We’re calling to talk digital!

We’re ringing all tenants as we gear up for new services.

Digital coaching advisor Joanne Cantrick is part of the team calling ŌCHT tenants over lockdown.

Digital coaching advisor Joanne Cantrick is part of the team calling ŌCHT tenants over lockdown.

We’re hitting the phones to learn more about tenants’ connectivity needs as we develop a free digital coaching service and wait approval to get free internet into ŌCHT homes. 

The ŌCHT team is calling the first of more than 2300 tenants to chat about how – and to ask if – people use digital devices and the many services and tools available on the internet. 

  • We’re calling tenants for the next few weeks 
  • We’ve got a lot of calls to make, so it might take a while to get to you 
  • You don’t need to contact us; we’ll call you 
  • Don’t worry if you miss our call – we will call you back over the next few weeks 

What we learn will help our digital coaching advisor build a new education service that’ll help people confidently use their devices and make the most of the online world. 

It’ll also help us know how many people will want to join the free broadband internet service we hope to deliver in partnership with Christchurch’s fibre provider, Enable. 

The free internet service is awaiting government approval – but we will still offer the free digital coaching service even if the internet service does not go ahead. 

Digital coaching advisor Joanne Cantrick says our team has been busy during lockdown and has telephoned about a fifth of tenants since the end of last week. 

READ MORE: Free digital training on offer
READ MORE: Web partnership announced
READ MORE: Web service FAQs

Many of the people we’ve contacted don’t have the internet at home because they can’t afford it. Many have simple data plans on their mobile phones, Joanne says. 

“Cost is an obvious barrier, which is why we’ve also learned 73% of the people we’ve called so far would connect to our new, free fibre broadband service if we get the go-ahead to offer it.” 

Half the people we’ve called say they have the skills to use devices and the internet, but 40% say they would be interested in attending free training, Joanne says. 

Older people tend to be more interested in free digital training, Joanne says. 

“It’s pretty clear even this early in our calls to tenants that a lot of people would really benefit from the free digital coaching we plan to offer.” 

The new service will provide training developed with the help of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and its skills programme Kanorau Digital. 

It will help people develop the skills to: 

  • Navigate websites 
  • Set up and use email 
  • Use online banking 
  • Be safe and secure online 
  • Manage passwords 
  • Communicate online
  • Install and use useful apps, such as MyMSD, Council Bin Collection app, Metro, Banking apps, Shopping apps, CCC Library (Libby/OverDrive) 

We’ll do all this in group sessions in community lounges and other community facilities, and in one-on-one individual sessions with those who need it. 

The early figures confirm previous ŌCHT surveys that found issues such as cost, and access to help or training, meant tenants were less able to make the most of the digital world. 

The free digital coaching service – and the proposed free internet service – will turn this around and help tenants enjoy the same benefits as the wider community, Joanne says. 

  • ŌCHT and Enable are waiting for government approval to deliver free, fast broadband to ŌCHT homes  in Christchurch and Lyttelton. The Digital Coaching service will be offered even if the free internet service does not go ahead.


Published August 17, 2021


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The Ōtautahi Community Housing Trust
61 Kilmore St,

Hours: 8.30 am-5.00 pm, Monday-Friday.

Postal: PO Box 53, Christchurch 8140

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