Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Merry May Update

We are making the most for our digital opportunities in Wanganui with plenty happening here to make a better digital world for our community.

Wanganui Computer Clubhouse Blessed

Last Friday, 21 May 2010 was a BIG milestone for Wanganui with the blessing of our new Computer Clubhouse. Here is our Deputy Mayor, Dot McKinnon talking about how having the Clubhouse will make a difference for us. Our kaumatua Uncle John Maihi is in the background, with Jay Rerekura, Sally-Jane De Salazar, Heather Cox, and Clubhouse Coordinator, Marcina Kenworthy.

Click here to see other photos from the blessing and scans of press coverage

It is so cool to see the Clubhouse underway. We are planning to have a formal launch in July, once membership is established and projects have started.

Wanganui CIH Progress

Currently, we have got CIH classes going at Castlecliff, Tawhero, Wanganui East and Whanganui Awa Schools, and Putiki Marae. We have got around 85 participants registered –WHEW. This is well along the way to our goal of 150 families by July next year!

Here is a photo taken earlier this week at the Putiki Marae Cyberwhare with our CIH class tutor Judd Bailey and some of the whanau.

Wanganui District Council Wisdom

I am so proud and pleased to be living in a district where the local authority has really got their act together to lead facilitation of our digital capability and capacity. The WDC has a draft Digital Strategy out for consultation AND a draft Broadband Strategy. Plus, they have got a draft Economic Development and Resource Management Strategy out with broadband capability and capacity identified as a key opportunity and desired strength.

Click here to download copies

Evidence of Digital Need for Wanganui

There are plenty of good reasons why special attention needs to be made addressing Wanganui's digital needs. Statistics New Zealand has just published their 3-yearly Household use of ICT Survey, based on data obtained in December 2009.

The survey finds there are still 25% of households NZ-wide who do not connect to the internet from home. Wanganui's uptake is much worse at 34%. This is the second lowest in NZ. For broadband uptake, 63% of NZ households connect. Wanganui's uptake is 47%, the lowest proportion in NZ.

Whilst this result is not a good one for us, it will provide a useful benchmark which we can use to move up the ladder. It is very strong evidence there is still plenty of effort needed to get on the right side of the digital divide.

On the positive side though, the survey shows plenty of evidence that those who do connect are increasing their use of on-line:
  • Internet banking is up 41% from 37% to 52% of total population
  • Social networking is now the 5th most popular activity at 37%, not measured in 2006 (Not considered important then?)
  • Telephone over the internet has increased 150% from 8% to 20%
  • Video calling is 13%, not measured in 2006.
  • Download or watch movies, short films or images are up 107% to 27% from 13%.
  • Applying for jobs online (16%) and making online payments are 6th= most popular both increasing 60% since 2006.

Internet activities now seem to be taking a solid role in peoples' lives and provide important tools for them to be successful. We can all take heart that now is a better time than ever to get the laggards to jump aboard the ICT juggernaught!!!!

Click here to download my full analysis of the survey.