Free online access to government services

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For those on fixed or limited incomes, it can be tricky to find the money for internet access and in the past this has made it hard to access key government services, particularly as more services go online. But the Zero Data initiative changes that.

Zero Data is a portal that allows people to access important government websites on their phone or mobile device, even if they don’t have any data available.

It came about after a government study in 2019 found that those aged over 75, along with Pasifika, Māori, and those living in larger country towns, amongst others, were less likely to have internet access.

That left them unable to access key government services easily, which came to a head in 2020 during the COVID response. With many COVID response services only available digitally, some of those most in need were left excluded.

The government then created the Zero Data initiative, an internet portal users can reach on their mobile phone or mobile device, which gives access to these services without using any mobile data.

The site can be accessed by anyone on the Spark, Skinny, One NZ, 2degrees, Warehouse Mobile, Slingshot or Orcon mobile networks, with services such as Healthpoint, Health NZ, Kāinga Ora, Work and Income, along with mental health services and many others, available.

How do I use it?

It’s easy. Just use your mobile device, phone, or tablet, that is connected to one of the networks listed above. Make sure your mobile data is turned on. Then put into a web browser on your mobile device and away you go. You’ll be able to access the various government services data-free. And it doesn’t matter whether you have a monthly, or prepaid mobile plan.

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