• Maurice Williamson
Information Technology

One quarter of New Zealand households now own computers, according to statistics on New Zealands use of information technology released today by the Minister for Information Technology, Maurice Williamson. This is up from 22% the previous year.

Mr Williamson says the growth in computer use is encouraging because knowledge of information technology will be vital to earning our way in the world over the coming years.

The Minister says the figures show schools have on average 19 computers each, nearly ten thousand New Zealand organisations are registered on the Internet and there is a domestic IT industry now worth some $3.2 billion.

It is clear that as a nation, we have embraced the information age, the Minister says.

This is the fourth time the Minister has updated the IT statistics which cover the IT exports and imports, the size of the domestic IT market, employment in the IT industry, the number of computers in homes, growth in Internet domains and hosts, and computers in schools.

At the same time as the computer is becoming a common appliance in our homes, it is also becoming an everyday part of our schools. 32% of schools are using at least one of their computers to connect to the Internet, the Minister says.

New Zealanders are surfing the Internet in big numbers, but it is New Zealand businesses that have discovered the potential of the Internet. There are now nearly ten thousand New Zealand organisations with a registered Internet domain and 87% of these are commercial entities who are spotting the business possibilities of the Internet. Mr Williamson says.

The Internet is no doubt helping make IT a significant part of New Zealand society, but the report also shows that the IT sector is a real contributor to the New Zealand economy. It shows the domestic IT industry employed 44,000 people and was worth $3.2 billion in 1996, a 13.2% increase from 1995.

This comprises computer hardware sales of $1.7 billion, software and services sales of $1.5 billion and IT training and education worth $44 million in 1996.