'No one should be trapped' – third of all US seniors don't use internet, NZ similar

A new study that found a third of US citizens over 65 still don't use the internet is likely reflected among older New Zealanders, a tech expert says - and it may be inhibiting their lifestyles.

Internet NZ chief executive Jordan Carter acknowledged there were benefits and advantages of internet use, but ultimately it's important to broaden access and proficiency to technology for everyone.

"There's a growing divide in what people can do it they're offline compared to what they're doing if they're online," Mr Carter said.

"Closing those digital divides is something we're interested in, it's something the government has set a target about as well."  

A market research study commissioned by Internet NZ found 83 per cent of Kiwis over 60 years have internet access at home or work.

While the internet is often lumped with negative connotations such as cyber bullying and fake news, Mr Carter said a poll of Kiwis found over 80 per cent thought the benefits outweighed the negatives.

"People should have the choice, no one should be trapped into using any particular kind of technology to live their lives," Mr Carter said.

"But I think given people follow the money if you like there's going to be more and more stuff online."

"I mean look at the announcement last week of moving the Rugby World Cup to an online type platform."

Mr Carter said an obvious benefit the internet provides for the elderly is breaking down the barriers of distance and keeping in touch with friends and family.

The Pew Research Centre study found that 34 per cent of US adults over the age of 65 still don't use the internet.

Internet NZ chief executive Jordan Carter said there are many benefits of getting older Kiwi’s more internet savvy. Source: 1 NEWS