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To: The House of Representatives

Leave no-one behind: Campaign to address digital exclusion

We're asking the NZ House of Representatives to pledge their commitment to the following: 

1. Leave no-one behind: Ensure that steps are taken to address digital exclusion and that no-one is left behind or left out because they can’t or don’t wish to engage online.  

2. Public services accessible to all: Implement accessibility and inclusion standards for the delivery of public services that include offline channels as part of the proactive design of government service delivery. 

3. CAB compensated for cost-shifting: Ensure that the Citizens Advice Bureau is properly funded to meet the demands and cost-shifting that has resulted from government services going online.

Add your voice to this call to address digital exclusion!

Why is this important?

Have you or someone you know ever tried to fill out a government form online?
How about doing that on your phone? And uploading documents to it?
What if your internet connection was limited? Or English wasn’t your first language? Or you were vision impaired? Or didn't have a credit card?
What if you needed help to understand, and what you really wanted was someone to talk to?

Consider the frustration this causes you and what it looks like when you’re made further vulnerable as you stare into the digital divide.

The digital-only or digital-first approach being embraced by government agencies is excluding some of Aotearoa’s most vulnerable people and communities. This is unacceptable. We want to see people’s needs put at the centre of public services and are asking our representatives in Parliament, to pledge to ensuring this is the case.

Interacting with government services is often about accessing rights and entitlements and it’s important that there aren’t any barriers in the way. Digital services are not the right response for all people or in all circumstances. There needs to be genuine choice for people about how they can interact - whether online, face-to-face, through others or by phone.

It is critical that as a country we don’t allow the digital transformation of public services to further entrench disadvantage and vulnerability.

We have written to politicians asking them to commit to addressing digital exclusion so that no-one is left behind or left out because they can't or don't wish to engage online.

As part of this campaign, we are also seeking funding to cover the transfer of costs that has resulted from government agencies closing up shop in communities and sending people to get help from CABs, including to get paper copies of forms.

Join us in this call to address digital exclusion so that we leave no-one behind!

This campaign builds on the findings and recommendations of our report, ‘Face to Face with digital exclusion’. You can read the full report here: https://www.cab.org.nz/what-we-do/social-justice/digital-exclusion/


Reasons for signing

  • To help and be upto date with the community and our rights etc
  • I believe that it is unfair to exclude people who require services due to their inability or not having access to on line services. Although there are a number of courses to aid people with developing the necessary skills - some individuals through no fault of their own may never be able to retain the information necessary to use such services and will therefore be always disadvantaged in a society which insists on removing face to face service for essential services.
  • I wish to be offline and in the real world more. However, due to the government, my university, my job increasingly relying on technology for last minute announcements I feel I have no choice but to buy a smartphone / laptop which is a huge financial burden and it has a huge affect on lifestyle. Technology has changed from a tool to a attention mining machine and I feel its dangerous to take away alternatives to technology with these risks.

Updates

2021-07-05 11:28:14 +1200

On Wednesday 7 July at 1pm, we will gather at Parliament to present the petition to the Minister of Digital Economy and Communications, Hon Dr David Clark. We invite you to join us! https://www.facebook.com/events/345242836986227

2021-07-05 11:26:20 +1200

Listen to Citizens Advice Bureau Acting Chief Executive, Andrew Hubbard on RNZ, Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan, talking about digital exclusion in Aotearoa New Zealand. "One of the key things we wanted to highlight through this research - is that there is a whole range of barriers that are in place around people accessing public services online, and it is not just access to devices and access to the internet which is what the government's focus is on", says Andrew Hubbard. https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018802552/digital-is-best-excludes-nz-s-most-vulnerable

2021-06-24 12:19:10 +1200

5,000 signatures reached

2021-06-21 18:17:00 +1200

Your stories help to strengthen the campaign. We would love to hear why this issue is important to you. Have you faced barriers because of services being online? Do online processes meet your needs? Do you have thoughts about the value of being able to access human support? Maybe it affects someone close to you and you can help them to share their story? https://forms.gle/SjYyKGNfS8ccjdnd6

2021-04-23 12:29:17 +1200

Staff from CAB National Office made a bit of a spectacle of themselves drawing attention to the issues around digital exclusion at the recent Newtown Festival in Wellington. 328 signatures were collected on the day, bringing the total to over 4,800! https://www.facebook.com/citizensadvicenz/posts/794355244543212

2020-10-12 16:25:55 +1300

Sacha Green, author of the Citizens Advice Bureau report on digital exclusion, tells Eldernet just how big the problem is and how we all can help to ensure no one gets left behind in the rush to move online https://www.eldernet.co.nz/gazette/qa-cabs-sacha-green-on-digital-exclusion/

2020-09-30 10:58:17 +1300

CAB Wairarapa has put their local candidates on the spot about how they will address digital exclusion https://times-age.co.nz/online-only-problematic/.

2020-09-19 15:35:36 +1200

1,000 signatures reached

2020-09-16 11:57:46 +1200

500 signatures reached

2020-09-10 20:03:05 +1200

Great coverage of the campaign launch today, where the Chief Human Rights Commissioner signed the petition https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/wellington/122724067/its-ruling-us-out-vulnerable-people-are-being-lost-by-governments-digitalfirst-strategy

2020-09-10 18:39:03 +1200

100 signatures reached

2020-09-10 14:01:23 +1200

50 signatures reached

2020-09-10 10:09:46 +1200

25 signatures reached

2020-09-09 21:06:08 +1200

10 signatures reached