March 2022
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Welcome to the March newsletter. It's all about fundraising for a good cause, dealing with a former cyclone, and a government boost for rural broadband users.

Clubbing for a cause

The recent Putts for Bucks in Inglewood and the accompanying Trade Me auctions of donated goods raised just over $3000 (with more to come at the end of April) for Hospice Taranaki on January 29 and 30.

Primo and OurCloud hosted the weekend of mini golf in Inglewood, with hundreds going through over the weekend, and a few hundred ice creams and sausages being sold as well.

It was organised after learning that Hospice Taranaki faces a big financial shortfall this year. So Primo's Fairy Godmother in charge of charity work and fundraising, Jasmine Harrison, gathered together a team from the two IT firms and operated the course and put up the auctions.

Email service ending

A reminder that our email server is being switched off on April 1.

If you have an email address, you will need a new email and will have to transfer over any emails and all the contacts you want to keep.

If you need any help with this, please call our helpdesk on 0800 123 774.

Red Covid settings

In line with retail guidance for Red Covid settings a My Vaccine Pass is not required when coming to our office.  It fact it is preferred that you don't come to the office unless absolutely necessary, most things we can help you with over the phone.

If you do, we do ask that you:
  • Wear your mask;
  • Scan QR code or sign in;
  • Sanitize on entry;
  • Keep behind the yellow line; 
  • To adhere to our one-in, one-out policy, we ask that you wait outside until clear to enter;
  • Stay at home if you are unwell or are awaiting Covid test results. Call us on 0800 123 774 for assistance.
In line with guidance for tradespeople at red settings, when we are in your home, it is recommended that you wear a mask and keep a 2m physical distance from our technicians.  Please tell us if anyone is unwell as soon as possible. If we need to enter your home, we can reschedule to a later date. Some work is outside only and this may still be possible to go ahead.

Registered Critical Service

As a telecommunications company we have registered as a Critical Service.  What does this mean?

As we are a small team and to ensure that our customers stay connected during the peak of Omicron, we have registered as a critical service so that our employees can continue to work safely.  If you have a fault or need a technician to attend your home, then you need to know the following. 

For our employees who cannot work from home (such as our installers and site team), and there is someone in their own household who has tested positive for Covid, they may return to work if fully vaccinated and have had a negative daily rapid antigen test (RAT).  Please note that as part of the return to work requirement they, and you, are required to wear a surgical mask in your home while they are there.

Rest assured we are taking every precaution to keep ourselves and you safe. We look forward to serving our valued customers, so please take care and look after yourselves.

Primo part of Government boost for rural broadband 

Rural Taranaki’s Internet services will be getting a major upgrade after the Government announced a multimillion dollar scheme to boost rural broadband.

Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications David Clark has announced $47m will be spent on upgrading rural broadband throughout New Zealand.

The minister says The Rural Capacity Upgrade (RCU) will see existing cell towers upgraded and new towers built in rural areas as well as upgrades for rural wireless networks, fibre and other technologies.

Primo’s Matt Harrison welcomed the news saying it will help the wireless broadband side of the company provide an even better service to its rural customers.

“We pioneered getting broadband into Taranaki’s rural communities and this will mean we have more resources to lift capacity,” he says.

“We have already worked closely with the Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to roll out broadband to isolated farms and communities. It’s been a great programme that’s benefited many of our farmers, marae and rural workers.”

Primo will be one of 13 private sector contractors to carry out the work that is being funded from the Government’s COVID Response and Recovery Fund.

“By the end of 2024 around 47,000 rural households and businesses should experience faster internet speeds and better reception than they do right now,” Mr Clark says.

He says the pandemic has shown that having reliable internet has been vital during the pandemic to allow people to work, learn and socialise from home.

“Having been through lockdowns, it’s clear some rural networks had real trouble adapting to the extra usage.

“Government’s actions to protect lives and livelihoods throughout this pandemic has proven to be the best economic decision. However, today’s announcement will further help us secure our economic recovery.

“With these upgrades, rural businesses will have the tools to be more innovative and productive. We can also improve health and safety for New Zealanders and their families through remote health consultations, facilitate remote learning and help maintain social and family connections.

“For those businesses, farms, marae, and households that aren’t captured by current rural broadband initiatives, such as the Ultra-Fast Broadband programme, the initiative launched today will be of great benefit.”

By the end of 2024, 99.8 percent of New Zealanders should have had an improvement to their broadband services.

Board games

Primo was on barbecue duties at one of the New Plymouth Surfing For Farmers evenings last month.

Each Tuesday at 5.30pm farmers get to have a break from working on the land and learn how to surf with coaching from the NP Surf Riders Club and a BBQ put on by Bayleys Taranaki. The last one of this summer is March 22. 

It's a great way to forget any cares about the land-based work, relax on the sea and end up with yarn and sausage or two.

The New Plymouth event is organised by New Plymouth Surf Riders Club president Mark Dwyer. All farmers can go down to the clubrooms on  Fitzroy Beach on Tuesdays at 5.30pm. Surfboards, wetsuits, and coaching are all provided  and there's no charge. 

The Opunake Beach evenings are on Thursdays and are organised by Simon Ripia.  Primo recently put in a free Wi-Fi hotspot at the Opunake Boardriders Club HQ, just to keep you as connected as you want to be while at the beach.

To register for New Plymouth phone Mark Dwyer on 021 528 263.
To register for Opunake contact Simon Ripia on 027 458 7123.

For more information go here.

Dealing with Dovi

Ex Cyclone Dovi was more "ex" depending on where you were. New Plymouth got off kind of lightly, but even at Bell Block it was a major blow. Kelly Ellis, our resident Hunter/Gatherer, saw her roof lifting off in the blast, and from Oakura south it was all go with trees down and a lot of sites without power.

With the electricity off, our sites switched over to backup power systems and if these ran down, we set up a generator or swapped in fully charged batteries. On the Sunday the teams headed out, doing a loop of the mountain and starting generators at various sites, including German Hill, Korito Rd and Egmont Village. There was the occasional bit of stray stock wrangling to be done as well. 

Our crew finished off a long day with a 9pm trip up to the Boars Head site at the southern end of the Kaitakes, waking up the cows and realigning the dish. (Which you can see get knocked out of whack in this FB time-lapse clip).

Creative cakery

Yep, that's a cake!

What's more it was a special 5th anniversary work cake for our resident Geeky Gorilla Craig Plyler. 

He's one of Primo's vital Help Desk team, answering phones, replying to Facebook messages and checking emails. He's also a member of the Inglewood Fire Volunteer Fire Brigade, So he's a pretty helpful guy in general!

The cake, care of  Rock Cottage Cakes in Urenui, was an iced chocolate "bucket" with rice crispy chicken bits dipped into white chocolate and corn flakes. 

Every Primo staff member gets a personalised cake on their 5th job anniversary and it was a good chance to say thank you to Craig for his endless work in the help desk. And to the spreading of high-tech geekery   in every aspect of human endeavour.

North Taranaki upgrades

Last year Primo bought a number of North Taranaki sites from Keryx Wireless.

The Primo site team has been out building the new Maukuku site up at Mt Messenger (top photo).

The bottom photos show the upgrading of the Kiwi Extension site on Kiwi Road.
These two sites complete the on-boarding of Keryx customers over to the Primo network. 

Welcome to Primo everyone!
We are a member of the Telecommunications Dispute Resolutions Scheme, a free and independent service available to help customers manage their complaints.  Click on the logo to find out more.
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