$6.5 million grant will see ‘computers in homes’, more Kiwi music and kids kept safe online

The Community Partnership Fund is part of the Government's Digital Strategy

The “Computers in Homes” scheme is the big winner out of the $6.5 million first-year grant package recently distributed by the Community Partnership Fund.

The fund is part of the Government’s Digital Strategy, which aims to encourage Kiwis to develop more competence and confidence when it comes to ICT use, and to develop locally relevant digital content.

Gisborne District Council has been awarded the biggest grant, out of 55 grants — $638,184. The money is to be used to extend the Computers in Homes programme to 500 families on the east coast of the North Island.

Computers in Homes initiatives also feature in the award of a $169,759 grant to Eltham Community Care, to provide computer equipment and internet connections to 100 Taranaki families, and to Wanganui Incorporated. The latter gets $255,300 to extend Computers in Homes to 150 families in the region.

A hundred families on the South Island’s West Coast will get computers, through a $157,420 grant to the Westland Rural Education Activities Program Incorporated Society.

The second-biggest individual grant goes to SOUNZ, the Centre for NZ Music. The Community and Voluntary Sector Minister, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, and Department of Internal Affairs’ chief executive, Christopher Blake, announced the grants at SOUNZ’s Wellington headquarters.

SOUNZ aims to digitise its music collection — both sound recordings and scores — and to develop a data model to catalogue it.

The resulting online database “offers us a golden opportunity to connect all the communities we work with — performers, educators, broadcasters, composers and audiences,” says the chair of the SOUNZ board of trustees, Catherine Gibb.

Blake, himself a composer, says the project has all the Cs — content, connection and confidence — that the Digital Strategy aims to bring to New Zealanders through ICT.

A $438,000 sum was awarded to the Internet Safety Group, to produce four five-minute television programmes, which will also to be made available on CD. The aim is to instill internet and technology safety principles in two- to ten-year-olds.

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