Category Archives: Google New Zealand Blog

New Zealand news and notes from Google

New Zealand’s Top Trending Videos & Creators for 2020

As The World Changed, This Is What You Were Watching 

Startling unsuspecting bystanders with perfect Chinese pronunciation. Global news outlets marvelling at New Zealand’s COVID response. An astonishing time lapse of productivity to build an underground house.

While 2020 may have been a little different to what we expected, Kiwis sought escapism and humour in what they chose to watch on YouTube.

As the world changed in unimaginable ways, we looked to creators and artists to help us make sense of these shifts, find wonder, and expand our boundaries beyond the four walls of our homes.

We love to check out how we’re seen internationally; Australia’s TODAY gave a Kiwi truck driver hero recognition; CNN reviewed our COVID-19 response; and CaspianReport put us in the centre of a power play. 

While we weren’t able to travel overseas, we still looked for escapism outside our borders and when audiences sought out sources of levity, creators provided no shortage of options: MrBeast set some heartwarming challenges; Mr Tfue orchestrated a remarkable underground pool build and global breakout star Tiko’s unique music was a hit. 

Also included among this year’s top trending videos: Kiwi creator Torrell Tafa surprised people with perfect Samoan in South Auckland and ZHC showed off his creativity. While engagement was up across YouTube, these 10 videos resonated with Kiwi viewers the most. Collectively, they were watched more than 586 million times and the channels behind them total more than 33 million subscribers.

Top Trending Videos (NZ)

  1. Tiko - Tiko - Fishy On Me

  2. Mr. Tfue - 60 Days Build Millionaire Underground Swimming Pool House

  3. CNN - This country has very few Covid-19 deaths. See how they did it

  4. The Survival - Building The Most Secret Underground House And Water Slide To Swimming Pool Underground

  5. Torrell Tafa - White Guy Speaks Perfect Samoan in South Auckland 🇼🇸

  6. Xiaomanyc 小马在纽约 - Clueless White Guy Orders in Perfect Chinese, Shocks Patrons and Staff

  7. MrBeast - Anything You Can Fit In The Circle I’ll Pay For

  8. TODAY - Hero truck driver has hosts in stitches | Today Show Australia

  9. CaspianReport - New Zealand at the centre of big power play

  10. ZHC - Surprising Charli D'Amelio With 20 Custom iPhone 11s!!📱📞 ft. TikTok & LilHuddy (Giveaway)

This year’s top creators list demonstrates MrBeast’s continuing impact, and the popularity of gaming creators like Dream, Tiko, and LazarBeam, who found connection through social gaming.

Top Creators (NZ)

  1. MrBeast

  2. Dream

  3. ZHC

  4. LazarBeam

  5. Jelly

  6. Fresh

  7. PrestonPlayz

  8. Chloe Ting

  9. Sidemen

  10. Tiko

Among the year’s breakout creators, Aussie Chloe Ting helped viewers sweat at home with workout challenges, Hyram shared his take on beauty trends and Mr Nigel Ng gave us something to laugh about. 

Breakout Creators (NZ)

  1. Dream

  2. Chloe Ting

  3. Tiko

  4. charli d’amelio

  5. Dixie D’Amelio

  6. GeorgeNotFound

  7. Addison Rae

  8. mrnigelng

  9. Corpse Husband

  10. Hyram

In music, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion took on the world of hip-hop, Justin Bieber cemented his influence, but it's homegrown artist Benee we’re so proud to see featured near the top. 

Top Music Videos (NZ)

  1. Future - Life is Good ft. Drake

  2. Justin Bieber - Yummy

  3. Benee - Supalonely ft. Gus Dapperton

  4. Tekashi 6ix9ine - Gooba

  5. Justin Bieber - Intentions ft. Quavo

  6. STNDRD Music - My Uso ft. Masi Rooc, Lisi, Biggs & Ron Moala

  7. Sidhu Moose Wala - Old Skool, Prem Dhillon ft. Sidhu Moose Wala, Nseeb, Rahul Chahal, Gold Media, The Kidd

  8. Cardi B - WAP feat. Megan Thee Stallion 

  9. Eminem - Godzilla ft. Juice WRLD

  10. Doja Cat - Say So

For a deeper look at the way video trends shaped digital culture in 2020, check out the Culture & Trends site

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Year in Search: Kiwis Top Trending Searches for 2020 Revealed

From banana bread to Bloomfield and Benee, this year’s top trending searches show what puzzled, intrigued and entertained us this year. 

