Speech by Luamanuvao Laban. Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
Grand Hall, Parliament House, Wellington
20 November 2006
Taloha ni, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, Kia orana, Ia Orana, Gud de tru olgeta, Talofa, Kia ora tatou and Warm Pacific Greetings to you all this evening.
Don Hollander, Chair of the 2020 Communications Trust;
Dr. Michael Gurstein, Director of the Centre of Community Informatics, Research, Training and Development in Canada;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted and honoured to host this special occasion – 2020 Communication Trust’s 10th anniversary.
Here in New Zealand I am keen to promote and showcase information and communication technology (ICT) – and to show that within New Zealand we have healthy ICT appetites and are eagerly finding our feet in this new digital age.
The 2020 Communication Trust is a great community role model. This celebration of the Trust’s 10th anniversary shows its early leadership in the development of community ICT in New Zealand.
Since the first establishment of the Trust in 1996 in Wellington, it has developed and expanded to now include the National 2020 Trust and four regional Trusts.
The Trust’s aim is to help disadvantaged community groups and individuals access ICT. It seeks to empower kiwis through ICT and strengthen our communities through encouraging full participation in an information society.
Key to the Trust’s success is that it’s all about bringing people together to explore new opportunities, and realise the great potential of our communities.
The number one benefit of ICT is that it empowers people to do what they want to do. It empowers people to be creative. It empowers people to learn things they didn’t think they could learn before.
ICT is one of the most valuable tools we have.
The Trust’s chair, Don Hollander will talk to you all today about some of the Trust’s projects. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight just two projects – Computers in Homes and Pasifika-IT.
Computers in Homes, a 2020 Communication Trust project, has brought the Internet and ICT literacy to over 2000 New Zealand families.
This is a wonderful achievement.
Since its bold beginnings at Cannons Creek School in 2000, the scheme has continued to grow and new projects are being planned every day.
The scheme has established a strong network of sponsors and supporters, which are vital to the programmes continuation. This award winning initiative empowers school children and their families to be able to use computers.
Earlier this year the Trust organised the very successful Pasifika-IT day. I was pleased to be involved in this event and spoke about how ICT is a critical component in realising Pacific people’s potential.
I believe New Zealand has a role for further collaboration with our Pacific neighbours to strengthen ICT capacity and capability for the Pacific.
I also acknowledge that NGOs, businesses and not-for profit organisations such as the 2020 Communication Trust should also be part of this solution.
The Labour-led government’s Digital Strategy is about unlocking our potential to achieve New Zealand’s economic, social and cultural aspirations.
It focuses on Content – information we can access that can enrich the quality of our lives; Confidence – the skills to use ICT in a secure environment; and Connection – getting access to and using ICT.
Six of the Trust’s projects have received contestable seed funding from the Digital Strategy’s Community Partnership Fund.
These projects include Living Heritage, Computers in Homes, Positive Computing for Parents, E-rider, Whanau Link, and WebGuide.
I would like to congratulate these projects for their successful applications and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour.
As we find our feet in the ICT world, and demonstrate our leadership potential, it is important to enjoy and celebrate our achievements.
As we go forward, I hope we’re going to continue to use ICT to make really big differences in how people live and work.
I applaud the Trust’s work in promoting and assisting with the development of New Zealand as a leader in ICT.
I hope that the next 10 years are as successful for the Trust as its first 10. I look forward to hearing of your achievements and successes in the many years to come.
Please give a warm welcome to Don Hollander, chair of the 2020 Communication Trust.
Community and Voluntary Sector