What is digital inclusion?

Digital inclusion is about making sure that everyone can use and enjoy the internet and digital technology—including access, digital skills training, and support. This ensures individuals and communities can fully and confidently participate in an ever-increasing digital world. This, too, is our Vision.

Why is digital inclusion important?

The goal is to make sure that all people have the ability to use the internet to do the things online that benefit them from day to day.  Increasingly everything is done online—more services and buying and selling are going exclusively online as well as government services—passport applications and renewals, access to tax and pension records—so those who don’t have online access are becoming increasingly disadvantaged.

There is still a high percentage of households without internet access, so many in Aotearoa New Zealand are still digitally excluded in some way. We also know 20% of New Zealand adults lack the essential digital skills needed to use the internet1.

A digitally-included person, whānau or community has convenient, reliable access to affordable, accessible digital devices (such as computers or smart phones) and an internet connection (through fibre, broadband, wi-fi and mobile), and can confidently use them in their day-to-day life.

So, in a nutshell, digital inclusion is about making sure that the internet and technology are available to everyone and that everyone knows how to confidently use them.

1. Source: Bank of New Zealand: Digital Skills for Life in Aotearoa

The four pillars of digital inclusion

There are four interdependent digital inclusion elements — access, skills, motivation and trust as shown below.  These are at the core of all our programmes.

Digital inclusion elements diagram