When Covid-19 forced New Zealanders to live most of their lives online it exacerbated the effects of digital exclusion. Jean Teng spoke to the organisations that kept vulnerable communities connected during the pandemic.
From job hunting and banking to watching TV and scrolling through the news, there is hardly a corner of modern life untouched by the internet. A 2019 report from the Vodafone Foundation and InternetNZ, which focused on participants with lived experience of digital exclusion, found internet accessibility was essential to young people’s daily routines, even for those facing significant barriers around accessibility or digital capabilities. When a young person in Westport was asked what they used the internet for, they replied: “A better question might be, ‘what don’t people use the internet for?’”.