Category Archives: Google New Zealand Blog

New Zealand news and notes from Google

Google Play Points: a rewards program for the ways you Play

Since 2012, Google Play has been your place to find and enjoy apps, games, movies, TV shows, and books. More than 2 billion people in 190 countries use Google Play to discover blockbuster movies, apps that help you be more productive, and books that inspire imagination.


To show our appreciation, we created a rewards program called Google Play Points that lets you earn points and rewards for the ways you already use Google Play. Over the past two years, millions of people in Japan, South Korea, the US, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Australia have joined the program. Starting this week, Google Play Points is launching in New Zealand. 


It’s free to join, and you can earn Play Points to use for special items and discounts in top games or for Google Play Credit to use on movies, books, games, and apps.



Play your way and earn points


With Google Play Points, you’ll earn points on everything you buy with Google Play, including in-app items, movies, books, subscriptions and more. Weekly points events can boost your earning rate on movies, books, and select games. 


Google Play Points has four levels, from Bronze to Platinum. Your level depends on how many points you’ve collected, and higher levels have perks like weekly prizes.



Redeem your Play Points how you’d like


We’re partnering with developers of some of the top apps and games on Google Play so that you can redeem points for special in-app items like characters, gems and more. You can also use Play Points for Google Play Credit and rent an award-winning movie or buy a best-selling audiobook. 



Join for free


Google Play Points will be available over the next week. It’s free to join, there is no recurring or monthly fee, and you’ll earn three times the Play Points on everything you buy your first week. To get started, visit Google Play. Tap menu, then Play Points. Learn more about Play Points--and get ready to earn points and rewards.



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2021 Computer Science Grants Awarded to New Zealand Educators

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we support Kiwi teachers and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. A recent survey of Kiwi teachers revealed that only 7% had the knowledge and skills to introduce computer science (CS) curriculum in the classroom. Understanding, creating and using technology are critical skills for all students and teachers, regardless of where in Aotearoa they live. 


Google’s Educator PD Grants program has been running in New Zealand since 2011 and, in that time, has trained over 20,000 teachers. The program aims to equip teachers through practical professional development workshops, with the skills and resources they need to confidently teach computational thinking and computer science concepts in new and exciting ways. 


The impact of PD Grants for Educators


One of the workshops to benefit from the grants is CS4HS


CS4HS workshops aim to support teachers to build their skills in STEM and digital technologies, to find creative ways to deliver lessons in the classroom and to tap into the enthusiasm that many students have for technology.


Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is the organiser of CS4HS, which has received funding from Google since 2013. 


“The purpose of the conference is to upskill our valuable high school educators by presenting ideas to engage students with new technologies so students can be better equipped for the needs of twenty-first century learning and jobs,” Dr Mahsa says. “We have heard year after year from teachers how valuable the workshop is for them and for some it is the only professional development in the year.” 


We’re excited to announce the following 2021 CS Educator Grants Awardees, who, like Mahsa, will motivate and inspire educators around New Zealand.


2021 CS Educator Grants Funding Recipients in New Zealand



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2021 Computer Science Grants Awarded to New Zealand Educators

Now, more than ever, it’s important that we support Kiwi teachers and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and resources they need to succeed. A recent survey of Kiwi teachers revealed that only 7% had the knowledge and skills to introduce computer science (CS) curriculum in the classroom. Understanding, creating and using technology are critical skills for all students and teachers, regardless of where in Aotearoa they live. 


Google’s Educator PD Grants program has been running in New Zealand since 2011 and, in that time, has trained over 20,000 teachers. The program aims to equip teachers through practical professional development workshops, with the skills and resources they need to confidently teach computational thinking and computer science concepts in new and exciting ways. 


The impact of PD Grants for Educators


One of the workshops to benefit from the grants is CS4HS


CS4HS workshops aim to support teachers to build their skills in STEM and digital technologies, to find creative ways to deliver lessons in the classroom and to tap into the enthusiasm that many students have for technology.


Dr Mahsa Mohaghegh is the organiser of CS4HS, which has received funding from Google since 2013. 


“The purpose of the conference is to upskill our valuable high school educators by presenting ideas to engage students with new technologies so students can be better equipped for the needs of twenty-first century learning and jobs,” Dr Mahsa says. “We have heard year after year from teachers how valuable the workshop is for them and for some it is the only professional development in the year.” 