People come to Google Search for help in moments big and small billions of times a day - whether it’s to ask what is matariki, to find the lyrics to Kiwi Jawsh685’s Savage Love or understand antifa. Which is why, for the past 20 years, Google’s annual Year in Search moment has provided a window into the cultural zeitgeist. 

So let’s take this moment is a time for reflection, and look at some of the themes that defined 2020 for Kiwis:

Staying home and figuring it out

As Alert Levels and Dr Ashley Bloomfield became part of our everyday vernacular, we quickly became adjusted to the new language of a pandemic, in understanding lockdown restrictions and how best to protect ourselves. We made face masks and hand sanitizer, and as we stayed home and faced job uncertainty, we looked to Work and Income for support. We relied on the Ministry of Health as knowledge became power in understanding the pandemic. We also discovered new ways to continue to work and learn online, through productivity and learning tools like Zoom, Seesaw and Education Perfect. 

Culinary curiosity, but make it simple

Kiwis searched for “easy recipes” more than most other countries in March, reflecting either a newfound vigour or fear for the home cooking adventure of lockdown. Putting all the flour to good use, baked goods were king - hot cross buns, scones and pancakes all popular options. Naan and butter chicken were the more interesting savoury fare. Perhaps showing the limited runs to the supermarket, we also wanted to know how to make buttermilk and self raising flour. Chelsea Winter was an inspiration as was a plant based diet. And to counter earlier indulgences we wanted to know how to lose

Kiwis supporting Kiwis

In a year when many businesses faced tough times, Kiwis searched for "shop local" and "small business"  more than we have for a decade. We showed greater interest in the economic market with NZX50 and Sharesies both trending. Homegrown talent piqued our interest as they made their mark overseas; Taika Waititi kept us entertained (at home) during lockdowns, Benee performed on a global stage, and Israel Adesanya, appearing on the trending Kiwis list for the second year in a row, showed his prowess in MMA fighting internationally. And in true Kiwi style, sporting heroes Lydio Ko, Ross Taylor and Dan Carter broke through.

Politically Engaged

Once we figured out how to vote, Kiwis showed their civic engagement with strong interest in our local election and the political figures who defined our election race. We were also following events happening worldwide closely, with international politicians making up half of the public figures on New Zealand’s list of trending international faces, and ‘US Election Results’ making it to second place of the Overall Trending Searches list. 

More than ever, New Zealand’s top trending searches reflect a year of seeking new information, understanding and awareness of the world around us. 

Overall Trending Searches:

  1. Coronavirus 

  2. US Election Results 

  3. Zoom

  4. SeeSaw

  5. Kobe Bryant 

  6. Ministry of Health 

  7. Education Perfect 

  8. Work and Income

  9. Naya Rivera 

  10. Sharesies 

News Events:

  1. Coronavirus 

  2. US Election Results 

  3. Australia fires 

  4. Election Results NZ 

  5. Nzx50 

  6. Iran 

  7. Italy Coronavirus 

  8. Beirut 

  9. Level 2

  10. Iowa Caucus 

Kiwi Celebs:

  1. Hayley Holt 

  2. Israel Adesanya

  3. Ashley Bloomfield

  4. Lydia Ko

  5. David Bain 

  6. Taika Waititi

  7. Chelsea Winter

  8. Benee 

  9. Dan Carter 

  10. Ross Taylor 

Global Figures:

  1. Kim Jong Un

  2. Donald Trump 

  3. Boris Johnson

  4. Joe Biden 

  5. Tom Hanks 

  6. Elon Musk 

  7. Joe Exotic 

  8. Kamala Harris

  9. Carole Baskin

  10. Kanye West  

New Zealand Politicians:

  1. Todd Muller

  2. Jacinda Ardern 

  3. Judith Collins

  4. Simon Bridges 

  5. Chloe Swarbrick 

  6. David Clark 

  7. Andrew Falloon

  8. David Seymour 

  9. Winston Peters 

How To:

  1. How to make a face mask? 

  2. How to make hand sanitizer?

  3. How to vote NZ?

  4. How to lose weight fast? 

  5. How to make buttermilk? 

  6. How to make pancakes? 

  7. How to make self raising flour? 

  8. How to make naan bread? 

  9. How to make bread? 

  10. How to use Zoom? 

What is:

