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Unique online banking training for Wairoa

The COVID lockdown accelerated Kiwi’s switch to online banking and those still wanting to make the change will get an extra helping hand in Wairoa next week.

DORA – the unique WiFi enabled bus supported by Kiwibank – is visiting local communities to help people explore alternatives to paying by cheque, learn online banking and how to recognise and avoid online scams.

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) has partnered with Kiwibank to develop a Stepping UP training module for online banking and, with DORA’s help, more people can get the help they need to make the switch.

The training is delivered free and it is open to anyone, regardless of who they bank with.

DIAA has joined up with local community partner, Tairāwhiti REAP Wairoa, to deliver the classes on-board DORA from 2 – 7 November.

Hine Flood, Community Facilitator for Tairāwhiti REAP Wairoa, says: “I know that not too many of our elderly are keen to make the switch; however, with reduced services and bank closures, there is a need to respond and provide the opportunity for our kaumātua to be better informed about online banking, and understand how to detect and avoid scammers. As we all know, following the recent COVID lockdowns, financial isolation can be a real issue and we all need to be ready should another pandemic strike.”

Hine added:  “We have had a positive response from local groups supporting kaumātua, who are encouraging their members to join a digital banking session.”

Laurence Zwimpfer, Operations Director of the Digital Inclusion Alliance, said: “No one needs to be left out and our Stepping UP programme has already provided many New Zealanders with the skills and confidence to use online banking,” Mr Zwimpfer says. “The Covid-19 lockdown period created real challenges for people without online access, and that’s why we are so passionate about programmes like Stepping UP, which help people build their confidence and skills over time.  Being able to offer these programmes with community partners in Wairoa is hugely exciting for us.”

DORA will be hosting Digital Banking classes in Wairoa from 2 – 7 November.  People who are interested can book a place by contacting Hine at Tairāwhiti REAP Wairoa. Most sessions are held 10am – 12 noon and 1pm – 3pm.  Locations can be found on the Stepping UP website www.steppingup.nz/dora-wairoa

DORA will be parked outside the War Memorial Hall in Wairoa on Monday 2 November. Kaumātua attending the Mayoral morning tea at the War Memorial Hall are welcome to pop in for a browse and book a place for a digital banking class if they are interested.  Stakeholders and media are welcome to attend the afternoon briefing on DORA anytime between 1pm and 3pm on Monday 2 November, when DORA will be outside Tairāwhiti REAP Wairoa at 36 Marine Parade.


About DORA

DORA (Digital On-Road Access) is a 35-year-old bus, converted to a digital classroom in 2012. Suitable for around 8 adults, DORA can travel anywhere in New Zealand. All the equipment is powered by a fully self-contained solar electrical system and the on-board computers have multiple different ways of connecting to the internet, including satellite. DORA is supported by Kiwibank, Lottery Grants Board, Transpower, Spark Foundation, Digital Wings and other business partners.

 About Tairawhiti REAP

Tairawhiti REAP has been in existence for more than 27 years and is one of 13 other rural education activities programmes established in Aotearoa New Zealand. Their core contracts are funded through the Ministry of Education and Tertiary Education Commission to meet New Zealand’s Education National Priorities and Principles. Learning opportunities are provided through early childhood, compulsory (schools) and adult education across Wairoa, Gisborne & East Coast districts. Offices in Hicks Bay (Ngati Porou/East Coast), Gisborne (Turanga/Gisborne) and Wairoa (Kahungungu ki Te Wairoa).

 About Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa

The Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa was established in 2018 to foster socially inclusive communities where everyone has equitable opportunities to meaningfully engage with digital technologies, and benefit from the use of them. 

It aims to enhance the confidence and capability of people living in New Zealand to engage online to advance their own education, employment, health and wellbeing as well as that of their whānau.

The Alliance acts as a catalyst for digital inclusion initiatives, by working with local communities, not-for-profit organisations, business enterprises and government agencies to pursue a shared digital inclusion vision. 

Any organisation or individual working to achieve a more digitally included community is welcome to become a partner of the Alliance.

 About Kiwibank

Kiwibank is New Zealand’s bank and supports the growth and progress of all New Zealanders. Kiwibank was formed 20 years ago to be a credible local banking alternative. It is now the largest of the New Zealand-owned banks, with over a million customers.


For further information contact

Hine Flood, Tairāwhiti REAP Wairoa, 027 205 8414 hine.wairoa@tairawhitireap.org.nz

Laurence Zwimpfer, Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa 027 430 6737 laurence@diaa.nz

Kara Tait, Kiwibank, 027 475 3521 kara.tait@kiwibank.co.nz