InternetNZ funds projects working to close digital divides

9 May 2019Vanisa Dhiru
A blog post by Vanisa Dhiru, Community Manager

InternetNZ’s purpose is to help New Zealanders harness the power of the Internet.

Through our funding round, we empower communities to develop or continue cool internet related initiatives that align with our strategic goals.

In our fourth strategic goal, we commit to collaborating with others to identify, agree and effect significant progress on four interventions to bridge different digital divides (motivation, access, trust, skills).

We are thrilled to fund so many deserving projects helping us on our journey toward bridging digital divides in New Zealand.

Congratulations to the nine successful community projects:


Blind Foundation ($30,000)

Voice activated access to information — phase 1 implementation. 

To carry out a limited roll-out of the Amazon Alexa solution for 500 users nationwide. The roll-out includes installation, training, skill support, access to resources. Support will include an introduction to user privacy and how data collection works so users can make informed decisions regarding their online activities. 


Digits ($8,970)

Digital Inclusion Community Hub.

To develop a drop-in-centre pilot project in Palmerston North and to create a business study for the broad Digits Hub idea. The drop-in-centre will be the backbone of the community hub which will focus on helping the community by solving a range of digital inclusion issues.


Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa ($21,000)

Building Digital Well-Being: A Community Pilot in Hutt City. 

To build on Netsafe and Stepping UP resources to create and pilot a new whanau-focused digital well-being programme for delivery in libraries and community centres throughout New Zealand. The target audience will be parents who don’t have the confidence to guide and support safe online experiences for themselves and their children.

Stepping up in action

Stepping up programme in action 

Hutt City Libraries ($6,720)

Stepping Out to Grow Stepping UP, digital skills programme. 

The Lower Hutt Stepping UP classes have seen a huge increase in demand — from the initial target group of older persons, to migrants, deaf/hearing impaired, people with disabilities and special needs, and non-digitally-literate adults returning to work. This grant will go towards paying for tutor time in order to increase capacity and improve sustainability. 


Te Ora Hou Wellington East ($10,000)

Digital Bridge.

To connect some of the most disadvantaged groups to increase their digital literacy, by using a community-led development approach, building the leadership within the community to help their own people. This project will support local people to understand more about what computers and the Internet can do, and the positive impact this can have on their lives.


Te Aka Toiu Trust ($30,000)

Help underprivileged students with learning online.

To purchase a supply of Customer Premise Equipment dishes to connect the home with the schools Network 4 Learning network where Kawerau and Murupara decile 1 and 2 students will be able to login to a WiFi network and complete homework.


Greater Christchurch Schools’ Network ($20,000)

ConnectED Aranui.

To install 66 Chorus WiFi access points on telephone poles within the Aranui area in eastern Christchurch in order to provide student Network 4 Learning access at home.


Ten Forward Technology Lounge ($5,000)

Beginner Tech Workshops for Non-Tech Adults/Seniors.

To provide free digital skill workshops on a variety of topics that older adults need help with, such as how to update apps and get emails on your phone, how to communicate with your grandchildren, how to check the bus times, how to sell things on Trademe, and even how to set up a good online dating profile!

University of Waikato – WAND Network Research Group ($20,000)

Open Source Lawful Interception (OpenLI).

To develop the software to meet requirements identified at the recent TICSA/OpenLI workshop held in conjunction with the NZ Police and National Cyber Security Centre. These include improving the internal accountability logging and security of the software, improving performance and keeping current with developing standards of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

The 2018/19 Community Projects Funding Round was launched on 26 September 2018 and closed 12 November 2018. We received 42 applications for over $150k in this round.

We congratulate these applicants for their time, energy and expertise to help New Zealanders harness the power of the Internet.  

We are currently making changes to our community grant programme. If you would like to keep up to date with these changes, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter dotNews.