  1. What is Coronavirus? 

  2. What is the name of the Kingdom in Tangled? 

  3. What is Level 2? 

  4. What is a pandemic? 

  5. What is Matariki? 

  6. What is the time? 

  7. What is a simp? 

  8. What is buttermilk? 

  9. What is 5g? 

  10. What is antifa? 


  1. Kobe Bryant 

  2. George Floyd 

  3. Chadwick Boseman 

  4. Caroline Flack 

  5. Sushant Singh Rajpu 

  6. Kenny Rogers

  7. Kelly Preston 

  8. Eddie Van Halen 

  9. Sean Connery

  10. Rishi Kapoor  


  1. Hot cross bun

  2. Scone

  3. Banana bread

  4. Bread

  5. Naan bread

  6. Banana cake

  7. Carrot cake

  8. Butter chicken

  9. Ciabatta

  10. Pancake

Sporting Events:

  1. India vs New Zealand

  2. All Blacks vs Australia

  3. NRL

  4. EPL

  5. Champions League

  6. Premier League

  7. IPL

  8. Australia Open 2020

  9. Super Rugby 2020

  10. Mitre 10 Cup

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Google and Spark deliver no-cost digital skills training for SMEs

Google and Spark are launching a tailored programme of digital skills training designed especially for New Zealand small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The programme is fully virtual and will run through November initially, with future dates to be announced. It aims to support those small businesses that see a clear need to digitise if they are to operate more productively and continue to thrive, but either don’t know where to start or simply want some extra support along the way. 

Hosted through Spark Lab, the programme will initially be available to Spark customers only, but the intention is to open it up more widely over time. It has been designed based on a survey of Spark SME customers in October – which showed that while there is appetite for digital upskilling by Kiwi SMEs, knowing where to start can sometimes be the first hurdle. Full details may be found at and business owners will learn about various strategies and Google tools to help their businesses be found and stand out online. The goal is that this digital skills training will further safeguard Kiwi businesses against the effects of COVID-19 by helping them be more productive in an uncertain economy. 

Kate Jarrett, owner of Loxy’s Salons in Auckland has participated in similar Google digital skills workshops and said, “The tools I learnt through the Google digital skills workshop were invaluable to my business both pre and post Covid. I was amazed to learn that these tools and insights were available to me and so many of them at no cost too. I wondered how I’d fumbled my way through business up until then, and thought of how different things may have been for me had I utilized these tools much earlier in my business journey. In the constantly evolving and often uncertain world of business, I feel at ease knowing I have these Google tools at my disposal to pivot quickly and stay one step ahead.”

Spark Marketing Director Matt Bain said, “In the past year, we have seen a massive shift by consumers from physical to digital channels. This is a big opportunity for many of our SMEs to use what are often cheaper and more effective channels to reach their customers. Spark wants to support them to grab this opportunity. It’s fantastic to have a like-minded partner in Google, who will work alongside us to help remove some of the barriers Kiwi SMEs face when it comes to reaching and serving their customers.”

Google New Zealand Country Director, Caro Rainsford said “As long time partners, Spark and Google share a common goal of assisting all Kiwis with digital growth and supporting economic recovery. I’m so pleased that at a time where economic recovery is at the forefront of business strategy, we’re able to reach a broad group of SMEs across New Zealand and continue to share the knowledge, expertise and opportunity afforded through Google’s tools for businesses.” 

The program will be run by a team of Google Digital Strategists and focus on three main areas:

  • Getting your business online: Insights show many small businesses aren’t aware of the free marketing tools available to them through Google My Business, so this will be about maximising a Business Profile on Google.

  • Reaching new customers online: With New Zealand’s economy under increasing pressure, we know that small businesses are being impacted. This module will be about connecting with customers in moments that matter.

  • Protect your online presence: When growing a digital presence it's also important to secure and safeguard your business by staying safe online. Protect your website and learn best practices for online safety.

Spark business customers can opt in to the most relevant workshops for their business and find out more information at

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Reflecting on our Google News Initiative work in Aotearoa New Zealand

Today, we reflect on the past two years of the Google News Initiative as we publish our first GNI Impact report. Our efforts have reached every corner of the world, including here in New Zealand, and we’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished in those two and a half years with our partners. We’ve learned that New Zealand’s news industry is resilient, entrepreneurial and diverse. Therefore, despite the shadow of the pandemic and long-term shifts in consumer behaviour that have upended traditional business models, there is reason for hope and optimism.

