Digital Divide Stats for Maori

The World Internet Project New Zealand released their latest report “World Internet Project, New Zealand; The Internet in New Zealand 2013.” with some interesting statistics based ethnicity and in particular, Māori.


I have extracted the ethnicity statistics and have included commentary.


  •  Māori and Pasifika internet users, especially those in lower income households, take the lead in subscriptions to music streaming services like Spotify. More than one in five Māori (21%) and Pasifika (23%) users in households with annual incomes of less than $50,000 have paid for a subscription to a music streaming service in the past year.
    This should be no suprise as it has been a long acknowledged fact the Māori value the entertainment value of services such as the Internet that can be used in a communal environment. It should also be considered that music has and will always play a large part of Māori culture.


  • Internet usage in the four main ethnicity groups; NZ European n=1242, Māori n=143, Pasifika n=95, Asian n=219. | Note: Māori and Pasifika respondents are younger, on average, than New Zealand European respondents – reflecting the NZ population.
    This is deeply disturbing and an issue our Maori politicians, leaders, Iwi and marae need to consider for the well being of Maori. There are several areas that need to be addressed: Access, Education, culture and economic benefits. Once our leaders and politicians make better use of the Internet there will be a flow on effect.

  • Almost two out of three Māori and Pasifika internet users (65%) say they mainly use the internet in communal areas of their homes such as the living room or dining area, higher than NZ European (58%). NZ European respondents are most likely to use the internet in an office or study, with a quarter saying this was their main location for home internet use.
    Again, this has always been a common fact and a cultural fact. No surprises!


  • There are substantial differences between ethnicities when it comes to visiting websites that are mainly in a language other than English, with 22% of Asian respondents and 13% of Māori doing this (most of the latter visit sites in Māori).
    Assuming the non English pages for Māori are in te reo. This is encouraging to read and te reo experts need to take notice of this and promote more localisation and promotion of te reo in ICT. The flow on effect will be more Māori participation in ICT which will then provide more economic and social benefits.


  • Translate word or phrase online: Asians (66%), Maori and NZ European(64%) and Pasifika (61%).
    The report doesn’t explain what language the ethnicities translate. But I assume that Māori are using online Māori dictionaries which as above is encouraging to read and te reo experts need to take notice of this and promote more usage and promotion of te reo in ICT.


  • Usage Index by age and ethnicity. Internet users in the four main ethnicity groups ; NZ European n=1242, Māori n=143, Pasifika n=95, Asian n=219. Note: Māori and Pasifika respondents are younger, on average, than New Zealand European respondents – reflecting the NZ population.
    This is a real concern and one that our politicians and leaders need to address and seek solutions to. I am loath to suggest there is a digital divide based on economic situations, but more about: lack of entertainment, access, Māori usage of the Internet and education about how and what the Internet can do for Māori. 


  • Pasifika (47%) and Asian (50%) respondents go online to look at religious or spiritual websites much more than NZ European (19%) and Māori (21%).
    It is interesting that religious topics were chosen as opposed to seeking education information, job seeking or online banking.


  • NZ European (89%) and Māori (79%) buy things online more than Pacific (56%) and Asians (86).
    I am surprised at this statistic. But it shows that there is economic benefits for Māori to invest more in e-commerce by and for Maori. Perhaps TPK should be considering this statistic with their economic strategies.


  • NZ European (96%), Asians (94%) and Māori (95%) use search engines more than Pasifika at 84%.
    This reinforces the fact that localizing search engines such as Google Māori are positive. It also shows that Māori are using the Internet to find new information. Again, if the research on finding information was expanded from ‘religious’ then this could have proven valuable information in the socio/cultural/economic development of Māori.


  • A significantly higher proportion of Māori (60%) and Pasifika (57%) respondents rated other people as an important source of information than did NZ European (45) and Asians (50%).
    There is still a lot of distrust with Māori and technology. I hope that as a culture we can grow and utilise the Internet more while still holding on to cultural values such as kaumatua, marae etc.


  • Māori (7%) and Pasifika New Zealanders (14%) have higher rates of internet non-use,  than NZ Europeans (5%) and Asians (3%).
    It is encouraging to see that gap is only minor. I believe things like social media and localisation have closed this gap. The more entertainment value the more likely Māori are to use it. If Māori leaders and politicians also used the Internet more, I am sure Māori participation would increase. 


  • Māori (7%) are ex users if the Internet compared to NZ European (2%).
    I have seen this occur a lot in the community. Māori have access to the Internet via an education provider then can not afford the costs at home, or in some cases there is no Internet access in the area. There is also issues of cyber bullying or the fear of, pornography and of children being exposed to predators that stop some whānau from using an Internet connection.


  • Of those that are online, a similar proportion of NZ European (16%), Māori (13%) and Pasifika (16%) users are Low Level users, while there are fewer Asian Low Level users (7%).
    Again, It is encouraging to see that gap is only minor, but Māori need to address this issue and think how we can best utilise the Internet for soci/cultural/economic benefits.


  • Māori (35%) use multiple devices to access the Internet. Pasifika New Zealanders (24%), Asians (45%) and NZ European (38%).
    I suspected the rate may have been higher. It is encouraging to see the small gap. The multiple devices are likely smart phones and music devices. Music devices as music is such an important aspect of its culture and phones as a lot of research has suggested the cost of a land line or credit history often prevents a connection.


  • There is a significant difference in terms of ethnicity when it comes to regularly accessing the internet by proxy, with more than a third (34%) of NZ European non-users having asked someone to do something for them online several times, compared to just one in ten Māori/Pasifika non-users.
    Again, this is a trust issue with technology, so no surprises.


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