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Digital Banking Opening New Doors In Northland

A new arrival in Whangarei today, supported by Kiwibank, has signalled opportunities for people living in Northland to embrace the digital world and go online with their banking.

Kiwibank, NZ Post, IRD and ACC were the first to stop accepting cheques from last Friday (28 February). Digital banking provides an alternative, but people do need access to computer devices and a reliable internet connection as well as the skills and confidence to use these technologies.

DORA is a 35-year old Wi-Fi enabled bus that will be travelling around the Far North, Whangarei and Kaipara districts during the next five weeks offering digital banking training to people who are concerned about banks and other government agencies closing branches and stopping accepting cheques.

The training offered on DORA (which stands for Digital On-Road Access) directly addresses the concerns that some people have about managing their banking online; a special focus is on detecting and avoiding scams. While the training initiative is being supported by Kiwibank it is open to anyone in the Northland community, no matter who they bank with.

Local libraries in all three districts are providing trainers for the digital banking classes, which are scheduled to run between 10am - 12 noon and 1pm – 3pm every week day for the next five weeks, starting in Kaitaia on Monday 9 March. DORA will also be visiting Kerikeri, Paihia, Whangarei, Kaikohe and Dargaville and parking up outside the libraries. The detailed schedule has been published on the Stepping UP website People who are interested can contact their local library to sign up for a class or they can register themselves on the website.

The Northland leg of DORA’s national tour has special local significance because two of the driving forces for the programme are Northland residents. Sue Kini from Whangarei is the National Manager for DIAA’s Stepping UP programme. “It is exciting having a programme that I have helped design and implement come to my home town,” said Sue. Sue was responsible for developing the digital banking curriculum and provides ‘train the trainer’ support for librarians and others delivering the programme.

Di Daniels, who has recently moved to Kerikeri, is the Director of Digital Wings, a unique national initiative to divert electronic waste from landfills and provide community groups throughout New Zealand with free quality refurbished computers. DORA is a beneficiary of the Digital Wings programme; all the on-board computers used for digital banking training were supplied through this initiative. Equipment has also been gifted to community organisations in Kaitaia, Dargaville and Maungaturoto. “My goal is to encourage Northland businesses to join up with Digital Wings and donate their surplus equipment,” said Di. “I am also making a special effort to ensure that more Northland community groups know how to apply for free equipment.”

DORA’s Northland itinerary

Mon 9 – Fri 13 March

Te Ahu Centre, Kaitaia

Mon 16 – Wed 18 March

Procter Library, Kerikeri 

Thur 19, Fri 20 March

Williams House Public Library, Paihia

Mon 23-Wed 25 March

Whangarei Central Library, Whangarei  

Thur 26 March

Kamo Library (am) and Tikipunga Library (pm), Whangarei

Fri 27 March

Onerahi Library (am) and Whangarei Central Library (pm)

Mon 30 March to Fri 3 April

Kaikohe Library, Kaikohe

Mon 6-Thur 9 Apr

Dargaville Public Library, Dargaville

About Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa was established in 2018 to foster socially inclusive communities where everyone has equitable opportunities to meaningfully engage with digital technologies, and benefit from the use of them.

It aims to enhance the confidence and capability of people living in New Zealand to engage online to advance their own education, employment, health and wellbeing as well as that of their whānau.

The Alliance acts as a catalyst for digital inclusion initiatives, by working with local communities, not-for-profit organisations, business enterprises and government agencies to pursue a shared digital inclusion vision.

Any organisation or individual working to achieve a more digitally included community is welcome to become a partner of the Alliance.

About Digital Wings

The Digital Wings Trust works with socially and environmentally responsible business and public sector organisations to donate quality IT equipment to charities and community organisations. Preference is given to those working in youth education to employment, but donors can nominate charities of their choice.

About DORA

DORA (Digital On-Road Access) is a 35-year-old bus, converted to a digital classroom in 2012. Suitable for around 10 adults, DORA can travel anywhere in New Zealand. All the equipment is powered by a fully self-contained solar electrical system and the on-board computers have multiple different ways of connecting to the internet, including satellite. DORA is supported by Kiwibank, Lottery Grants Board, Transpower, Spark Foundation, Digital Wings and other business partners.

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