But we also learned that crises can be unexpected and require unprecedented support. That’s why when the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the world, we refocused our efforts to short-term relief through the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund. Publications across Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand and other Pacific Islands, have received funding to support local reporting throughout the crisis. We were able to provide financial support to a total of 76 news organisations across the Pacific. 

As we look back, here are some highlights of our work in Aotearoa, which spanned three key areas:

Elevating quality journalism

Helping newsrooms to create quality journalism is the first pillar of the Google News Initiative, and this work started here in early 2019 through our partnership with the Walkley Foundation and the work of our News Lab Teaching Fellows. Together, we provided training workshops across New Zealand to support a sustainable future for journalists and to make sure that journalists and media organisations have the digital skills to succeed at their craft. Since then, we’ve trained almost 600 journalists in dozens of newsrooms across the country.

With the recent General Election, the NewsLab team ramped up their efforts, collaborating with news organisations to support online fact-checking. They offered a series of free verification workshops to point journalists to the latest tools and technology to tackle misinformation and support their coverage of the elections. The NewsLab team also launched a bespoke Trends Microsite, which was updated weekly to help Kiwi journalists in their Election reporting, and supported the work of, which helped Kiwis to better understand the core polling issues by creating a complete guide to the election - from party and candidate profiles to summaries of more than 2,000 policies.

Empowering sustainable business growth

Readers’ consumption habits have changed, and media have had to adapt to this ever-evolving environment. We believe in empowering media to find sustainable solutions that will enable their long-term success. For example, we worked with BusinessDesk locally to implement Subscribe with Google, a solution that makes it easier for readers to subscribe to premium content online, and retain access through platforms, to ensure a seamless experience. We hope to help roll this tool out to more publishers across New Zealand soon.

“BusinessDesk is delighted with its experience of being the first news website in NZ to implement Subscribe with Google. The impact on subscription revenue has been immediate and material, and the working relationship with Google a pleasure,” said Pattrick Smellie, CEO of BusinessDesk.

We also welcomed New Zealand Media and Entertainment as part of the first GNI APAC Data Labs cohort. The five month program helped participating news organisations to fully optimise data available to them, but also explore new ways to advance their data maturity. To ensure the lessons from participating publishers were put to good use, we published a playbook capturing use cases to drive data culture in newsrooms. We invite any Kiwi publication to assess their data maturity level here and deep dive into the playbook for applicable solutions.

Empowering newsrooms through innovation

Finally, while the media may face many challenges today, continuous innovation should be front and centre -- and we have seen the innovative spirit through our interactions with Kiwi publications and reporters. Last year, Editor Phillip O’Sullivan was chosen as one of the 12 Fellows for the Google News Initiative (GNI) Newsroom Leadership Program, a collaboration between GNI and the Columbia School of Journalism, to develop the business and product expertise of emerging newsroom leaders from the Asia Pacific region. 

Earlier that year, we also awarded New Zealand Press Patron (Ripple Media Ltd.) as part of the first APAC Innovation Challenge. PressPatron is a media monetisation platform that turns readers into paying supporters, by streamlining the payment process for memberships and donations. Their funded project aims to add new features to their platform, making it easier for traditional publishers to sell print and digital subscriptions under a membership model. 

What’s next

We recently launched the GNI Digital Growth Program in the region, which has been designed with industry experts and news publishers across the world to help small and medium sized news organisations grow their digital businesses. We invite Kiwi media to course through a range of free playbooks, interactive exercises, digital workshops and labs.

We intend to work more closely with local news publishers in New Zealand next year. The focus of our efforts will be on helping publishers innovate to build and optimise their digital advertising revenue streams.

Post content Funds InsideOUT to Increase Support of Rainbow Youth in Aotearoa New Zealand

The impact of the COVID-related health crisis is not difficult to see. Every aspect of society has been affected in some way, whether its education, the economy or the way whānau can come together. That’s why in times like this, when marginalised communities are being most adversely affected, organisations like InsideOUT are so important. As a national charity that works to give rainbow or LGBTQIA+ youths in Aotearoa a sense of safety and belonging in their schools and communities, InsideOUT’s mission never stops., Google’s philanthropic arm, previously announced a global effort to support over 70 organisations around the world to help the LGBTQ+ community impacted by COVID-19, including InsideOUT. New Zealand’s recipient of this support, InsideOUT, will be able to initiate a series of programmes that would not have been possible without this additional grant.

