Minister Megan Woods announced that the recent launch of New Zealand’s Digital Inclusion Blueprint will provide more New Zealanders access to online services safely and securely.
According to a recent press release, it is significant that all New Zealanders have the tools and skills that they need in order to access online services and use the internet safely and securely.
This is more so now that they live in a world where the internet impacts more and more aspects of their lives.
Why is digital inclusion important?
Digital inclusion is very critical since more vital services are moving online. Those who do not have the skills or access will find it more difficult to go about their daily lives.
For instance, some people cannot easily apply for jobs as many recruitment processes start online.
Additionally, kids may be prevented from doing their homework, or others may feel isolated from more digitally savvy friends and family who communicate using social media.
The blueprint will ensure that one is left out or left behind as more aspects of people’s lives move online.
Digital Inclusion Blueprint
The Digital Inclusion Blueprint lays out how people can take full advantage of the internet. This will help the government identify the groups of New Zealanders who may struggle to access online services.
It lays out the Government’s vision for digital inclusion in New Zealand, the role it will play and steps it will take toward realising this vision.
In addition, this Blueprint will be used to coordinate the planning of different Government and community initiatives, and identify where future investment and action is needed.
The Blueprint sets out 4 roles for government in building a digitally included New Zealand: lead, connect, support and deliver.
The focus for 2019 is to build a strong foundation for long-term, sustainable action.
This includes finalising an outcomes framework and advice on evaluating initiatives, as well as identifying priority areas for focus and any areas of need not currently being served.
Access to online service
Access to online service is a key priority and an area Government has already invested in.
The Prime Minister, for instance, recently announced NZ$ 21 million funding for Regional Digital Hubs (RDHs) in towns to connect local people and businesses to digital services.
OpenGov Asia earlier reported on NZ’s Regional Digital Hubs to boost business and connection.
Additionally, this Government’s ultra-fast broadband programme connecting homes and businesses is about 77% complete, with 1,432,554 users able to connect to the network.
OpenGov Asia has reported on More New Zealanders connected to ultra-fast broadband internet. The report shared thata lot of New Zealanders are keen internet users and use is increasing year on year.
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.