New Zealand government launches Digital Inclusion Action Plan to boost digital inclusion

3 May 2019

The Digital Inclusion Action Plan (Action Plan) is the first stage in the high-level timeline outlined in the Digital Inclusion Blueprint (the Blueprint). It pinpoints the government priority areas in 2019 to ensure digital inclusion for all New Zealanders. "New Digital Inclusion Blueprint will be used to coordinate the planning of different government and community initiatives, and identify where future investment and action is needed,” said Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The plan, which provides the vision and timeline for digital inclusion, further identifies four key roles for the government in the digital inclusion which are mainly to lead, connect, support, and deliver the digital inclusion Action Plan. Jordan Carter, Chief Executive of InternetNZ, welcomed the plan seeing that there are still New Zealanders who are not connected due to issues related to affordability, trust, digital skills, or motivation. "Barriers to digital inclusion are multi-faceted and are felt unevenly across New Zealand,” he elaborated.

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The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.

The digital divide can be defined as a rift between those who, for technical, political, social, or economic reasons, have access and capabilities to use ICT/Internet, and those who do not. Various views have been put forward about the size and relevance of the digital divide.

 

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