The Final Report of the first World Internet Project New Zealand survey (WIPNZ) is out and provides a good snapshot of New Zealanders’ usage of, and attitudes to, the internet.
It will be part of a larger, standardised 30-country research project which will be conducted every two years to look at social, political and economic impacts of the internet. The first international comparative report, including New Zealand data, is due out in September.
Below is a summary of the New Zealand report. The full report can be downloaded from AUT University whose researchers conducted the study (PDF format).
Highlights from the WIPNZ 2007 report
The benchmark WIPNZ survey was conducted in September-October 2007. A sample of 1430 New Zealanders has been analysed for their use of and attitudes to the Internet.
- 78% of New Zealanders use the Internet. 6% are ex-users; 16% have never used it.
- 15% of users are online at home for at least 20 hours a week. A third are on the Internet
for less than 4 hours, and two thirds for less than 10 hours.
- In this sample, 66% of users with a connection at home have broadband, compared to 31% with dial-up. The younger, wealthier and more urban people are, the more broadband access they have.
- Internet usage is age-graded. The younger people are, the more likely they are to use it, the better their ability, the more important they rate it, the more they create content and socialize online.
- Higher household income clearly promotes greater Internet access, usage, ability and everyday reliance.
The effect of area is complex, but the larger the settlement people live in, the higher tend to be their Internet ability, reliance and content creation.
- As an ethnic group, Asians have the greatest engagement with the Internet. Maori and Pasifika tend to have less access. Ethnic patterns are often complex and inconsistent.
- Gender is mostly not a significant indicator of Internet usage and attitudes.
RATING THE INTERNET
- New Zealanders who use the Internet rely on it heavily. 61% think it would be a problem if they lost access, while only 2% think this would make life better.
- As a source of information, the Internet is rated important by more users (71%) than are family and friends (56%), newspapers or television (52%).
- While a majority rate their ability on the Internet highly (44%), a significant minority (30%) rate it as not good.
- New Zealand users are active in content creation on the Internet such as posting messages (27%) and images (34%). 13% maintain their own website and 10% keep a blog.
- Most users access information on matters such as travel and health online. 59% look for news online weekly, and 34% daily.
Many users conduct everyday business online, and 53% use their bank’s online services at least weekly.
- New Zealanders use the Internet to access government, mainly for information about services (47%).
Socialising is a major Internet use, especially among the young.
- 77% of users check their email every day.
- Every week 28% participate in social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.
- Most users say the Internet has increased their contact with other people, especially overseas (65%), few believe there has been a decrease.
- The Internet has increased contact overall with friends (according to 64%) and with family (60%), but 22% say they now spend less time face-to-face with the family they live with.
- A quarter of users have made friends online, and half of these have gone on to meet in person, especially men and those in their 30s.
- Concern about children’s safety online is high. Over 80% of households with under-18s have rules for their Internet use.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The benchmark WIPNZ survey was conducted in September-October 2007. A sample of 1430 New Zealanders has been analysed for their use of and attitudes to the Internet. The Final Report supercedes the interim report that was issued in December 2007.