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Digital Inclusion for Older People

From our Partners

By Office for Seniors

3 May 2022

A26I5669 min

Digital technology has changed our lives significantly in the past few decades, with most Government agencies and businesses moving online. In many instances this is accompanied by a scaling back of non – digital options. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked this trend and amplified the role digital engagement plays in our daily lives.


Older people are less likely to own a digital device or have internet connection. Some may have the means to be online but lack the skills to carry out online activities safely with trust and confidence.

Research suggests usage, trust, and confidence in using digital devices, and essential digital skills diminish with age:

  • up to 25% of people aged 65 and over do not have access to the internet, this figure rises to 35% for people aged 75 and over
  • up to 20% of people aged 60-69 do not have the confidence in using digital devices, this increases to over 30% for people aged 70 and over
  • about 33% of people aged 60-69 lack essential digital skills, this increases to 50% for those aged 70-79, and 79% for those aged 80 and over

The world’s population is ageing; the number of people aged 65 and over is increasing.  


Digital Inclusion Action Group for Older People

The Office for Seniors have been working with digital training providers to enhance partnership opportunities and explore ways to improve digital inclusion for older people.

Five organisations have signed an agreement with us to work collaboratively to increase the reach, impact, quality, and consistency of digital literacy training programmes for older people. The five organisations are:

  • SeniorNet (The Federation of New Zealand SeniorNet Societies) currently has 53 learning centres across New Zealand. It has about 8,500 members. SeniorNet run workshops and tailored presentations supporting older adults to learn about the opportunities of technology and how it can be used to improve their everyday lives.
  • Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) engage with 350 delivery partners throughout New Zealand, bringing together local communities, not-for-profits, businesses, researchers, government agencies and individuals working to enhance digital inclusion. The delivery network includes public libraries and community organisations.
  • 2020 Trust partner with local communities to deliver digital inclusion programmes that provide learners with access, skills, confidence, and motivation. 2020 Trust are currently working with over 30 partners to provide digital literacy programmes for Māori, Pasifika, Seniors and Refugees across Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • Moana Research are currently working with churches in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin. Each church has a membership of 50-200 people. Under the DIGIFALE programme, young people (navigators) have been teaching their elders, basic mobile literacy skills so they are confident navigating digital platforms to help improve their health and wellbeing.
  • Age Concern Auckland Asian Service Team is currently focusing on supporting digitally excluded Chinese, Korean, and Japanese older people in the Auckland region. They are also working with Age Concern Hamilton and Age Concern Wellington to reach and support more older Asian people.

We are pleased to launch this group the Digital Inclusion Action Group for Older People during Techweek 2022 and invite you to explore the benefits of educating and connecting older people online. We welcome you to discuss helping older New Zealanders to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from the digital world.


The Digital Inclusion Action Group for Older People will be presenting at 4:40pm Thursday 19th of May on Techweek TV.


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