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NZ World Internet Project

Background Information on the NZ World Internet Project - 16 December 2006.


This year has been an exciting and productive one for AUT’s Centre for Communication Research. Discussions with Professor Jeffrey Cole, World Internet Project Director at USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future, culminated in an invitation for CCR to become a partner in the global research team. A series of seminars and discussion groups have raised awareness about the project and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. There is a general consensus that it is extremely important to conduct research on the social impact of the Internet in New Zealand at this time.

Professor Cole's Visit

InternetNZ's contribution towards Professor Cole's visit to New Zealand was extremely valuable to the team at CCR and helped to raise the profile of the project. Professor Cole's series of lectures in Auckland and Wellington were well received by representatives from government, private organisations, universities and the media. These events enabled CCR to establish connections with various key organizations including the National Library of New Zealand which has a particular interest in New Zealand's Digital Strategy.

Beijing Meeting

Philippa Smith, CCR’s Projects Co-ordinator, attended the annual meeting of WIP partners in Beijing. Her trip was funded by the International Science and Technology Fund. Philippa provided an overview of the Internet in New Zealand and was involved in discussions to revise the international core survey questions which provide the basis for international comparisons.

NZ WIP Pilot Project

Funding from AUT's Faculty of Applied Humanities has allowed CCR to conduct a pilot project to test the WIP survey methodology in New Zealand. The survey investigates many aspects of online behaviour as well as attitudes to the Internet. A wide range of topics are addressed including online socializing, the creation of web content, purchasing behaviours and access of NZ cultural content. The survey also collects specific information on which New Zealand websites are most frequently accessed. The breadth of the survey will provide a profile of how New Zealanders are using/not using the Internet and in what ways this use affects their lives.

In September the National Library of New Zealand facilitated a meeting between CCR and Government representatives from the Ministries of Economic Development, Education, Social Development, Culture and Heritage, the State Services Commission and Statistics NZ. This enabled CCR to gain valuable feedback on the survey questions. As a result, the survey has been refined and is currently being conducted in the field with results and analysis expected early in 2007. The findings of the pilot project will highlight areas of particular value to parties interested in providing financial support for the full-scale project to be conducted in 2007.


CCR is still in the process of sourcing funding for New Zealand's full involvement in the World Internet Project. Funding was not available from FORST's Building an Inclusive Society fund, but CCR is currently applying to the Digital Strategy's Community Partnership Fund. Many potential funding partners also exist in the private sector and we may pursue these avenues in 2007.

In summary, CCR is looking forward to continuing the development of the World Internet Project in New Zealand in 2007. We recognise the important contribution InternetNZ has made in providing both moral and financial support and commend it for its foresight in seeing the value of the project.

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