Nearly Half of New Zealand Children Use a Mobile Phone

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A report by New Zealand's Broadcasting Standards Authority has found that nearly half of the country's children (42%) use a mobile phone. The report also found that New Zealand children are savvy media users and that while there has been an explosive growth of media devices in homes in the past few years television remains the principal form of entertainment.

The research was carried out by Colmar Brunton for the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA) and involved interviewing more than 600 children aged between six and 13 and their primary caregivers.

Ninety nine percent of children watch TV programmes, 84% play computer or video games, 62% use the internet and 42% use a cellphone.

BSA Chief Executive Dominic Sheehan said "Not surprisingly, the research reveals that children are interacting with new media, like cell phones, MP3 players and the internet, in high numbers. However, there are marked inequalities in access to new media, with Pacific and Maori children, in particular, falling behind Asian and Pakeha children."

The report also noted that 89 percent of Asian children and 77 percent of Pakeha children use a computer at home with access to the internet compared with just 53 per cent of Maori children and 38 per cent of Pacific children.

The full report is available on the BSA website.

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