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TV Is Indispensable Say Kiwi Kids

TV Is Indispensable Say Kiwi Kids

One in three New Zealand children aged between 6 and 17 years say they could not live without television, just under one in five would not want to do without music or mobile phones, and one in seven considers the Internet to be the most essential medium.

The Internet media and market research company Nielsen//NetRatings has prepared a report for NZ On Air and others into behaviour and attitudes of New Zealand children and teenagers towards the Internet and technology.

The study has been carried out bi-annually in Australia since 1999. This first wave in New Zealand sets a benchmark from which to monitor and track future trends.

Kids’ Internet usage is high, both in tenure and the time they spend online.

Two thirds of New Zealand households with children under 17 at home have access to the Internet. Others use it at school or at friends’ or relatives’ houses.

30% of 6 – 8 year olds and 74% of 9 – 17 year olds have been online for over two years. That means many are starting as young as four years old.

Half go online every day and more than three quarters who use the Internet access it at least weekly.

Kids are spending 4.7 hours online a week. Among those aged 15 – 17 this figure jumps to 8 hours.

Younger children are more adept users with older children aged 15 – 17 making up the bulk of the ‘inexperienced’ segment.

Children are often ‘multi-tasking’ between different media – eg juggling the net and their mobile phones, or having music/radio or television on. For more than 60% being online is a solitary pursuit despite nearly half having computers in family areas like the living or dining room.

Apart from using email (70%) and instant messaging (42%), children cite homework as the most common reason for going online. Playing games also figures prominently along with ‘other things for school’ and music.

New Zealand lags a long way behind comparable countries in uptake of broadband with just one in five household connections being at faster than dial-up speed. This is less than half the rate of the US and Australia.

Having broadband increases Internet use and a quarter of New Zealand parents with children online intend to increase their connection speed in the next year.

The findings are valuable for NZ On Air as it develops its thinking around ensuring publicly funded local content is available on the range of platforms future audiences will seek out.


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