The Salvation Army is backing a nationwide campaign that aims to ensure everyone has access to public services.
The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) ‘Campaign for Inclusion in a Digital Age’ has put a spotlight on how the movement of public services online is reducing accessibility for some New Zealanders.
CAB’s 2020 report ‘Face to Face with Digital Exclusion’ found that people across a range of age demographics are digitally excluded, while Māori and Pasifika people are disproportionately disadvantaged.
“The Salvation Army is regularly seeing the challenges facing vulnerable people in the community as a result of government agencies removing the option of speaking to someone to get help,” said Lt-Colonel Ian Hutson, director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.
“There are many reasons people cannot or will not interact online, including issues like poverty, literacy, language barriers and disability.
“Public services should be there to help and support everyone in our society in the ways they need, including face to face and by phone, and not only online.”
“Human connection is important for wellbeing and inclusion, and to stop the marginalisation of those who are vulnerable. We join with CAB in asking the Government to ensure public services are designed to be inclusive and accessible to everyone.”
The Salvation Army Territorial Media Officer, 021 945 337, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (The Media Officer responds to enquiries from media outlets and journalists. If you would like to donate, are in need of help, or have some other non-media-related enquiry, please call 0800 53 00 00.)