Six research projects receive a helping hand from InternetNZ

A blog post from Andrew Cushen, Outreach and Engagement Director at InternetNZ
11 December 2018

In the spirit of holiday giving we are delighted to announce $156,000 of funding for researchers helping to maintain or extend the use and accessibility of the Internet for New Zealanders.

Our Internet research funding round for 2018-19 was launched on 6 July 2018 with applications closing on 21 August 2018. We received 34 applications, enjoying the variety of research ideas presented.

Congratulations to the following recipients: 

Dr Maggie Hartnett from Massey University ($20,000)

The Library as a Space for Digital Inclusion: Connecting Communities Through Technology.

This project, located within the Equity Through Education Research Centre at Massey University, seeks to investigate the role of public libraries in promoting digital inclusion and overcoming the digital divide. The Equity Through Education Centre recognises the role of technology in bringing about equitable societies.

Paua Interface ($35,000) 

Marae Connectivity - critical success factors to getting an innovation domino effect.

Since early 2015, marae connectivity initiative Mitimiti on the Grid has already met some basic sustainability thresholds. Research and reports on this project and similar projects around the world are planned to capture and document the success factors. They include measuring the impact of telecommunications and connectivity on micro-economies, along with lessons learned, technical approaches, the establishment and management of the remote tech team, network and wifi - and the potential to scale for multiple marae sites.

Two men setting up cables

Mitimiti on the Grid

Dr Caroline Keen ($22,920) 

Children's rights to privacy in the era of Big Data. 

This research will explore parents and children’s understandings, practices, and perceptions about the risks or advantages of big data, and where they may knowingly or unknowingly be exposed to privacy risks.

Laurence Zwimpfer from Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa ($25,000) 

Measuring Digital Divides in Disadvantaged Communities: A Pilot Study. 

National surveys relying on data collection using telephone or internet surveys do not reach the people who are the most digitally disadvantaged and therefore a different approach is called for. This research will explore an innovative approach for measuring and monitoring the digital divide for identified digitally disadvantaged groups. A comprehensive measure of digital inclusion must address all four dimensions - motivation, access, skills and trust. This research progresses a recommendation for developing robust measures of digital capabilities and digital inclusion, from the "Pulse of our Nation" digital inclusion report.

Dr Claire Henry from Massey University ($25,130)

Preventing child sexual offending online through effective digital media. 

This research will investigate the potential for online advertisements to prevent potential offenders accessing Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) via the Internet. First time or novice offenders often use search engines to look for CSAM, which presents an opportunity to use online advertisements to intervene before they view abuse material.

A/Prof Kerry Gibson from University of Auckland ($28,000) 

Improving Young New Zealanders’ Mental Health: How the Internet Puts Young People in Touch with Psychological Support. 

This research designs Internet interventions that will assist young people to recognise when they need offline support, gives them information about what resources are available in their communities and helps them to overcome barriers to making use of offline support.


Congratulations again to all of our recipients. We look forward to seeing the results of this research.

Community grants are an important part of our work to support the community who are developing and using the Internet to benefit Kiwis.

More information about our community funding.