Supporting New Zealand’s rural broadband initiative phase 2

Client Name
Rural Connectivity Group
New Zealand
  • GIS & information systems
  • Planning
  • Transaction due diligence


The Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) is an independent entity established to acquire site locations and build, operate and maintain the 4G wireless network across rural New Zealand.

They were appointed by the government to be the infrastructure provider to bring 4G wireless broadband, 4G voice calling and a 3G mobile service to rural New Zealand under the Rural Broadband Initiative Phase 2 (RBI2) and the Mobile Black Spot fund (MBSF).

The RCG, under their original programme, were aiming to cover at least 30,000 rural homes and businesses, 1,000 km of rural state highways and 100 tourist hotspots. The government’s Telecommunications Development Levy funded this critical infrastructure project, and an additional $75M was provided by New Zealand’s three mobile network operators Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees. The RCG is now embarking on an expansion of the original programme to reach even more remote and isolated communities, providing much needed connectivity.


4Sight (now SLR) has successfully been involved in the delivery of site acquisition and planning services from the inception of RCG.

Our Property team continues to provide Site Acquisition expertise for sites nationwide and has been fundamental in the important strategic development of the programme since its inception. The team deliver the ongoing work required to enable the successful deployment of a complex infrastructure build programme with a diverse number of stakeholders, including acquiring the necessary occupation rights, ability to access, and “Right to Build”.

The Planning team still routinely provides planning and resource management advice and prepares applications for a significant number of sites across New Zealand, all within an efficient and timely manner. This includes producing risk assessments under the National Environmental Standards for Telecommunication Facilities 2016 and a large number of district plans, preparing resource consent applications and certificates of compliance applications, along with preparing environmental impact assessments for DOC concessions and obtaining Authority to Modify permissions from Heritage New Zealand, and engaging with specialists including Landscape Architects and archaeology.


In June 2024, the RCG network reached 500 live sites, providing broadband and mobile coverage to over 33,000 homes and businesses, 1100 km of state highway blackspots, 110 tourist locations, and includes over 25 solar-powered-only sites. The programme has enhanced the everyday lives of rural New Zealanders by providing much-needed connectivity at home, at work, across the farm and on local roads. It is has also assisted in improving safety on New Zealand’s state highway network and provided mobile connections from tourist locations.

"Response to the livening of these sites has been overwhelmingly positive from local community and council stakeholders and I can’t thank everyone enough for their contribution; it’s been a huge team effort and we’re proud to be providing coverage when it is most needed."

John Proctor, previous RCG CEO

Image courtesy of the Rural Connectivity Group.