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Broadband offers access to national knowledge

4 May 2006

Hon Judith Tizard Minister responsible for National Library; Minister responsible for Archives NZ; Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage

Broadband offers instant access to national knowledge resources

The government's telecommunications package will help New Zealand to be a world leader at using information and communications technology (ICT) for economic, social and cultural gain, says Judith Tizard.

"I am excited by the opportunities and benefits that faster cheaper broadband will bring", says Judith Tizard, Minister Responsible for our National Library and Archives respectively, and Associate Minister for Arts, Culture & Heritage.

"These opportunities include instant access to our national knowledge resources whether cultural, scientific, heritage, archives, broadcasting or community. Government can provide customised information and there are flow on economic benefits from increased productivity."

"Faster broadband will help us to progress the Labour-led government's Digital Strategy – it's goal is to unlock New Zealand's stock of content and provide all New Zealanders with seamless ready access to the information that is important to our lives, business and to our cultural identity.

"From the Digital Strategy we have some groundbreaking, innovative content initiatives like: - EPIC which gives New Zealanders fulltext access to over 16,000 high quality journals through their local libraries; - Matapihi, which provides one-stop access to the digital collections of five New Zealand heritage institutions, - AnyQuestions.co.nz, an online homework helper that connects students with real-life, real-time librarians; - Archway, which provides catalogue access to over 2 million archived government records; - The ANZAC website; - Te Ara, the Encyclopedia of New Zealand.

The National Library is also leading the development of a National Digital Heritage Archive, which will avoid the 'digital dark ages', and protect New Zealand's heritage for future generations.

"Faster cheaper broadband access will enrich and empower every New Zealander."

ENDS

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