Designed in collaboration with takatāpui, indigenous rainbow young people, their project aims to increase understanding and awareness of takatāpui identities, support wellbeing of takatāpui young people across Aotearoa, and increase the capacity of organisations and communities to understand and support them. 

This will be done through the following initiatives:

  • A Takatāpui Youth Advisory Group of takatāpui young people will be formed to advise on this work and support its direction from initiation to completion.

  • A Takatāpui Awareness Campaign with posters and social media to share affirming video stories for and by Māori rainbow young people. This will combat the challenge of rainbow Maori youth not feeling connected to either their culture or other rainbow communities. Aiming to connect them with resources and information to validate their sense of identity.

  • Creation of a Takatāpui Video Resource with a short film telling the history of takatāpui and sharing intergenerational stories and perspectives on this identity. Working in close partnership with Dr Elizabeth Kerekere, a takatāpui academic and activist, and Tīwhanawhana Trust, this will assist Māori youth and social service organisations to better understand and respect takatāpui young people, and for rainbow organisations and school Queer Straight Alliances to better understand and include Māori young people. 

  • Work with Kura Kaupapa (Māori-medium schools) to support them to make their school environment more inclusive of and for takatāpui, including gender diverse students by developing resources in te reo Māori to support Kura Kaupapa across Aotearoa to upskill staff. 

  • Te Ao Māori Training Workshops on Te Ao Māori (the Māori world), which will include learning about language pronunciation and concepts to help takatāpui young people connect further with their culture, and help non-Māori young people learn more about Māori culture and feel more confident using te reo Māori.

  • Te Tiriti o Waitangi Training Programme for InsideOUT’s Board and staff to further increase understanding and awareness for Māori cultural competency to embed this understanding further into strategy and day-to-day work. 

The programme will commence and run through 2021, in partnership with other relevant organisations and Kura Kaupapa, Māori-medium schools.

More about InsideOUT

InsideOUT are here to support young people with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, genderqueer, genderfluid, asexual, aromantic, takatāpui, whakawahine, tangata ira tane, fa’afafine, mahu, vakasalewalewa, palopa, akava’ine, fakaleiti,fiafifine and fakafifine identities as well as everyone in between, not sure or who prefers a different label or even none at all!

A national charity providing resources, information, workshops, consulting and support for anything concerning rainbow or LGBTQIA+ issues and education for schools, workplaces and community organisations

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How we keep you safe in the products you use every day

We know that keeping you safe online means continuously protecting the security and privacy of your information. That’s why protections are automatically built into your Google Account and every Google product. Safe Browsing protects more than 4 billion devices, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing attempts every day, and Google Play Protect scans over 50 billion apps every day for malware and other issues.

This month, Aotearoa’s Scams Awareness Week 2020 aims to increase the cyber resilience of Kiwis, and at Google, we see the safety of our products as driven by three core principles: keeping your information secure, treating it responsibly and putting you in control. We’re continuously putting these principles into practice, and wanted to share our newest security and privacy protections. 

Proactively protecting you with high-visibility security alerts

When your security is at risk, time is of the essence. We work to make it easy for you to act fast if we ever detect a serious risk to their Google Accounts. Over the years, we’ve developed new ways to notify people about these issues and helped significantly improve their security. In 2015 for example, we started using Android alerts to notify people about critical issues with their Google Accounts, like a suspected hack. Following this change, we saw a 20-fold increase in the number of people that engaged with these new notifications within an hour of receiving them, compared to email.

Soon, we'll be introducing a redesigned critical alert and a new way of delivering it. When we detect any serious Google Account security issue, we’ll automatically display an alert within the Google app you’re using and help you address it—no need to check email or your phone’s alerts. The new alerts are resistant to spoofing, so you can always be sure they're coming from us.  We’ll begin a limited roll out in the coming weeks and plan to expand more broadly early next year.

