“Have you or someone you know ever tried to fill out a government form online? How about doing that on your phone? And uploading documents to it?
What if your internet connection was limited? Or English wasn’t your first language? Or you were vision impaired? Or didn’t have a credit card?
What if you needed help to understand, and what you really wanted was someone to talk to?
Consider the frustration this causes you and what it looks like when you’re made further vulnerable as you stare into the digital divide.
The digital-only or digital-first approach being embraced by government agencies is excluding some of Aotearoa’s most vulnerable people and communities. This is unacceptable. We want to see people’s needs put at the centre of public services and are asking candidates seeking election as our representatives in Parliament, to pledge to ensuring this is the case.
Interacting with government services is often about accessing rights and entitlements and it’s important that there aren’t any barriers in the way. Digital services are not the right response for all people or in all circumstances. There needs to be genuine choice for people about how they can interact – whether online, face-to-face, through others or by phone.
It is critical that as a country we don’t allow the digital transformation of public services to further entrench disadvantage and vulnerability.”
Taken from the Citizens Advice Bureau Action Station Page