A Digital World without borders

This week New Zealand Work Research Institute (AUT) will launch its latest findings from The World Internet Project New Zealand alongside the launch of InternetNZ’s position paper Solving Digital Divides Together.

Policy Director from InternetNZ Ellen Strickland says, “We’re launching these two projects together because one answers the other. The World Internet Project  (WIP) identifies the state of play for Internet users in New Zealand as well as recognising the gaps and our paper Solving Digital Divides Together offers next steps and solutions.

“InternetNZ has long been a supporter of The World Internet Project and believes the picture this research paints is key to identifying the work it does to support a better Internet for a better New Zealand.”

Consistent with previous World Internet Project surveys, New Zealand maintains a connectivity rate of well over 90 percent. More importantly, there was a remarkable 25 percent decrease of those not connected from 8 percent down to 6 percent.

The fall in low-level users since the 2015 survey reflects a very high level of online activity. The frequency and range of online activities as well as the number of devices New Zealanders use to access the Internet have all increased.

“It is particularly satisfying to see that an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders who have any degree of impairment declare that the Internet has a positive impact on their quality of life”, say Angsana Techatassanasoontorn and Antonio Díaz Andrade from AUT’s New Zealand Work Research Institute, who led the World Internet Project 2017.

WIP is a longitudinal survey investigating New Zealanders' usage of, and attitudes towards the Internet. It is part of an international project that compares the uptake and social impacts of ICT in more than 40 partner countries and tracks the trends that occur.

These events will launch the latest research from WIPNZ, in conjunction with the international project, aiming to provide information and insight that can assist in community development, and in policy decision-making.

Solving Digital Divides Together calls for a number of recommendations and actions. Among them InternetNZ wants to activate digital divide initiatives in communities around the country as a means to achieve this target.

One of the first initiatives is in partnership with Vodafone Foundation and will co-fund a project from The Workshop- qualitative research into the lived experiences of digital divides for New Zealanders around the country.  

InternetNZ CE Jordan Carter says, “The Government and network builders have done a good job investing in Internet infrastructure. The Government is also following through on the promise to all New Zealanders that by 2025 99% of the population will have access to Broadband of at least 50 Mbps, and has committed more recently to closing digital divides by 2020.

“InternetNZ wanted to join and extend the conversation. Access to Internet infrastructure is no longer the key obstacle New Zealanders face, our paper shifts the focus from infrastructure to non-infrastructure digital divides  - motivation, skills, trust, affordability and accessibility. While some New Zealanders continue to experience digital divides and are excluded from meaningful use of the Internet, we are failing our most vulnerable.”

The launch will be a starting point to encourage action from government, civil society, and the Internet community, to work together to reduce the effects of digital divides in Aotearoa.

The events are co-hosted jointly by the NZ Work Research Institute (AUT) and InternetNZ.

Deconstructing Digital Divides

Thursday 24 May, 12:15pm

InternetNZ, level 11, 80 Boulcott Street



Monday 28 May, 5pm

WG308 on AUT City Campus, 2 Governor Fitzroy Place

Auckland Central

You can register for either of the events here. If you can’t make it along the Wellington event will be live streamed through InternetNZ’s Facebook page or through our website Thursday 24 May from 12:15pm.