Easily control your Google Assistant experience with Guest mode

Every day, Google Assistant helps people get things done in their home, whether it's suggesting a new recipe you might like or reminding you of your next appointment. But there are times you may not want you Assistant interactions saved to your Google Account. That's why in the coming weeks, we'll be introducing Guest mode - a new way to use your Google Assistant on home devices. With an easy voice command, you can turn in Guest mode, and your Assistant interaction while in this mode won't be saved to your account. You can turn off Guest mode at any time to get the full, personalised Google Assistant experience again. In addition, you always have the ability to go back and
delete what you said to the Assistant just using your voice, and we've added even more answers to common questions about security and privacy that the Assistant will answer instantly.

Safety is built into all our products

Privacy and security have been core to everything we do since our earliest days as a company. Our teams work every day to make Google products safe no matter what you’re doing—browsing the web, managing your inbox, or seeing family on Google Meet.  Just this week, we announced our work to protect your information with new security and privacy safeguards for Google Workplace and new password protections in Chrome, as well as Chrome’s progress on the Privacy Sandbox, an initiative to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web. To make it easier to control your privacy, you’ll soon be able to directly edit your Location History data in Timeline by adding or editing places you’ve visited with just a few taps, and because Search is the starting point for so many questions, starting today we’ll display your personal security and privacy settings when you ask things like “Is my Google Account secure?”

We're also continuing to work on building technologies that can be used to further protect your privacy across all our products. For example, this year in an industry first, as part of Android 11 we’ve combined differential privacy and federated learning to train the models that allow for next word prediction in Google’s keyboard Gboard. Federated learning, a technique invented at Google, allows developers to train AI models and make products smarter—for you and everyone else—without your data ever leaving your device. In Android 11, we’ll now generate Smart Replies, including emoji recommendations, from on-device system intelligence, meaning the data is never shared with Gboard or Google. 

Protecting your online safety requires constant vigilance and innovation. It starts with building the world’s most advanced security infrastructure and pairing it with responsible data practices and privacy tools that put you in control. We’ll continue to advocate for sensible data regulations around the world and make privacy and security advances that keep you safer online. 

Post content Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice President of Product, Privacy

Boost your home’s signal and style with Nest Wifi

Following the announcement of Nest Mini, Google continues its hardware roll out with the release of Nest Wifi. Homes weren’t built for Wi-Fi, so when we introduced Google Wifi in 2016, we built it to work for anyone, in any home. With Nest Wifi, we’re taking everything Kiwi’s love about Google Wifi and making it even better, a powerful router that provides Kiwi homes with strong, reliable Wi-Fi.  And, you can add additional routers to create a mesh network (and only one needs to be hardwired to the modem) if you need more coverage.


Keep it all connected

The Nest Wifi router plugs directly into your modem, forming the basis for a strong and powerful home network. Nest Wifi is more powerful than Google Wifi, delivering up to two times the speed and up to 25 percent better coverage. And if you’ve already got a Google Wifi network, you can easily add Nest Wifi to it for additional coverage.

Simple setup and control in the Google Home App

Setting up Nest Wifi is easy. Plug it in and download and open the Google Home app, which will guide you through setup in minutes. Once you’re set up, you can manage your network in the app alongside your other supported connected devices.

The app makes it easy to share your Wi-Fi password with guests, prioritise devices (like when you’re on a video call), test the speed of your network, set up a guest network or change your password. 

You can also manage separate homes in the app. I’m the tech expert in my family, so I also manage my parents’ network. This way, when I get a call that the Wi-Fi isn’t working, I can quickly check what’s wrong or let them know if they need to call their internet provider. 

My sons are in high school, so while I want them to go offline at certain times during the week, I don’t mind if they stay up later on weekends, playing video games or streaming their favourite shows. With Family Wi-Fi features in the Google Home app, I can easily set my sons’ devices on a Wi-Fi schedule, pause the Wi-Fi to their devices at any time and block adult content on their devices. 

Designed for your home 

Many routers are hidden in a closet or cabinet, where the signal is blocked and can be reduced. Nest Wifi has a beautiful design with soft, rounded edges and unobtrusive lighting. It’s meant to be placed out in the open, where it’ll perform at its best and will naturally blend into your home.

Nest Wifi is built using sustainable materials. The enclosure is made from 45 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

Peace of mind

With Nest Wifi, you’ll also never have to worry about whether or not your router is up to date. We automatically push security and performance updates to your Nest Wifi devices, to help keep your network safe and working at its best. Nest Wifi has been designed with your privacy in mind and per our privacy commitments

Nest Wifi will be available for sale in New Zealand from 14 October 2020. You can get a Nest Wifi router for RRP NZD $299 at Noel Leeming, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, PB Tech and more retailers in the coming months. From late October, Orcon will provide a Nest Wifi to new customers without a homeline, at no additional cost.

