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Information Technology Use In New Zealand

Thirty-six percent of New Zealand businesses operated a website in 2001, according to Information Technology Use in New Zealand, a new report published by Statistics New Zealand. However, sales of goods and services over the Internet represented only 0.3 percent of total operating income in the year ended June 2001.

The Internet was mostly used as a means of providing information to customers and suppliers. Only a small number of websites had the ability to undertake online payments (11 percent).

Nearly 9 in 10 New Zealand businesses regularly used a computer. Forty-four percent had computers connected to a local-area network, and 19 percent had computers connected to a wide-area network. Four out of five businesses used the Internet, while the same proportion used email. Twenty-one percent of firms stated that the risk of viruses or hackers accessing confidential information restricted their use of the Internet.

The growth in businesses' use of information technology is confirmed by employment market data from the 1996 and 2001 Censuses. The total number of people involved in IT-related occupations increased by 76 percent, while the number of people with post-school qualifications in the IT area almost doubled in the five years to 2001.

In 2001, 47 percent of New Zealand households had a home computer, and 37 percent of households had access to the Internet.

Information Technology Use in New Zealand is the first in a series of three analytical reports to be produced from the Business Practices Survey (BPS) conducted in June 2001. The BPS was jointly funded by the Ministry of Economic Development; the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology; and Statistics New Zealand. The next two reports will focus on innovation and management practices.

This report is now available free on the Statistics New Zealand website, A printed version of the report is available on request for a cost of $35.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

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