Maori access to information technology

Publication Date01 Oct 2003
AuthorBrett Parker
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
Maori access to
information technology
Brett Parker
The rapid growth of the information and
communications technology (ICT) industries
in developed countries has been an important
driver of economic development. This
expansion has also occurred in New Zealand,
with substantial new business and
employment growth in telecommunications,
software development, hardware sales and
Internet services.
The usefulness of the Internet for social
communication, e-commerce and
e-government services has highlighted the
importance of ensuring widespread Internet
access by New Zealanders ± including Maori.
Maori are the indigenous people of New
Zealand, who made up 14.7 per cent of the
total population of 3.74m people at the time
of the national Census in March 2001.
Te Puni KoÈkiri (the New Zealand Ministry
of Maori Development) has focused on
Internet access as a key indicator of Maori
people's ability to use ICT. The key findings
from the ACNielsen Netwatch[1] surveys
during 2000 and 2001 (the latest data
available), and the results of the 2001
Census (Statistics New Zealand, 2001),
were used to provide information on the
extent of Internet access by Maori. The
resulting publication Maori Access to
Information Technology was released by Te
Puni KoÈkiri in July 2001 (Te P uni KoÈkiri,
2001) and copies can be downloaded from
its Web site[2].
The information presented in this paper on
Maori access to the Internet was largely
sourced from the ACNielsen ``Netwatch''
surveys which were undertaken during 2000
and 2001. These surveys covered the whole of
New Zealand including rural areas.
The fieldwork for the survey was
conducted each year from early February to
mid-December. The survey covers the
population of New Zealand aged ten years
and over. The estimated number of these
persons, usually resident in New Zealand as at
March 1996, was 3,049,000.
The results presented are based on
information collected from personally
conducted interviews with 3,000 people
conducted in each quarter. Annual results are
The author
Brett Parker is Senior Policy Analyst, Ministry of Maori
Development, Wellington, New Zealand.
Information services, Internet, Electronic commerce,
Ethnic groups, Telecommunication, New Zealand
The extent of Internet access is a key indicator of the
Maori people's ability to use information technologies for
social, e-commerce and e-government communication.
The key findings from national surveys of Internet use
during 2000 and 2001, together with census data, provide
an indication of Internet access amongst Maori. The
results show there is a substantial ``digital divide''
between Maori and other New Zealanders, in terms of
access to the Internet and employment in information
technology industries. This ``divide'' is likely to be due to
the lower household incomes and educational outcomes
of Maori adults. While Maori currently do not have the
same level of access to information technology as non-
Maori, the growth in their participation has nonetheless
been rapid.
Electronic access
The Emerald Research Register for this journal is
available at
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is
available at
The Electronic Library
Volume 21 .Number 5 .2003 .pp. 456-460
#MCB UP Limited .ISSN 0264-0473
DOI 10.1108/02640470310499830

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