Kiwis turning to the internet as information authority

Kiwis turning to the internet as information authority

With New Zealand internet use reaching saturation point, the focus of new research has shifted from how much people are using it to what for, how and why.

The World Internet Project New Zealand (WIPNZ) Report reveals 81 percent of the 2006 survey participants rated the net an important or very important source of information. This high rating was most pronounced among those aged 30 or under, with 91 percent of that group saying it was important or very important.

The percentage remained high (above 80 percent) for those aged between 30 and 65. The overall percentage of 81 compared with the much lower 56 percent that said it was an important or very important source of entertainment.

It also stands in contrast to lower percentages of those ranking offline media as sources of information: television stood at 47%, with radio and newspapers at 37%.

International director of the World Internet Project Dr Jeff Cole spoke at the launch of the New Zealand report in Wellington, saying, “New Zealand is widely recognised as a nation of early adopters, so to have had AUT University as a partner of the World Internet Project since 2007 has added a new dimension to the international body of data. New Zealand provides us with a data set that tells a unique story of internet use."

Sixty seven percent of Kiwis surveyed felt confident about using the internet, while four of out of five internet users surveyed here spent an hour or more online at home each day.

Making buying decisions was a key reason for using the internet: 85 percent used it to compare prices and 94 percent looked for online information about products.

A quarter of users were online to access Facebook or another social networking site several times a day. Sixty-four percent of internet users were making or receiving phone calls online, while just over a third said they used cloud services.

The WIPNZ report, part of the international World Internet Project, was completed by AUT’s Institute of Culture, Discourse and Communication and funded by InternetNZ and the National Library at the Department of Internal Affairs, with support from BuzzChannel.

Read the full report here.