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Chapter 3: Conclusion

Data presented in this report show that a digital divide exists in New Zealand. Some households are less likely to be connected to the Internet than others. The results of this report reflect international research, which suggests that the expansion of information communication technologies is mainly utilised by households with higher incomes, and households whose members have formal educational qualifications.

This report found that although the age of the youngest occupant, ethnicity, labour force status and geographic location played important roles in determining household Internet access, the most important variables identified as influencing household connectivity levels were household income, the level of educational qualification and household composition.

Low household income and lack of formal qualifications appeared to be barriers to the educational, cultural and economic opportunities available from participation in the technological information environment, accessed primarily via the Internet.

Households consisting of a couple plus school-aged children showed a higher propensity for household connectivity than all other household types. By comparison single-person and one-parent households were under represented and consequently members of these households have greater difficulty, within the household, to participate in the modern, knowledge society.

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