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Two key characteristics of rural New Zealand, that make it different to urban New Zealand, could have an influence on policy outcomes:
Many rural businesses require the use of large areas of land, contributing to the rural community having a low population density and rural people and businesses being a long distance from services, markets and communication hubs.
High connectivity is important to all New Zealanders and all New Zealand businesses, but is more difficult to achieve in the rural environment.
Building and maintaining an efficient and effective connection infrastructure within and to rural New Zealand is important to enable people to work, live and run businesses in rural New Zealand and participate in the wider society. It often requires quite different approaches to those used in the urban community.
High connectivity is of particular importance to rural businesses that need to build and maintain close links with, and gain and maintain a thorough understanding of, national and international markets. This is particularly important to agricultural, forestry and rural tourism businesses given their high dependence on overseas customers.
The further people and businesses are from urban areas the more likely issues of low population density and isolation will affect the ability of people to live and work in a particular rural area.
Three areas relevant to policy development are especially influenced by population density and isolation: