This month Dr Megan Woods (Minister for Government Digital Services) launched “The Digital Inclusion Blueprint – Te Mahere mō te Whakaurunga Matihiko.” The purpose is to help more New Zealander’s have access to digital services.
Dr Woods “In a world where the internet impacts more and more of our lives, it’s important that all New Zealander’s have the tools and skills they need to access online services and use the internet safely and securely.”
Jordan Carter, Chief Executive of InternetNZ supports the plan. “Every day many of us are spending more time on the Internet and being able to access information online has now become a necessity. It’s so important that everyone has access to the Internet – to live our lives in today’s digital age.”
The four key underlying challenges listed in the Digital Inclusion Blueprint are motivation, skills, access and trust. The governments Digital Inclusion Blueprint specifically mentions seniors being at risk of not being digitally included in New Zealand. Dr Wendy Wrapson recently completed a study Social Connectedness of Older People in Aged Care finding that many people were provided with digital connectivity in aged care facilities by friends and family.
In a digitally connected world that is ever expanding, people who do not have access to the internet will feel increasingly isolated.
The Blueprint also outlines 4 roles for the government to focus on while New Zealand becomes more digitally inclusive – lead, connect, support and deliver. The focus will be on empowering both occasional internet users and non-users to become confident users through devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets as opposed to up-skilling existing daily users of the internet.
“We hope that the Government sets this as a key priority because every New Zealander deserves the opportunity to harness the power of the Internet,” says Carter.