More New Zealanders than ever will be able to access online services safely and securely, with today’s launch of a new Digital Inclusion Blueprint, Minister Megan Woods has announced.
“In a world where the internet impacts more and more of our lives, it’s important that all New Zealanders have the tools and skills they need to access online services and use the internet safely and securely.
“That’s what we mean we talk about digital inclusion. As more vital services move online, those who don’t have the skills or access will find it more difficult to go about their daily lives.
“Some people can’t easily apply for jobs as many recruitment processes start online, kids may be prevented from doing their homework, and others could feel isolated from more digitally savvy friends and family who communicate using social media. We want to ensure no one is left out or left behind as more and more of our lives move online.
“Today we are launching the Digital Inclusion Blueprint, which lays out how people can take full advantage of the internet. This will help us identify groups of New Zealanders who may struggle to access online services.
“This Blueprint will be used to coordinate the planning of different Government and community initiatives, and identify where future investment and action is needed.
“Access to online service is a key priority is one of my priorities and an area Government has already invested in. For example, the Prime Minister recently announced $21 million funding for Regional Digital Hubs (RDHs) in towns to connect local people and businesses to digital services.
“Additionally, this Government’s ultra-fast broadband programme connecting homes and businesses is about 77 per cent complete, with 1,432,554 users able to connect to the network. When the UFB infrastructure is fully deployed by the end of 2022, people in more than 390 towns and cities will be able to connect to the country’s fibre network.
Minister Woods thanks the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group for providing valuable advice during development of the Blueprint.