April 26, 2017
Maori miss out on Internet promise
A new study of digital inclusion has found Maori and Pasifika people, along with those on low incomes, sole parents, rural dweller and people with disabilities are least likely to be connected to the internet.
Catherine Soper, a policy fellow with advocacy group Innovation Partnership, says New Zealand has made good progress toward making broadband accessible, but some people are still not able to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Internet.
She wants Government to give greater focus to digital inclusion policy and to collaborate with others to deliver initiatives.
Innovation Partnership is a network of organisations including Internet New Zealand, Google and Chorus.
Ms Soper says government, industry, non-government organisations and educators need to lift New Zealanders’ digital skills through targeted policy and initiatives if New Zealand is to remain competitive in an increasingly global economy.
Those who are unable to utilise technology are at risk of becoming increasingly disadvantaged – they are less employable, have fewer opportunities to access online government, education, health or business services and miss chances to communicate with friends and family.
While much of New Zealand’s focus has been on improving access, it’s time to step up and ensure all citizens have the skills, motivation, confidence and trust to live and work in a digital world..
She estimates better use of online services could lift GDP by $34 billion and save the average household $1000 a year.
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