World Internet Project New Zealand
Ciara Arnot Community Advisor •
The World Internet Project is a longitudinal survey that looks into usage and attitudes towards the Internet. It delves into the role the Internet plays in our lives, what users are doing online and how they feel about it.
The New Zealand Work Research Institute at AUT has been conducting this survey since 2007, alongside 30 partner countries enabling them to track trends over time. The survey provides fundamental insights into how we use and feel about the Internet in Aotearoa.
At the end of 2021, the latest findings were released.
In this latest iteration, the New Zealand survey has been one of the first to incorporate questions about the pandemic to understand the impacts. Ongoing work is underway to see how these results compare internationally. During the first 2020 lockdown period, an increase in Internet use was observed, including a rise in people using the Internet for entertainment, communication, and searching for information. For some people, it was their first time using video calling, or using the Internet to look for news or check facts.
Graphic (PDF): Internet use & COVID-19 in New Zealand
Advancing digital inclusion has been a big focus for InternetNZ and many others in recent years. We think about closing the digital divide in terms of increasing access, skills, trust, and motivation. This lines up well with the survey results showing 49% of non-users said they would become an Internet user if they had better access to devices, connections, or knowledge to use it. It also showed 64% of non-users were over 65 and gave reasons for not using the Internet such as it having no purpose, lack of knowledge, lack of device, or the cost.
Graphic (PDF): Internet use & non-use in New Zealand
Another issue concerning us recently has been the darker side of the Internet, threats such as misinformation, disinformation, and online hate. The report looked at what kind of negative experiences people are exposed to online and found almost 35% of Internet users believe that their privacy had been violated in the past year and 30% say they believe social media has made the world worse off.
Graphic (PDF): Internet users' opinion in New Zealand