“Orcon customers are always looking for the best, the fastest, and the highest performing technology. Nest Wifi ticks all the boxes. Customer Satisfaction scores of Orcon customers using Google Wifi are markedly higher than those without a mesh solution, and with the latest and greatest Google Mesh solution in Nest Wifi, we expect even higher satisfaction scores.” said Taryn Hamilton, Chief Executive of Orcon.

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How to Find Kid-Friendly Apps in the New Zealand Play Store

We’ve heard from parents that it’s difficult to dig through all the content that's out there for kids. Today, we’re making it easier for parents to find the good stuff, with a new Kids tab on Google Play filled with “Teacher approved” apps that are both enriching and entertaining. 

“Teacher approved” kid-friendly app content 

Great content for kids can take many forms: Does it spark curiosity? Does it help your child learn? Is it just plain fun? To share the best apps for kids on the Play Store, we've teamed up with academic experts and teachers, including our lead advisors, Joe Blatt (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and Dr. Sandra Calvert (Georgetown University). Apps that have been rated by teachers and meet our quality standards receive a "Teacher approved" badge. 

Apps are rated on factors like age-appropriateness, quality of experience, enrichment, and delight. We include information in the app listing about why the app was rated highly to help parents determine if the app is right for their child.

How to find “Teacher approved” apps in Google Play

Whenever parents search the Play Store, they can look for the “Teacher approved” badge to quickly see which apps have been reviewed and rated highly by teachers. If you want to browse content that's been "Teacher approved", simply go to the "Kids" tab. And, if you’re a Google Play Pass subscriber, a great selection of “Teacher approved” content is available within "Apps and games for kids."

Today’s announcement wouldn’t be possible without teachers who’ve been working closely with us for the last few years to curate apps that can help kids develop, grow and have fun. We trust teachers to enrich our kids while they’re in school, and we’re grateful they’ve shared their expertise to rate the apps kids use when they’re not in school as well.

The new Kids tab with “Teacher approved” apps is available today in New Zealand. We’d love to hear what you think as we continue to make the Play Store more helpful for parents. You can share your thoughts by opening the menu in the Play Store and tapping “Help and feedback.” And don’t forget—for parents who want to set digital ground rules for their kids, like setting time limits on the apps your child has on their device, check out our Family Link app

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Kiwi students learn Computer Science without a computer, with CS Unplugged

When the world went into lockdown in March this year, teachers had to rapidly transition to remote learning. Sarah Ridgway was one of those teachers. Sarah is a Kiwi and has been a teacher for 14 years, working in education in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She is now back home teaching in a flexible space and utilises CS Unplugged materials to teach her Year 6-8 students Digital Technologies at her semi-rural school in Selwyn, Canterbury. As the school moved to distance learning, Sarah was aware that not all learners had access to a laptop or smartphone and some families may not have reliable internet access whilst attempting to learn from home. “I wanted the digital technology experiences to be accessible for everyone and thought the CS Unplugged resource gave me some really good lessons to start with.” Sarah said.  

CS Unplugged is a set of fun, free resources that teach computer science concepts without a computer. Globally recognised as a great introduction to coding, and revolutionary in teaching computer science without a computer, Google has been a long time supporter of the programme. 

Credit: Caption: In this activity each of these cards represents one bit (binary digit). All data on computers is stored using bits, and if one of them changes accidentally because of something like interference on a network or small failures on a disk drive, the computer needs to detect that this has happened, and ideally put it right again. In this trick, flipping a card simulates a bit being changed, which causes an error in the data.

Although learning opportunities during lockdown were optional at her school, Sarah found that many students chose to complete the tasks and enjoyed getting their siblings and parents involved too. “I was able to modify activities so only everyday household items were needed. Many activities were things they could learn and then teach others in their bubble. Photos and videos of successful attempts at the tasks were regularly shared with our community with comments from parents about how much they had enjoyed the activity.”

Caption: Sarah records herself doing the “Mind-reading magic” activity so that it can be shared with her students for them to attempt at home.

