Awhi Matihiko - digital equity initiative renewed
Ciara Arnot Senior Community Advisor •
Awhi Matihiko brings internet access and digital connectivity to some of our newest New Zealanders. It is a collaboration between New Zealand Red Cross, Spark Foundation, Skinny Jump, InternetNZ, and Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa. The Digital Settlement Package empowers former refugees through digital accessibility and supports them to participate in the New Zealand community, as they build their new lives in Aotearoa.
The pilot programme benefited more than 300 people. Awhi Matihiko will be available to former refugees newly arriving across New Zealand Red Cross’ eight settlement locations in 2022 and 2023. The collaboration prioritises new arrivals that are not eligible for other forms of digital support funding.
The package includes Spark’s not-for-profit broadband product — Skinny Jump — with 210GB of data paid for 12 months (or a fixed line connection if Jump is not available at their address), a Chromebook (laptop) and digital skills training, if required.
For people who have fled from conflict or persecution, starting a new life on the other side of the world, away from loved ones, can be daunting. But in the digital age, distance is not the problem it used to be. It’s easier to keep in touch with loved ones through the power of technology. Digital connectivity is also crucial when settling into a new home and community. But barriers to digital inclusion for former refugee communities can make it harder to participate in society and access the good things that come with being connected.
With our combined resources, we can work together to benefit more people. That means New Zealand Red Cross delivers the initiative, Spark Foundation provides broadband connectivity, InternetNZ provides funding for devices and Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa supports with training and logistics.
Each year InternetNZ uses profits from the sale of .nz domain names to give out community funding. We provide funding for community-led initiatives that help to create an Internet that benefits all of Aotearoa.
This initiative received funding in 2022.