Maori Party launches ICT policy

Policy includes digital hubs in rural marae and Maori cadetships in digital creative sector

The Maori Party has released its policy on Digital Technology.

In a statement announcing the policy, party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples says: "We have been excited by the rapid progress achieved through Nga Pu Waea – the national Maori Broadband Group which has been established to ensure that Maori can maximize the opportunities as the rollout progresses” said Dr Sharples.

"Nga Pu Waea was one of the initiatives that grew out of the Maori Economic Taskforce and it has exemplified the importance of having the Maori Party there at the Cabinet table. The initial priorities are maximising rural and urban coverage and connectivity for marae, kohanga, kura, runanga and other Maori organisations; but it is also a key means for growing skills and employment”.

Fellow co-leader Tariana Turia says: "The other big influence on our 2011 Digital Technology policy has been the momentum achieved in the community and voluntary sector through the success of Computers in Homes and the Computer Clubhouse model."

The statement notes that Turia secured $11.6m for community based initiatives to increase digital literacy and connection over the last two budgets.

"We believe that in the digital renaissance, Maori can and should take a lead role in ensuring that current and future generations have access to digital content and supporting technologies” Turia says.

"Our 2011 Digital Technology policy reflects the importance that we place on digital literacy and connection as an essential base for strong and resilient whanau, hapu and iwi".

The Digital Technology policy statement There is a digital renaissance that Maori can and should take a lead role in ensuring current and future generations have access to digital content and supporting technologies. 1. Work with computer manufacturers to assist with national rollout of Computers in Homes and Computer Clubhouse. 2. Review the 2008 Digital Strategy to ensure it is meeting the requirements of our digital environment including responding to those with special needs; 3. Expand employment opportunities in the information, computer and telecommunications technology sector through Nga Pu Waea (rural and ultrafast broadband), including Maori cadetships in the digital creative sector. 4. Invest in opportunities to migrate Maori educational content into the digital environment (te reo versions of digital publications and books reversioned in a Maori framework); 5. All citizens with access to email will have the option of receiving their mail from government departments via email. Those who opt for this, will receive a government subsidy on their internet connection bill 6. Digital hubs to be established in communities and rural marae.

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