ICT in rural New Zealand : the Miranda case. A dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Computing, Unitec /
The research question for this masters project was what are the impacts of ICT provision
in Miranda as an example of rural NZ? In order to answer this question firstly the ICT
provision in Miranda needed to be assessed. Secondly, it was necessary to examine the
issues or problems associated with connecting to the Internet in rural area. Thirdly,
evaluation, assessment, and estimation of the potentials of providing broadband in this
area were required. The final question was what is required to make broadband
available in Miranda? The cost for upgrading telecommunications infrastructure is also
required. This study looks at several aspects of urban-rural “digital divide” including
broadband, applications and content.
Many scholars argue that the term digital divide should include social and economic as
well as technological aspects. This research looked at the ICT provision in rural New
Zealand, concentrated on Miranda, and surrounding for this qualitative study.
Eight randomly selected participants, who lived or worked in this area were interviewed.
This study looked at the main four cultural factors affecting ICT provision in rural areas:
technological, political, economic, and social. These four factors are also discussed with
respect to the New Zealand government’s (including its agencies) contribution, in order
to bridge the divide that exists between urban and rural. The research identified three
main stakeholders: The New Zealand Government, ISPs, and residents in rural areas.
The research has been organised into chapters describing the steps followed in this
research project. An interpretative framework and the methodology undertaken in the
analysis phase is also described and used to interpret results. What are the impacts of
ICT provision in rural New Zealand? Firstly, technical, improvements to the
telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas is required. Secondly, politically, the
digital divide in rural areas needs to be integrated into the New Zealand fabric as a
whole. Thirdly, economic, benefits, for instance in dairy manufacturing sector that forms
more that 60% of New Zealand’s economy, are required. Rural ICT provision should
give farmers added value to current farming practices. Fourthly, social, improvement in
ICT for rural education, medical and other social services should improve the wellbeing
of citizens in rural areas.
This research is a single study design based on grounded theory within the Community
Informatics research framework. This is characterised by factors that empower
democracy, boost social capital, empower individuals, and restore a sense of economic
development (O’Neil, 2001). In addition to these characteristics, this study’s results
revealed that in fact this research increased and deepened the participants’ knowledge of
ICT provision in this area. Gurstein (2006) concluded, “Research is not generally done
simply for the research itself. It is usually done in relation to a specific outcome or action
in the world of practice and what this means is that the research use is generally to be
built into the research design itself ” (Gurstein, 2006, p. 20).
ICT in rural New Zealand: the Miranda case~ Acknowledgments
School:Unitec New Zealand / Te Whare Wananga o Wairaka
School Location:New Zealand
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:rural development telecommunication information technology conditions miranda n z new zealand
Date of Publication: