Future proofing initiative coming to Whanganui first

DORA (Digital On-Road Access), DIAA’s mobile digital learning centre

Whanganui residents, wanting to get on board for a future that includes more digital opportunities, will be the first in the country able to access a new mobile learning centre with online banking training.

From next Monday, free classes are being offered to Whanganui residents on DORA, a converted school bus.  DORA will be travelling the streets of Whanganui and parking up at libraries, retirement villages, marae and supermarkets to assist people better understand online banking and recognise and avoid online scams. The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) has partnered with Kiwibank to develop a Stepping UP training module for online banking and with DORA’s help, more people can participate in their local communities.   Each class takes two hours.

Whanganui District Libraries have joined up to deliver the classes on-board the bus.  “This is a great opportunity for our library staff to support people who are anxious about going online, especially when it comes to really important things like keeping safe and avoiding scams,” said Pete Gray, Manager – Libraries & Community, for Whanganui District Council. “We already have a very successful partnership with DIAA, delivering the JUMP internet service from the Davis, Gonville, Hakeke Street and Rangiora Street Libraries.”

DORA’s itinerary will be published on the Stepping UP website, starting on Monday 29 July with an ‘open bus’ (like an ‘open home’) between 10am and 2.30pm on the forecourt of Whanganui War Memorial Centre in Watt Street.  “We are sending invitations for our ‘open bus’ to over 100 stakeholders in Whanganui, especially organisations involved in delivering social services and supporting elderly people,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, establishment Chair of the Digital Inclusion Alliance. “We need their help in alerting the people they support to this opportunity and encourage people to sign up for a Digital Banking class on DORA.  We know that changes in the banking world, such as the move away from cheques, have the greatest impact on people who are digitally excluded and we want to make sure our communities are future proofed.”

“We greatly appreciate the support of Kiwibank in making this training possible, but this is not restricted to Kiwibank customers; the Digital Banking class is for everyone no matter who you bank with,” concluded Mr Zwimpfer.

DORA will be supporting Digital Banking classes in Whanganui, Marton and Bulls from 29 July to 13 September 2019.  Find out when DORA is going to be near you by contacting your local library or registering online at www.steppingup.nz

About Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa was established in 2018 to foster socially inclusive communities where everyone has equitable opportunities to meaningfully engage with digital technologies, and benefit from the use of them.  We aim to enhance the confidence and capability of people living in New Zealand to engage online to advance their own education, employment, health and wellbeing as well as that of their whānau. The Alliance acts as a catalyst for digital inclusion initiatives, by working with local communities, not-for-profit organisations, business enterprises and government agencies to pursue a shared digital inclusion vision.  Any organisation or individual working to achieve a more digitally included community is welcome to become a partner of the Alliance.

About DORA

DORA (Digital On-Road Access) is a 34 year old bus, converted to a digital classroom in 2012.  Suitable for around 10 adults, DORA can travel anywhere in New Zealand.  All the equipment is powered by a fully self-contained solar electrical system and the on-board computers have multiple different ways of connecting to the internet, including satellite. DORA is supported by the Lottery Grants Board, Transpower, Spark Foundation, Digital Wings and other business partners.


For further information contact

Laurence Zwimpfer, DIAA  027 430 6737   laurence@diaa.nz

Pete Gray, Whanganui District Libraries  027 289 5562  pete.gray@whanganui.govt.nz