesque town of Arrowtown, near Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island, Ventia crews have been hard at work as part of the Chorus UFB2 project.

The UFB2 project is delivering fibre to regional and rural communities across New Zealand. As a key delivery partner, Ventia is installing approximately 75kms of infrastructure each month.

Arrowtown is built on the banks of the Arrow River and in the 1860's attracted thousands of miners from around the world, including a large contingent of Chinese miners, during the New Zealand gold rush.

Getting to know the local community

The Arrowtown works, which commenced recently, are a great example of our project team getting to know and understand the local area; and ensuring the community knows what to expect as this major project continues.

At Ventia, respect and integrity underpin everything we do," said Ventia's Regional Manager Lower South Island, Nicola Loft.

"Our commitment to building great relationships with the communities where we work is vitally important to us.

"Arrowtown is very historic, so there are a lot of heritage items we need to protect — from buildings, roads, trees and gutters, to what's buried beneath the ground."

The items include Iwi cultural items, as well as those from the early Chinese settlers.

At the outset of this project we held town inductions with the various groups involved in, or impacted by, the work in Arrowtown. This was to ensure they understood what processes we had in place to deliver this project while protecting their history and heritage, and ensuring life is as uninterrupted as possible for the town's residents.

The information received from the community during these sessions also helped our people to gain a greater understanding of the environment we would be working in. This allowed us to shape the program so that it would have minimal impact on the local communities.

Town inductions included representatives from Council, an archaeologist, arborist and infrastructure teams. Discussion included a run-through of the works involved, how any archaeological findings would be handled, the plan for protecting the town's trees, traffic management plans and footpath access.

According to Nicola, all participants felt it was a very valuable exercise, and left with a real understanding of what's involved in building a 'fibre-connected' community.

Additionally, we were also delighted to hear first-hand from some happy Arrowtown residents, who took the time to acknowledge the effort one of our crews went to, to ensure minimal disruption for the community:

"I live in a small street in Arrowtown and over the last few days we have had a contractor and his team here installing a fibre cable under the street surface. I thought I would take a few moments to say what a great team of workers we had here and how they installed the cable with very minimal inconvenience to the residents.

They worked efficiently and kept the street/work site extremely safe and usable throughout this installation. They cleaned and restored the site to perfection. All in the team were very polite and respectful at all times, and I thank you for organising this great group of workers.

Bravo to all our team members who day in, day out deliver great outcomes and go the extra mile for the project on which they're working, and the surrounding communities.