We’re excited to announce the following 2021 CS Educator Grants Awardees, who, like Mahsa, will motivate and inspire educators around New Zealand.


2021 CS Educator Grants Funding Recipients in New Zealand



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Helping Kiwis with the digital skills needed now, and in the future

Video: CS Unplugged in a New Zealand classroom

Teaching students computer science without a computer. Reaching offline Senior citizens learning how to connect during a national lockdown. Helping small business owners get their business online.


For many years we’ve been working to ensure Kiwis get the digital skills they need to succeed in our increasingly online world. This is a necessary task, as research shows that by 2025 as many as 149 million new digital technology jobs are expected to be created worldwide. 


Released today, our 2020 Community Engagement Report which has been compiled by Social Ventures Australia, highlights the ways in which communities across Aotearoa such as students and teachers, small businesses have built digital capabilities and confidence - with support from Google.


Innovative Digital Skills Programmes

We’re proud of the programmes we’ve been running and supporting, aimed at helping Kiwis acquire new skills to succeed in an increasingly digitised world. Many of our initiatives support marginalised or traditionally excluded groups such as Māori and Pasifika communities, women and older New Zealanders. 


Lifting educator’s capacity to teach Computer Science (CS) to build a future pipeline of talent is one of the key areas our skilling programmes are designed for. The Manaiakalani Education Trust’s Digital Fluency Intensive is designed to empower teachers in low decile schools to effectively and creatively teach CS. We’ve been supporting this programme since 2013, and studies show that after three years in a Manaiakalani school young people make up to two times the expected progress in a school year when compared with the national average. 


Resilient Home Grown Businesses

In order to support New Zealand’s economic recovery, we’re helping small businesses, the nonprofit sector and Aotearoa’s newsrooms to harness the benefits of technologies. Local business consultancy The Icehouse received funds via Youth Business International’s Covid-19 Rapid Response and Recovery initiative funded by Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, to provide guidance and emergency relief to Kiwi entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19 and they focussed on supporting small businesses run by women, young people and migrants which secured 280 jobs. 


Last year 76 local news organisations across New Zealand and the Pacific received emergency relief from the Google News Initiative, because we saw it as critical to support local reporting during a crisis. And 78% of nonprofit organisations rated Google’s products as critical or important to their organisation during 2020, playing a critical role in adapting or changing their outreach programmes, showing the impact of Google for Nonprofits.


Support to Address COVID-19

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we worked closely with the New Zealand Government, by mobilising resources across Search, Maps and YouTube, to drive unified action and support for the national COVID-19 response. The donation of NZ$8.5 million of Google Ads – to the New Zealand Government, not-for-profits and small businesses – helped authorities to elevate critical information and trustworthy resources and ensured Kiwis could easily find information they needed.


With the increasing speed at which Kiwis are accessing information, the role of digitisation should not decrease the quality, especially in times of need. We know that the spread of misinformation erodes public trust in news, and government for example, so we’ve continued to work in partnerships to help communities find the latest health information about COVID-19 when Kiwis need it most. 


We’ll continue to find unique and impactful ways to support New Zealanders in their digitisation, so that people around New Zealand – whether they are students, businesses, not-for-profits, educators, researchers or creators – are able to not just survive but thrive in the digital world. 


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Woolaroo – Promoting language preservation & education with ML

Explore 10 languages from around the world by taking pictures of your surroundings and listening to the pronunciations from local speakers.

Accessibility text: gif animation of different hands holding a  phone with a Woolaroo translation on the screen


Today, I’m proud to announce the launch of Woolaroo, a new Google Arts & Culture experiment using the Cloud Vision API. 



Woolaroo is open source and allows language communities to preserve and expand their language word lists and add audio recordings to help with pronunciation. The technology was first innovated in the development of Spark’s breakthrough Kupu App in New Zealand in 2018, to support the revitalisation of te reo Māori (the Māori language). Now, with the launch of Woolaroo, 10 global languages are supported including Louisiana Creole, Calabrian Greek, te reo Māori, Tamazight, Sicilian, Yang Zhuang, Rapa Nui, Yiddish and Yugambeh.



When Dr Tania Ka’ai, Chair of Te Murumāra Foundation was invited to work on this project she first wanted to meet with the Yugambeh people of Australia. “I saw it as important to ensure that we recognise proper cultural protocols even when living in a digital world. As namesakes of Woolaroo, we were being invited into their space and so meeting, even virtually, was the right place to begin.” 



