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Gisborne is the unlikely New Zealand town embracing emerging technologies

The Gisborne region is set to lead the way in emerging technologies, with the establishment of an innovative new community-focused energy hub.

Electric Village is being developed by the infrastructure company Eastland Group, which operates Eastland Generation, Eastland Port, Gisborne Airport and Eastland Network, the electricity network for Gisborne, Wairoa and the East Coast.

The Electric Village will open at 37 Gladstone Road, Gisborne in the next couple of months.

Matt Todd, Eastland Group chief executive says, “The energy sector is undergoing rapid change, from personal solar generation to batteries, electric bikes and cars, emerging technologies could have significant benefits for our community.

“It's essential that we start the conversation now, and talk about what's happening internationally and could happen here.

“We want to understand what people think about the future of energy, and how they see our region being powered in the coming years and decades.

Todd described the new energy-hub as a genuinely village-like concept and approach, as a dedicated place where everyone in the community is welcome to drop in and share ideas.

It aims to be a one-stop-shop for energy ideas and advice.

The Electric Village aims to showcase interactive exhibitions and information about the past, present and future of energy technology.

The Eastland Group promises that electric bikes and vehicles will be another highlight, along with the findings from the company's local solar trials.

People will also be able to talk about their own electricity usage and get practical, easy to implement advice on how to make homes more energy efficient.

The region's first high-speed electric vehicle charger, which will offer free charging for six months, will be located in the village.

Earlier this year, Eastland Group hosted a number of workshops with Gisborne locals, to learn more about their interest in new energy.

Todd saying, “They told us that Gisborne and the wider Tairāwhiti region is ideally placed to become the leading light in the adoption of emerging technologies.

“They said they wanted to know more about electric vehicles, solar generation and the future of the electricity sector.

The Electric Village will be the focal point of these developments and ongoing conversations with the community.

Todd continues, “With Eastland Network, it's our responsibility to keep the lights on for the region.

“That responsibility extends to exploring new ways in which Tairāwhiti residents can take advantage of the advances in energy generation, storage and delivery.

“This is an exciting project for us and the community, we're looking forward to working together towards a bright and innovative future.

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