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Community Partnerships To Boost Digital Skills For Those Most In Need

More New Zealanders will have access to face-to-face learning to improve their digital skills through three community partnerships announced today by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ).

BNZ is proud to be partnering with Arataki Systems, 360 Tautua Trust, and Digital Seniors to help lift more New Zealanders digital skills.

Our community partners already provide face-to-face learning in a variety of settings, such as on local marae, in classrooms, or via drop-in hubs – whichever model best serves their people and communities.

BNZ Head of Digital Adoption Victoria White says, "Our BNZ research* shows one in five adults lack the essential digital skills to safely use everyday online tools to participate in today’s digital economy.”

“That’s a huge number of New Zealanders who are missing out on the benefits of being online, such as online banking, booking appointments, ordering groceries, or staying in touch with loved ones, all of which we know leads to improved financial, productivity and wellness outcomes.

“We also know from our research, released as part of BNZ’s annual Scam Savvy Week, that the number of New Zealanders falling victim to scams is rising, and people who lack essential digital skills are more at risk.

“More than ever, people need digital skills to fully participate in our economy and society, and the longer we leave it, the harder it will be for them to catch up,” says Victoria.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with established organisations who are already doing a fantastic job lifting digital skills in our communities and are focused on those most in need and at risk of digital harm, especially seniors, Māori and Pasifika.

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“Investing in digital skills is just one of the ways BNZ is working to create a better future for our communities,” says Victoria.

Arataki Systems, based in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, is a Māori whānau (family) owned company that provides cultural technology advisory services and solutions. The founders of Arataki Systems have career backgrounds in Māori storytelling, technology and Iwi relations.

Arataki Systems CEO Lee Timutimu says, “We're excited to partner with BNZ on what we know to be important mahi (work) in empowering and upskilling our Marae trustees and Marae around the motu (country). Working with BNZ will be a great fit because they can share their expertise and insights in relation to online banking and online safety, both of which are topics we cover off in our Marae Matihiko digital marae literacy programme.”

Digital Seniors, based in the Wairarapa, is a community charity of volunteers focused on empowering seniors’ wellbeing and prosperity by providing free coaching so seniors are comfortable using digital technologies and services in today’s increasingly digitised world.

Digital Senior’s CEO Cathy Hardinge says, “BNZ’s support has come at a critical growth point for Digital Seniors with our national expansion. With BNZ's support we feel confident in our growth journey ahead to help other communities to support and empower their senior's wellbeing and prosperity. Ultimately our partnership will make greater inroads to turn around New Zealand's digital exclusion of seniors.”

360 Tautua, based in Auckland, is a charitable trust which provides a wraparound service to elders and families of the Pacific community. Digi-Matua Polokalame is key part of their offering, providing a comprehensive digital skills learning programme for Pasifika adults who have little or no education or qualifications.

360 Tautua Trust Founder and Director Romana Fetu says, “Our partnership with BNZ will enable us to continue the work we’ve been doing in our community to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve. It will also allow us to extend our reach to all parts of Aotearoa, particularly hard-to-reach, disadvantaged pacific families.”

Victoria says, “BNZ is proud to be a founding member of the Digital Boost Alliance, a collaboration between business and government to help drive digital acceleration across Aotearoa New Zealand.

“As part of the Alliance, we have committed $600,000 to support face-to-face digital skills training with the aim of sharing our learnings and delivering a proven training model to the Digital Boost Alliance that other partners can easily adopt and scale for the benefit of all New Zealanders.”

To find out more about the work BNZ is doing to support local communities, visit: Supporting communities - BNZ

*BNZ Digital skills for life in Aotearoa report

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