More New Zealanders than ever will be able to access online services safely and securely, with the launch, on Friday May 3rd, 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…
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. The Digital Inclusion Blueprint, which lays out how people can take full advantage of the internet, 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.
Greg says ‘The launch of the blueprint by the Hon. Megan Woods took place at Hornby Primary School in Christchurch, and what a great context it was for this kaupapa. We were in the presence of eight and nine-year-olds for whom digital is the norm and whose lives are enriched through curiosity and learning.
We will continue to provide advice to the Minister for Government Digital Services and the Minister for Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media. That advice draws on our networks and relates to ensuring that everyone can thrive in our digital society, increasing the digital uptake of small to medium enterprises, and improving government digital procurement.’
LIANZA President-elect, Rachel Esson attended the launch of the Digital Inclusion Blueprint with Greg Morgan and says there is a ‘crucial role for libraries to contribute to this mahi.’
LIANZA President, Paula Eskett agrees and adds that ‘the relevance of the role libraries can play and the potential of libraries to be community anchors of inclusion, equity and opportunity for everyone continues to grow. Digital inclusion acknowledges that in a digital by default society ALL people need to be able to participate and contribute.’
LIANZA’s briefing notes to the Minister of Internal Affairs, in October 2017, stressed that in today’s digital age the role of libraries within society has become more critical than ever, providing equitable access to information and therefore bridging the next socio-economic divide – information poverty. LIANZA identified key benefits delivered by libraries including: Increased literacy and educational outcomes for communities; improved societal well-being; and improved economic outcomes, especially in rural regions.
The blueprint along with a digital inclusion action plan is available on the Digital Government website (digital.govt.nz).
Read the full press release here.