Gisborne Community Partnership Fund project launch

Friday 5 October 2007, 12:57PM
By Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban


Teamwork and knowledge sharing are vital in creating any community.


Taloha ni, Talofa lava, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa bula vinaka, Namaste, Kia orana koutou katoatoa, Ia Orana, Gud de tru olgeta, Talofa, Kia ora tatau and Warm Pacific Greetings to you all this morning.

I would particularly like to acknowledge:
- Your Worship the Mayor, Meng Foon;
- Deputy Mayor, Margaret Thorpe;
- My colleague local list MP Moana Mackey;
- Kerry Dalton, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux;
- Di Das, Manager Computer in Homes programme from the 2020 Communications Trust; and
- everyone here who is involved in partnership with the projects we are launching.

As Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector, I champion opportunities for communities to be part of New Zealand's digital future. Such opportunities are made possible through the Labour-led government's Community Partnership Fund.

Through this Fund, our government has provided 'seed' funding of $17.4 million, available for not-for-profit Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects that help strengthen communities as part of its Digital Strategy.

The Digital Strategy focuses on three 'C's - Content, Connection and Confidence:
- Content - information we can access that enriches the quality of our lives;
- Connection - access to and use of ICT ; and
- Confidence - the skills to use ICT and having a safe online environment.

I am delighted to be here today to announce two exciting and innovative projects that ably demonstrate all three of these qualities.

It seems very appropriate to be in the region that gave us Sir Apirana Ngata, a pioneering advocate of the importance of education as I tell you about the first project, Computers in Homes.

The Computers in Homes programme introduces families across New Zealand to the rules of the 'digital world'. It provides them with computers, Internet connection and the technical support they need to gain the access and skills to compete in our ever-changing electronic environment.

Computers in Homes has already been successful in four locations through the first Community Partnership Fund allocation, including here in Gisborne.

Now six more areas will benefit from this programme, I am pleased to announce that three of these are here in Ikaroa - Rawhiti.

Funds have been approved for Gisborne District Council to expand its Computers in Homes programme into the wider region, and for Wairoa District Council and Te Runanga o Ngati Porou to establish programmes of their own.

The New Zealand Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux is also increasing accessibility across its 91 locations nationwide.

Support from the Community Partnership Fund will assist this organisation to establish a database network making information readily available to the public.

Today's technology enables communities to be formed in many different ways. A community is no longer just our physical neighbours, but can be a virtual neighbourhood too.

This project will also enable the various bureaux to connect with each other through an intranet, increasing their ability to work together and share knowledge.

Teamwork and knowledge sharing are vital in creating any community.

These projects here today demonstrate the importance of working in partnership.

This is a particular feature of this Fund, and the wider aim of the Digital Strategy is to encourage successful joint ventures between the community, business and government.

I'm looking forward to finding out more about Computers in Homes, and the Citizens Advice Bureaux projects and their partners, when they give us their presentations today.

In our past we have a proud tradition as trailblazing navigators of Te-Moana-nui-a -kiwa, the sea that links the Pacific and beyond.

Now and into the future we must use the same skills to become digital navigators, exploring and conquering the world of new technologies.

Congratulations to all of the groups here today on your success so far.

Meitaki maata.