The Te Murumāra Foundation was integral to the development of the Kupu App, through the sharing of the Te Aka Māori Dictionary to power the translations and guiding the translation process and campaign alongside Spark NZ. Dr Tania Ka’ai, Te Murumāra Foundation's Chair was also closely involved in the development of Woolaroo and said, “This work is incredibly important for showcasing how digital platforms can make Te Reo and other endangered languages more accessible and interactive for both Kiwis and people all over the world. At Te Murumāra Foundation we’re continuing to evolve and develop in our commitment to sharing te reo Māori resources, and this next evolution of the technology and scale of reach is truly exciting for indigenous languages all over the world.”



Woolaroo was co-developed by RUSH, one of New Zealand’s most innovative digital product studios. RUSH took on the project to help use innovative technologies like Machine Learning, Machine Vision and the power of the Cloud in a project that aligned so closely to its purpose statement; to design technology to better serve humankind.


RUSH founder, Danushka Abeysuriya says: “A more globalised and fast-evolving technological world has played a role in shrinking use of native languages. Given the challenges the world faces ahead in climate change, social equity, sustainability and co-operation - there are powerful lessons to be learned from indigenous cultures and the embodied values these languages and cultures have to offer. This is why we are proud to apply technology to this task. It’s in everyone’s best interest to not let these languages fade away.”



All of the languages on Woolaroo are a crucial aspect of a community’s cultural heritage. If you, your grandparents or people in your community speak any of these languages – even if just a few words –  by giving it a go, you can help to expand the growing coverage of Woolaroo.


We hope people will enjoy learning and interacting with a language that is new to you and in turn learn about the diversity of communities and heritage we all share together. 


Explore more on the Google Arts & Culture app for iOS and Android and at g.co/woolaroo.



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Earth Day 2021 – Advancing Conservation Efforts with AI

Each year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day, to help raise awareness and  demonstrate support for environmental protection. 

While Earth Day should not be the only day we strive towards sustainability, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the work that customers are doing to protect our planet and species for future generations using Google AI.

Saving the world’s rarest dolphin

With RUSH and MAUI63 we’re helping to save the world’s rarest dolphin, the Māui dolphin. Just 63 of these dolphins remain in the world, putting it on the brink of extinction. As part of the Māui Drone Project, the R/VISION platform, powered by Google Cloud, is supporting the data processing, display and analytics provided by specialised AI-powered tracking drones developed by the MAUI63 team.

The team's mission is to provide conservationists unparalleled access to information about Māui dolphins, and in the future any and all species, including detailed data on the habitats, population size and distribution and behaviour of the dolphins. Artificial intelligence helps fill critical science gaps about the Māui dolphins. In the future, by advancing understanding of how these dolphins behave and providing this data publicly, data driven decisions can be made by policy makers, scientists and private organisations to ensure robust and appropriate measures are in place to protect Māui dolphins.

Recognising birdsong to protect threatened native birds

Our machine learning technology is being used by Victoria University to help them digest tens of thousands of hours of birdsong to pick out threatened birds, like hihi, saddleback and kakariki. The recordings captured birds at 50 locations in and around Wellington sanctuary Zealandia, but researchers were overwhelmed by the vast data-bank facing them.

Leveraging our TensorFlow technology, the AI system learned to recognise different bird calls, effectively measuring the activity of each bird species at specific times and locations. Due to the limited information about threatened bird species outside of wildlife sanctuaries, it was difficult to know how to maximise conservation efforts. By combining acoustic sensors and AI, researchers can gather enough information to identify the location and visiting frequency of threatened birds outside protected areas – thereby allowing better planning for future conservation efforts.

Creating a better world for future generations

Supporting the conservation efforts of our customers is just one part of our commitment to creating a better future for future generations. We haven’t reached the finish line yet, there’s still much more to be done. We look forward to continuing to support the work our customers are doing to drive conservation, as well as the role that new technologies, like AI and machine learning, play in improving these efforts.

Earth Day 2021 – Advancing Conservation Efforts with AI

Each year on April 22 we celebrate Earth Day, to help raise awareness and  demonstrate support for environmental protection. 

While Earth Day should not be the only day we strive towards sustainability, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the work that customers are doing to protect our planet and species for future generations using Google AI.

