The results of the 2001 Census offered one of the most comprehensive surveys on Internet usage by New Zealanders. It revealed that 37% of households have access to the Internet and that the higher the household income, the greater the level of online access.
Groups with higher Internet access levels:
Households in the Auckland and Wellington regions have the highest rates of Internet access at nearly 9 in 20.
Households with an income of more than $100,000 – more than 7 in 10 of these households have Internet access.
Households comprising a couple with children – over half have access to the Internet.
Households in dwellings where the usual residents make mortgage payments – half have access to the Internet.
Households living in dwellings in three or more storey complexes – almost half (9 in 20) have an Internet connection.
People of Asian ethnicity – 6 in 10 of these people live in households with access to the Internet.
People aged 45 to 54 years – over half of these people live in households with access to the Internet.
Groups with lower Internet access levels:
Households in the Gisborne and West Coast regions have the lowest rates of Internet access at fewer than 1 in 4.
Households with an income of $10,001 to $15,000 – 1 in 9 of these households have access to the Internet.
Households comprising one parent with children – 3 in 10 have access to the Internet.
One-person households – 1 in 6 have access to the Internet.
Households who rent from a local authority, city council or Housing New Zealand – 1 in 10 have access to the Internet.
People of Maori ethnicity – 1 in 4 of these people live in households with access to the Internet.
People of Pacific peoples ethnicity – 1 in 5 of these people live in households with access to the Internet.
People aged 65 years and over – 1 in 6 of these people live in households with access to the Internet.
Table 1 – Urban and rural Internet access rates – 2001
30,000 or more people
less than 300
(Source: Statistics New Zealand — 2001 Census)
Wellington is the most connected city in New Zealand, with 44% of households connected to the Internet. Christchurch is second with 41% of households connected, followed by Auckland at 39%.
Changes to measuring Internet usage
Be it page hits, unique site visits, unique users, there remains a great deal of confusion among leading industry players as to the best way to measure ‘usage’. As a result several Internet companies — including Xtra, Stuff, Nzoom, Internet Bureau, and Vodafone — have banded together to set up a measurement system that provides advertisers consistent information about which sites are most popular. Each has been asked to draw up a list of criteria they want measured and once a final list has been agreed the group will make a decision as to the best way to go about it.
NetRatings had been measuring the home Internet audience in New Zealand for several years but closed its NZ office in October 2001. While it still operates in New Zealand, the industry needs a self-funded method it can rely on for accurate measurements.
See also: New Zealand – Internet Market Overview and Usage.
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