Being part of the pilot programme for CS Unplugged meant that Sarah had used CS Unplugged materials prior to COVID-19 impacting education, and had attended a number of professional development courses in the school holidays to upskill and build her knowledge in Computer Science. Sarah noted, “When I did the workshops I realised how much fun computer science is and how it's not just about programming and data. There is so much to it and it can be explained to children through really fun and integrated learning opportunities.”  

Tim Bell and his team who develop the CS Unplugged resources, at the University of Canterbury, instantly saw the need for remote learning resources that could be used by anyone, anywhere. They worked quickly to produce materials that adapted the classroom version of CS Unplugged to allow parents and caregivers to be involved in their children’s learning in the home environment. There are currently five new Unplugged At Home resources available with more to come. As a long time supporter of the programme, Google wants to ensure students and teachers everywhere should have the resources they need to succeed in a digital future.

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‘After School’ with YouTube Kids

Parents and caregivers,

We know that 2020 hasn’t been the easiest. You’re juggling work, life, kids and the state of the world today. The struggle is real for you and all families around the world. I’m there as well, with two young sons of my own at home, asking me for some extra screen-time, even as I type this. It is increasingly difficult as a parent to choose the right content and how much of it is for our kids. That’s why we want to help you with a library of high quality full-length movies and specials that will enrich as well as entertain your children, and that you can enjoy along with them.

YouTube Kids is a platform of choice for many of you. We want to help you keep your kids engaged, enriched and entertained ‘After School’ because as a parent I can understand how difficult a task that can often be. Therefore starting today, until August 31st, we will release over 100 movies and specials on YouTube Kids, ensuring that your kids have a memorable ‘After School’ experience.

From popular family movies and specials featuring Tayo the Little Bus, Baby Shark and Pinkfong, The Wiggles, Masha And The Bear, Oggy & the Cockroaches and Paddington, to a collection of the best animated short films anchored by Oscar-winning short film Hair Love, and a wide variety of educational specials including Sesame Street’s Elmo’s World News, produced in collaboration with the Lego Foundation, and selections from BBC Studios’ hit series, Hey Duggee. Every Monday starting today, for the next five weeks, we will surface these excellent movies and specials in the app's “Shows” category, as individual videos, as well as playlists.

As part of this initiative, we will premiere Spookiz, a new movie produced by Wildbrain in collaboration with South Korean studio Keyring Studios, exclusively on YouTube Kids. Moreover, we will also offer special YouTube Original content, including Disney's complete series Shook and two Simon's Cat specials courtesy of Endemol Shine, for kids ages six and up.

We also have a wide variety of YouTube Originals available on YouTube Originals for Kids & Family Channel and YouTube Kids, including Sherwood for kids age eight and older, Kings of Atlantis and Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force for ages five and up, and current favourite for many kids and tweens across the world -- Lockdown, suitable for ages five and up.

That’s not all, you could create a movie watching experience for your kids at home by making their favourite flavoured popcorn, movie night kits, setting ambient lighting, tweaking those sound settings, and don't forget to introduce them to the movie characters ahead of the movie. One interesting activity I love doing with my kids is to get them to produce their own movie review or create their own story based on the movie we just watched together. It's a great way to help them learn and improve their writing and communication skills. Check out this great video in YouTube Kids to teach your children how to craft their own stories today.

In addition, we are continuing to feature evergreen monthly themes on YouTube Kids, including our Month of Reading with a focus on diversity and inclusion, and read-alongs featuring Oprah Winfrey, Oscar Award winning actor Rami Malek and James Bond actress Michelle Yeoh from StorylineOnline. Moreover, just last month we announced Camp YouTube: a digital learning experience to help parents recreate the fun of summer camp at home. Camp YouTube spotlights content on the [email protected] site and YouTube Kids across beloved summer camp themes, such as arts, adventure, sports, STEM, and more. With over 1,200 videos programmed, we want to take kids on a virtual journey of learning and exploration. Families can discover how to make a tide pool aquarium in their backyard with Brave Wilderness, make art with household items while learning art history with the ArtistYear, or learn coding with Goldieblox.

YouTube Kids app was built keeping in mind kids below the age of 13 years. It's a family-friendly place for kids to explore their imagination and curiosity. The app empowers parents to control what YouTube content their child can see, including the option to only allow content from trusted partners like Sesame Street, ChuChu TV, Bounce Patrol and PBS Kids, or hand pick other videos and channels to create a curated playlist for their kids.

With the help of our partners and creators, we hope you and your families can experience a great time right from your homes.

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