Saving the world’s rarest dolphin

With RUSH and MAUI63 we’re helping to save the world’s rarest dolphin, the Māui dolphin. Just 63 of these dolphins remain in the world, putting it on the brink of extinction. As part of the Māui Drone Project, the R/VISION platform, powered by Google Cloud, is supporting the data processing, display and analytics provided by specialised AI-powered tracking drones developed by the MAUI63 team.

The team's mission is to provide conservationists unparalleled access to information about Māui dolphins, and in the future any and all species, including detailed data on the habitats, population size and distribution and behaviour of the dolphins. Artificial intelligence helps fill critical science gaps about the Māui dolphins. In the future, by advancing understanding of how these dolphins behave and providing this data publicly, data driven decisions can be made by policy makers, scientists and private organisations to ensure robust and appropriate measures are in place to protect Māui dolphins.

Recognising birdsong to protect threatened native birds

Our machine learning technology is being used by Victoria University to help them digest tens of thousands of hours of birdsong to pick out threatened birds, like hihi, saddleback and kakariki. The recordings captured birds at 50 locations in and around Wellington sanctuary Zealandia, but researchers were overwhelmed by the vast data-bank facing them.

Leveraging our TensorFlow technology, the AI system learned to recognise different bird calls, effectively measuring the activity of each bird species at specific times and locations. Due to the limited information about threatened bird species outside of wildlife sanctuaries, it was difficult to know how to maximise conservation efforts. By combining acoustic sensors and AI, researchers can gather enough information to identify the location and visiting frequency of threatened birds outside protected areas – thereby allowing better planning for future conservation efforts.

Creating a better world for future generations

Supporting the conservation efforts of our customers is just one part of our commitment to creating a better future for future generations. We haven’t reached the finish line yet, there’s still much more to be done. We look forward to continuing to support the work our customers are doing to drive conservation, as well as the role that new technologies, like AI and machine learning, play in improving these efforts.

Meet the new Nest Hub


Introducing the second-gen Nest Hub from Google, the centre of your helpful home. Stay entertained with shows, videos and music. And control your compatible smart devices with a tap or your voice.



The Nest Hub you love, but better

The new Nest Hub has rich sound to fill any room with music, podcasts and audiobooks from services like YouTube Music and Spotify. Just ask Google to play your favourite shows and movies on Netflix, YouTube and Disney+. Catch up on sports highlights on YouTube. And find how-to videos on just about anything. With Quick Gestures, you can pause or play content at any time by tapping the air in front of your display.  


The new Nest Hub shows all your compatible connected devices in one place so you can control them with one tap. And with a built-in Thread radio, Nest Hub will work with the new connectivity standard being created by the Project Connected Home over IP working group, making it even simpler to control your connected home. 


Nest Hub is also full of help for your busy home. See your calendar, set timers and create reminders so everyone stays on track. Just say, “Hey Google, broadcast it’s dinnertime” and everyone will hear it on your Nest speakers around the house. Ask Google about the weather or almost anything.



New sleep features for better rest

The Nest Hub has always helped you tackle the day; now, it can help you rest well at night. Many of us don’t get enough sleep, which is becoming the number one concern for adults when it comes to health and wellness. 


As people have started to recognise the need for better sleep, sleep trackers have continued to become a popular solution. But we wanted to offer an alternative way for people who may not want to wear something to bed to understand their sleep.


We dug into the data, and because we also knew people felt comfortable with Nest Hub at their bedsides thanks to its camera-free design, we went to work. The result is Sleep Sensing, an opt-in feature to help you understand and improve your sleep — and is available as a free preview until next year.


Sleep Sensing is completely optional with privacy safeguards in place so you’re in control: You choose if you want to enable it and there's a visual indicator on the display to let you know when it’s on. Motion Sense only detects motion, not specific bodies or faces, and your coughing and snoring audio data is only processed on the device — it isn’t sent to Google servers. You have multiple controls to disable Sleep Sensing features, including a hardware switch that physically disables the microphone. You can review or delete your sleep data at any time, and consistent with our privacy commitments, it isn't used for personalised ads.


Even if you choose not to enable Sleep Sensing, you can still fall asleep and wake up easier with Nest Hub. The display dims to make your bedroom more sleep-friendly, and the “Your evening” page helps you wind down at night with relaxing sounds. When it’s time to wake up, Nest Hub’s Sunrise Alarm gradually brightens the display and increases the alarm volume. If you need a few more ZZZs, use Motion Sense to wave your hand and snooze the alarm. 



