Christchurch top of the agenda as Spark hires new South Island leader

New Head of South Island will represent Spark New Zealand on the ground and be the company’s eyes and senior voice in the region.

Spark New Zealand has appointed Paul Deavoll to the newly-created role of Head of South Island, to bring sharper focus to Spark’s business in the mainland.

Christchurch-based Deavoll is a South Island native who has been with the company for 15 years, most recently as Spark Digital’s Head of Key Corporate Clients.

“Paul will represent Spark New Zealand on the ground and be the company’s eyes and senior voice in the region,” says Simon Moutter, Managing Director, Spark New Zealand.

“We have substantial business interests in the South Island region and we employ around 800 staff across our regional offices, retail stores and business hubs.

“Paul is a passionate South Islander and his commitment to the region was clearly demonstrated through his leadership role at the time of the 2011/2012 Canterbury earthquakes.

“I’ve asked Paul to make sure we continue to “punch above our weight” in the region and ensure our South Island customers have access to the best services Spark New Zealand has to offer.”

As Head of South Island, Deavoll will have wide-ranging responsibilities including ‘big picture’ projects, engagement with community leaders, liaising with economic development agencies and helping local government get more from technology, as well as developing a property strategy for the company’s regional base in Christchurch.

Two items at the top of his agenda are taking charge of Spark New Zealand’s contribution to the Christchurch city rebuild and engaging with rural customers encountering fast broadband for the first time.

“Shaping our contribution to the rebuild of a modern Christchurch coincides with Spark New Zealand’s plan to build a rural 4G mobile network maximising the 700Mhz spectrum for those outside of the major cities,” says Deavoll, who starts his new role on July 1.

“While the rest of us have grown up with broadband as it has developed over the years, many people in parts of the South Island face switching from dial-up to fast wireless broadband in a single day.

“I welcome the challenge of helping southern customers make these transitions and improve their digital experience.”

At present, Spark New Zealand is rolling out 700 MHz 4G across rural New Zealand including 19 new sites in the South Island and will soon begin selling Rural Wireless Broadband to customers in these areas.

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