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All aboard DORA for a digital journey

A unique WiFi-enabled bus called DORA is in Gisborne and is visiting local communities to help people improve their digital literacy, specifically online banking.

The Covid lockdown accelerated New Zealanders’ switch to online banking.

Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) partnered with Kiwibank to develop the Stepping UP training module for online banking and with the help of DORA (which stands for Digital On-Road Access), more people can get the assistance they need to make the switch.

Trainers are on hand to help people to explore alternatives to paying by cheque, learn online banking and how to recognise and avoid scams.

Training is free and open to anyone, regardless of who they bank with.

DIAA has joined with TaiTech and H.B.Williams Memorial Library to deliver the classes on board DORA over the next four weeks at 16 locations from Hicks Bay to Gisborne.

TaiTech trustee Polly Crawford said a lot of people in Tairawhiti were geographically isolated and being able to bank online was one way to help better manage their lives.

DIAA operations director Laurence Zwimpfer said more than 1000 people had taken part in digital banking classes on DORA over the last 12 months. He expected at least another 150 people in Tairawhiti to benefit in the coming weeks.

“We have had an especially positive response from seniors groups, who are encouraging their members to join a digital banking session,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

“Organisations like Tairawhiti Positive Ageing Trust and Age Concern Tairawhiti recognise that older people have a willingness to keep up to date and learn new skills, but need encouragement and support to manage changes that can enhance their lives.

“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.

“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,” said Mr Zwimpfer.

DORA is hosting digital banking classes up to October 30. People can book a place by contacting Polly at TaiTech or staff at H.B.Williams Memorial Library.

Most sessions are on weekdays from 10am to midday and 1pm to 3pm.

Dora explorer: The bus, known as DORA (Digital On-Road Access) will be out and about up to October 30, with staff on board to help people improve their digital literacy, specifically online banking. Pictures by Liam Clayton
DIGITAL LITERACY: Inside the DORA (Digital On-Road Access) bus which is in the district to improve digital literacy, particularly online banking, are TaiTech trustee Matt Clark, TaiTech chair Carolyn Carpendale, Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa operations director Laurence Zwimpfer, Rawiri Haapu and H.B. Williams Memorial Library principal librarian Anna Williamson.