Sustainable design that matches any room

The new Nest Hub will be available to Kiwis in two colours, to complement most rooms in the house: Chalk and Charcoal. It features an edgeless glass display that’s easy to clean and makes your Nest Hub an even more beautiful digital photo frame. And continuing our commitment to sustainability, Nest Hub is designed with recycled materials with its plastic mechanical parts containing 54 percent recycled post-consumer plastic.


The second-generation Nest Hub is NZ$169. It will be available from the following retailers; JB Hi-Fi, Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, PB Tech and The Warehouse, from May 5.

How New Zealand’s route to recovery could be found through digital transformation – 2020 Economic Impact Report

Today, I’m pleased to share Google’s 2020 Economic Impact Report - examining the economy-wide opportunity in digital transformation of New Zealand, and how Google contributes to and directly supports Kiwi businesses and consumers. 


The report examines how technology can play a critical role in New Zealand's post-COVID economic recovery. If fully leveraged, digital technologies could add $46.6 billion to our economy by 2030 - equivalent to 14% of GDP in 2019 - the same as the combined GDP supported by Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. Supporting technological adoption in key industries, digital upskilling and promoting digital export will all be critical to realising this potential.


Key findings: 

  • Kiwi businesses derive $3 billion in annual benefits from Google tools and services, through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money.

  • Consumers receive $3.5 billion in annual benefits by experiencing greater convenience, access to information, and enhanced productivity.

  • Kiwi app developers earn $30.7 million in annual revenue through Google Play, reaching over 1 billion users globally.

  • Search saves users almost 5 days a year (i.e a whole working week!), and drivers save 4.1 hours per year using Google Maps to optimise their driving journeys.

  • Google Maps helps reduce the carbon footprint of New Zealanders, helping to save between 30,400 – 40,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions from vehicles in 2019; Equivalent to the emissions from around 6,600 to 8,700 cars.

  • Over 20% of YouTube users in New Zealand say they use online video services to learn advanced digital skills.


Digital Transformation to Support post-Covid Recovery


If fully leveraged by 2030, digital technologies could create up to $46.6billion in economic value. To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of the combined GDP supported by Canterbury and Hawke’s Bay. This digital transformation should be New Zealand’s route to economic recovery post COVID-19 as many key technologies will help mitigate impacts of the pandemic.


For example, Internet-of-Things (IoT)-enabled supply chain management, could transform both agriculture and food, and manufacturing industries. And in a year when health was at the forefront of everyone’s minds, technological advancements could bring healthcare services to our fingertips. New Zealand has not yet seen widespread uptake of mobile telehealth applications in the healthcare sector, or the use of smartphone based government e-services to streamline the delivery of public services.


Three key pillars of action to fully realise the potential of digital technologies include:

  • Supporting technological adoption in key industries

  • Upskilling our current workforce and future talent

  • Promoting digital export opportunities.


Google’s economic impact in Aotearoa


There’s never been a year with so much change as we’ve just seen in 2020 and the impacts of the pandemic and its effects on businesses has been overwhelming. 


But at the same time, it’s been inspiring to watch the way businesses across Aotearoa have managed those challenges to cope. Our Economic Impact Report shows how local businesses have increasingly moved online to continue to provide vital services and succeed in this difficult year. 


Successfully adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 by proactively embracing the opportunities provided by digital adoption, Auckland-based Kitchen Mania utilised Google Ads to boost visibility of its online “GST Free May” campaign and was able to attract double the number of new customers looking to redesign their kitchen over the lockdown period. This kitchen design company is one example of the many New Zealand businesses using Google’s free tools and services-to reach new customers, advertise effectively where they couldn’t before and make use of new digital skills.



All over New Zealand, businesses shared a total of $3 billion in annual benefits through increased revenues, millions of connections with customers and greater efficiencies, saving time and money.


The report shows app developers in New Zealand earn around $30.7 million in annual revenue through the Google Play platform, reaching more than one billion users worldwide.


Helping our users save time and access important information


Google’s products also provide $3.5 billion in annual benefits to consumers through increased productivity, convenience and improved access to information.


On average, New Zealanders using Google Search save almost five days a year thanks to access to instantaneous information, while Kiwi drivers using Google Maps save 4.1 hours on roads each year by optimising trips through our technology. 


