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New interactive map shows digital divide in New Zealand

An interactive map created by InternetNZ and the 20/20 Trust shows the extent of the digital divide in New Zealand. This includes a breakdown of different regions' infrastructure access, digital skills gaps and socio-economic divides. 

InternetNZ chief executive Jordan Carter said despite digital literacy in New Zealand surging forward in many areas, some people still don't have access to the internet, while others aren't skilled enough to use it. Some also can't afford an internet connection.

"This is something that we want to see fixed. The internet has so many benefits for us all and no New Zealander should be denied the potential that the Internet offers us," Carter says.

20/20 chair Laurence Millar said internet access and digital skills are an essential part of daily life in New Zealand in 2017.

"New Zealanders without access, skills and confidence in using these tools are seriously disadvantaged. This new map reveals the areas likely to have greatest disadvantage," Millar says. “Our vision is that all New Zealanders fully participate in the digital world.”

The infastructure data used is from the National Broadband Map based on the number of homes within an area that can access broadband, while the digital skills data comes from New Zealand respondents to the OECD PIAAC Survey. Those surveyed were asked how often they engaged in various ICT activities at home and work, as well as whether they had the necessary ICT skills.

The data for social well-being was taken from the New Zealand Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation, which is produced by the Department of Public Health at the University of Otago. It takes into consideration factors like internet access, unemployment and a lack of qualifications.

The colour-coded 'heat' map shows a comparison between the digital inclusion and social wellbeing of people in different regions.

InternetNZ says it was created to help highlight these divides and understand them, as well as helping decision makers do something to address the divides.

The map can be set to show anywhere from a suburb to a wider region, It also pinpoints where digital inclusion projects are happening, as well as the local community resources on hand to address digital skill gaps.

InternetNZ says any feedback to improve the map in the future is welcome. View the map here