Exploring New Zealand children's internet access, skills and opportunities

Evidence from Ngā taiohi matihiko o Aotearoa - New Zealand Kids Online
Children Youth Internet access Social media New Zealand

This research report presents findings from a study that explores New Zealand children’s internet access, online skills, practices, and opportunities. This report is part of Netsafe’s research project Ngā taiohi matihiko o Aotearoa - New Zealand Kids Online, and our first publication as a member of Global Kids Online.

Key findings

  • Most New Zealand children were confident in their digital skills but younger children (9-11) were less so, particularly when it comes to managing privacy.
  • Most kids use the internet for entertainment, learning and socialising, e.g. 90% watched video clips at least once a week.
  • Children were much less likely to go online for activities such as discussing social problems online, writing a blog or connecting with people from a different background for example. These activities were called community, civic and creative opportunities.
  • Social media is ubiquitous among children of all ages who use these tools primarily for socialising and entertainment.
  • There is a big jump in the use of the internet to connect with others over social media between 12-14.
  • Girls were more likely to be using instant messaging and photo-sharing apps while boys were more likely to be using the internet for online gaming.
  • Video-hosting websites such as YouTube were the most popular online platform amongst New Zealand kids followed by search engines like Google and photo and video sharing apps like Instagram.
  • Asian children were more likely to report frequent access to the internet compared to Pākehā and Māori children with Pacific children reporting the lowest rates of internet access.
  • Pacific children were less confident in their skills to protect their privacy online and, along with Māori children, were less confident in their ability to determine whether what they find on the internet is true or not.
Publication Details
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