We’re humbled by these findings and are proud to be playing a part in New Zealand’s economic recovery. As the country moves toward a thriving post-COVID-19 economy, we’ll continue to support  Kiwi businesses and communities in their efforts to succeed in a digital future.


You can read more about these benefits here.



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Furthering our long-term support of the New Zealand News Industry and Countering COVID-19-related Misinformation



A thriving news industry is fundamental to the health of our society—and well-functioning political, social, and economic institutions. That is important to Google, too: our mission, after all, is to make the world’s information accessible and useful to everyone.


A critical aspect of that work today concerns the COVID-19 pandemic. All over the globe, a massive immunisation effort is underway. The relatively rapid nature of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and the great anxiety that the pandemic has provoked have made this topic particularly susceptible to misinformation. Journalists can play a fundamental role by listening to their audiences’ concerns and providing corrective information about any misconceptions that are circulating.


To support this work, the Google News Initiative launched a $3M Open Fund aimed at projects planning to reach audiences underserved by fact-checking with content about the COVID-19 vaccine.


Today we’re delighted to announce that we are providing funding to Stuff, to support their campaign “The Whole Truth: COVID-19 Vaccination”. In partnership with Māori Television and the Pacific Media Network, this project will be critical in reaching Māori and Pacific communities in Aotearoa, with accurate and easy to understand information on the vaccine and addressing vaccine misinformation. 


“Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we’ve seen misinformation and conspiracy theories on the virus, and vaccines in particular, reach fever-pitch,” says Stuff editorial director Mark Stevens. 

 

“Our priority is ensuring we can get our trustworthy journalism to the audiences that need it, so people can be armed with the facts when making decisions about how to protect themselves from the virus. We commend the Google News Initiative for recognising the desperate need to fight misinformation around this important topic.”


This funding complements Google’s wider efforts to promote authoritative vaccine information, including YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. We are proud of this very practical initiative with one of our New Zealand news partners, which will directly benefit our local community. This is an important element of a larger, comprehensive approach by Google to contribute to the long-term vibrancy of public interest news and quality journalism. 


Supporting New Zealand’s news industry 


Last year we reflected on the work we’ve been doing in New Zealand to support the news industry and we’re proud of how we’re supporting local authorities, businesses and media partners to ensure they’re able to share vital information with New Zealanders in moments that matter. In 2020 alone, Google provided the New Zealand Government, small businesses and NGOs with Ad Grants to the value of NZ$8.5 million, to ensure Kiwis were finding information they needed when they were searching for it.


We also recognise the value of local reporting during a time of crisis, so as the pandemic swept through the world we delivered special funding to 76 news organisations across New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and the Pacific through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund


Supporting the new ways Kiwis find news 


It is clear that the media landscape has been changing in New Zealand, and around the world, over the past few decades. As Google continues to support the news industry with new programs and products, there have been some questions around the relationship between digital platforms and news publishers. New research by economists at Accenture, shows that newspaper circulation steadily declined between 1950 and 1994, as new technologies and opportunities emerged. The total digital advertising market trebled from 2013 to 2020 and many newspapers shifted their subscriptions online and developed advertising to display on their own websites. However, as the Accenture research demonstrates, the key source of newspaper revenue, classified ads, shifted to new innovative websites such as realestate.co.nz. We’ve seen a similar development in Australia where more than 90% of the decline in newspaper revenue was due to the significant drop in classifieds. 


People come to Google to search for many things, whether it's ‘how to videos’, recipes, sport, weather, outfit ideas, or home insurance. News is a very small part of this content and makes up a tiny proportion of overall search queries. In 2019, news-related queries made up just below 1.5% of total queries on Google Search in New Zealand. These search queries helped people to find their way directly to news websites, and that’s another, direct way in which our services and technologies help the news industry. 


With the news moving faster than ever, it's clear that journalism is an essential way to keep people informed. Last year we announced News Showcase, a new program designed to bring value to both publishers and readers by providing a licensing program that pays publishers to curate content for story panels across Google services, and gives readers more insights into the stories that matter. We will begin outreach to potential News Showcase partners in New Zealand later this year.


Google is committed to supporting the promotion of accurate and critical information and longer term, we’ll continue to partner, along with many others, to support a strong future for journalism in New Zealand.


Post content Caroline Rainsford, Country Director, Google New Zealand