Website Launched For Community Groups

  • Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

An internet website catering specifically for the needs of the country 's community groups was launched simultaneously at eight different sites around the country today by Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder.

CommunityNet Aotearoa has been developed as a partnership between the Department of Internal Affairs and a number of national community groups in an attempt to help groups benefit from Internet technology, he said.

"The Internet is a dynamic and complex environment of literally thousands of websites and discussion forums with new material constantly being created. While there is a huge amount of information available it can be time consuming and confusing to find what you need. And often the practical information community groups need is not on the Internet. CommunityNet Aotearoa is a way to sort and share information, and to make sure relevant information is online."

Mr Elder said people active in their communities also need to network with others involved in similar activities - to discuss common issues, share information and build supportive reciprocal relationships.

"Some community groups in this country currently experience real difficulties in accessing adequate information to help them run their `business'. It can be prohibitively expensive for them to come together physically in one place to share resources and discuss common issues. CommunityNet offers them a positive solution by providing a website built with their information needs in mind, and the ability for them to join Discussion Groups."

Mr Elder acknowledged there are cost issues with regard to community groups first needing to have computers.

"But CommunityNet isn't choosy," he said, "working well on both new or second hand older machines and with programmes used by people with disabilities. And once a community group has a computer and is connected it is really a very economic technology to run."