New digital inclusion organisation to expand support for communities

Digital Inclusion Alliance AotearoaMedia release 19/07/2018
Embargoed until 12:00pm 18 July 2018

A new organisation to promote digital inclusion was announced today by the organisation’s establishment board. The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) aims to be a catalyst for expanding digital inclusion initiatives throughout New Zealand, so that everyone has equitable opportunities to participate in the digital world.

“Our goal is to help reduce the barriers that prevent people from participating in their communities using digital technologies,” said Laurence Zwimpfer, establishment Chair of the Alliance. “This includes people from different age groups, geographic regions, income levels, disability status and ethnicity.”

“As an alliance, our approach is to work with and support organisations already involved in delivering social and community services. These organisations already have trusted relationships with their communities and we think they provide the key to enhancing the digital capability of the people they support.  Librarians are one example, but there are many others delivering valuable advisory and support services in local communities, including budget advisers, citizens’ advice bureaux, whānau ora navigators, front-line Work & Income staff, Family Start home visitors, social housing providers, church groups and the many, many others who provide these essential services,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

The 20/20 Trust has pioneered this approach by working with local community trusts, education providers, such as REAPs and public libraries. Given the Government’s commitment to digital inclusion, we think it is important to have a fully joined up approach in growing the digital capability of all our communities,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

“We welcome the 20/20 Trust’s endorsement of this approach by transferring responsibility for the very successful Stepping UP programme to the Alliance. The Trust has already partnered with over 100 community libraries and other organisations to deliver digital literacy programmes; our goal is to expand this to the majority of public libraries within the next two years. We are pleased that Sue Kini, who currently manages the Stepping UP programme has agreed to transfer to the Alliance, as well as Kristina Parbhu, who provides most of the administrative support for Spark Jump delivery partners.”

About Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa has been established 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.

Laurence Zwimpfer

Laurence Zwimpfer,  establishment Chair of the Alliance

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.

For further information contact

Laurence Zwimpfer  027 430 6737