Press Release: A small ceremony at Pomare School in Lower Hutt yesterday marked the start of a new partnership between Transpower, the state-owned operator of New Zealand’s national electricity grid, and Computers in Homes, a digital literacy programme supported by Government and delivered in low income communities throughout New Zealand by the 2020 Communications Trust and regional partners.
Under a new agreement, Transpower will be providing its “retired” computers to Remarkit, a Wellington-based computer refurbisher with a large proportion of these to be donated to Computers in Homes. A portion will also be provided free to community groups.
The first batch of refurbished laptops has been donated for use in the Wellington – Lower Hutt Computers in Homes region. Chairperson of the Wellington- Lower Hutt Computers in Homes Steering Committee, Cr Gwen McDonald was at Pomare School to receive the donation.
“We are very pleased to be the first to benefit from this new agreement with Transpower,” said Cr McDonald. “We are currently supporting 50 families with school-aged children who do not have access to a computer and the internet in their homes. But information from Statistics NZ suggests there could be 100 times this number of families digitally disconnected in our Wellington-Hutt region.”
“We face a big challenge to overcome this digital disadvantage in our region and welcome the sort of help being provided today by Transpower,” she said.
The first ten laptops are to be used by Briar Kopa, the Computers in Homes Coordinator for Wellington-Hutt as a mobile pod for training at participating Computers in Homes schools, starting at Taita’s Pomare Primary School.
Anna Ririnui, Transpower’s Manager Community and Corporate Responsibility, who was present at the handover said “We’re really happy to support such a successful and valuable programme”.
Representatives from the national Computers in Homes programme were also present at Pomare School today, including Laurence Zwimpfer, who chairs the national CiH programme and Di Das-Daniels, who is the national CiH coordinator.
“We are extremely grateful to Transpower for this initiative,” said Laurence Zwimpfer. “Our programme relies on practical support like this from businesses to complement the funding that we receive from central government. We also look forward to engaging with Transpower staff in a voluntary capacity throughout our Computers in Homes regions. We are always on the look-out for volunteers to buddy with our new Computers in Homes families to help them on their digital journeys.”
Transpower is the owner and operator of New Zealand’s national electricity grid – the network of high voltage transmission lines and substations that connect areas of electricity generation with towns and cities across the country.
The 2020 Communications Trust is a registered not-for-profit charitable trust that was set up in 1996 by the Wellington City Council to promote digital literacy, initially for Wellington citizens but in the year 2000, extended to include all New Zealanders. Our vision is for all New Zealanders to be able to fully participate in a digital world. In order to achieve this vision, everyone needs the opportunity and the skills to become digitally literate.
Cr Gwen McDonald, Chair Computers in Homes, Wellington-Lower Hutt, Mobile 027 454 0546
Laurence Zwimpfer, Chair National Computers in Homes programme, Mobile 027 430 6737
Rebecca Wilson, Corporate Communications Manager, Transpower, DDI 04 590 6695; Mobile 021 578 608