Addressing the digital divide

April 2024

Do you now of whānau that do not have a device and internet access?

From a SociaLink led Covid lockdown survey, one of the community challenges identified was the lack of access to reliable devices and internet services for whānau. For those unable to access the use of this technology or have internet access, individuals and whanau were impacted by being more socially isolated, less able to access services, education, employment and  potentially less up to date with daily Covid updates.

Thus, funding was secured to pilot a Digital Divide programme which we are very happy to say is soon able to rolled out in our WBOP communities thanks to a new partnership between SociaLink, Trustpower and the funders of the Covid-19 recovery fund (TECT, Bay Trust, Acorn and Tauranga City Council).

TECT has undertaken to fund 50 chrome books, whilst Trustpower will gift 50 modems and (12 month) internet connections as part of the programme, with the possibility of extending internet access for whānau following a review that will take place at the end of this pilot programme. SociaLink has undertaken to coordinate this pilot project in this instance, with a view to handing over coordination to community providers working with whānau should the initial pilot programme be extended beyond the first 12 months.

We are now looking for expressions of interest from providers who work with whānau that may qualify to receive a device and internet connection. Recipients do not need to be current Trustpower consumers.

We would like to invite you to a hui on

Thursday 18 March,  1 – 2.00 pm at The Kollective, Historic Village

To RSVP for the hui, please contact Charlotte Van Doorn  by 10 March 2021.

The criteria that may qualify whanau for this Digital Divide programme:

The process will align to the income threshold for WINZ, Jobseeker Benefit as set out below:-

$ 22,259.12      Married with Children

$ 19,508.00      Single with children

$ 13,038.48      Single – No dependents

Additional criteria:

  • Limit of one device per household for households that have no device currently
  • Potential recipients must be able to be connected via an existing phone or fibre network that can bring the internet connection into their home.
  • Must currently reside in the Western BOP
  • Does not currently own a device
  • Experienced isolation from family and community in last 12 months
  • Must agree to undertake Project outcome evaluation at different stages.
  • Providers involved in this pilot – Staff and their families, cannot apply for this resource

Will require whānau consent for pertinent information ( and address) to be shared with SociaLink and Trustpower

Join us to discuss further

Thursday 18 March,  1 – 2.00 pm at The Kollective, Historic Village

To RSVP for the hui, please contact Charlotte Van Doorn  by 10 March 2021.