PrimoWireless is gifting free Wi-Fi to Taranaki DHB this Christmas

11 December 2017

Taranaki DHB is delighted to announce free Wi-Fi is now available at both Taranaki Base and Hawera hospitals thanks to the generosity of PrimoWireless, the Taranaki owned and operated internet service provider company.

Rosemary Clements, Taranaki DHB CE said, “Christmas has come early for Taranaki DHB and I want to thank PrimoWireless for providing both Taranaki Base and Hawera hospital with free Wi-Fi. PrimoWireless is truly a community minded organisation and free Wi-Fi is going to make a huge difference for our patients, who will be able to connect with friends and whanau while they recover in hospital.”

For Matthew Harrison, PrimoWireless Managing Director his decision to provide free Wi-Fi at Taranaki DHB is truly heartfelt and personal.

Matthew’s story starts back in 2012. He explains “On the outside it looked like everything was going fine for me. I was growing a successful business, I had an amazing wife and family, plus great friends; together we were doing awesome things for providing internet solutions for the rural people of Taranaki.”

“However, underneath it all there was a hidden problem, one that men often don’t talk about or seek help for. I was getting sicker with every day that passed. I started making regular visits to the Emergency Department, then I was admitted to the wards for a day here and there while I was pumped full of antibiotics.”

“The doctors were unsure of what was happening. Tests were being done, decisions were being made and I was starting to have less time out of hospital than in. It became a second home for me, the incredible nurses knew me by name, I was a regular.”

Matthew was finally diagnosed with diverticulitis, a debilitating bowel disease that mainly affects older people. “I asked myself, how could I, a seemingly healthy 28-year-old have this and most importantly, how do I deal with it?”

Surgery was Matthew’s only option as he could no longer function as a normal person, and during 2012-2013 he spent almost six months of his life in Ward 3 at Taranaki Base Hospital. Matthew reveals “My business suffered, my friendships suffered, and most importantly my mental health suffered.”

“In today’s modern age we rely so much on our phones, connectivity and the internet. When someone spends as much time in a hospital as I did, people stop visiting, not because they didn’t care but because I was always there.”

“Staying in contact with friends and family is an important part of recovery; it reminds you of what you have to look forward to when it’s all over. But trying to run a business from a hospital bed with little to no connectivity is an impossible task,” he said.

“Over the 6 months while I was in hospital I had burnt through over $3000 of internet data trying to run my business from a hospital bed and I decided something had to change.”

Building a wireless hotspot network that covers an entire hospital made out of concrete and steel is no small feat and Matthew and the PrimoWireless team worked closely with the Taranaki DHB’s IT department to come up with a solution to provide free wireless at both Base and Hawera hospital.

Matthew adds, “Fast forward to today, after many months of testing and tweaking we are now ready to launch our free hotspot service for the people of Taranaki. I hope that at the very least this will enable communication with families, friends and loved ones during their stay.”

Āpiti hono tātai hono,
rātou te hunga mate ki a rātou
Tātou te hunga ora ki a tātou
Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa

I pay tribute to those who have passed before us
I give thanks to those of us living
Greetings to everyone



For more information please contact:
Cressida Gates-Thompson, Taranaki DHB Communications Manager, 027 703 6177
Matthew Harrison, Managing Director, PrimoWireless, 0800 123 774


Last updated: Thursday, January 11, 2018

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