Computers and the internet

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Key messages about computers and the internet

  • the media, including the internet, can exert a powerful influence on your child’s health and development
  • this influence can be both beneficial and harmful
  • the internet can provide children and young people with exciting opportunities, but
  • there are no controls on the information that is available via the internet, so there are many things online that are not suitable for children or that are cause for concern
  • it is important that children do not use computers, computer games and the internet to the exclusion of other developmentally appropriate tasks, including the need to be physically active
  • as with other areas of children’s lives, parents have a responsibility to provide guidance and to set clear limits

What about internet safety?

NetSafe, the website of ISG (the Internet Safety Group of New Zealand) has information for parents, kids, young adults, schools and early childhood centres. 


The parents' and caregivers' section of the Netsafe website provides information such as the following, by clicking on the links on the left of the Netsafe page:

Where to go for more information

ISG (Internet Safety Group): NetSafe
NetSafe, the programme of New Zealand's ISG, is cybersafety education for all New Zealanders - children, parents, schools, community organisations and businesses. The ISG has been designated the Ministry of Education's 'agent of choice' for cybersafety  education in New Zealand. This is an independent non-profit organisation whose members represent a range of organisations including the New Zealand Police and the Ministry of Education.
You can contact NetSafe between 8am and 6pm.
Phone: 64 9 362 0971 or 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)

Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM)
The ACCM, which incorporates Young Media Australia, is a unique national community organisation whose members share a strong commitment to the promotion of the healthy development of Australian children. Their particular interest and expertise is in the role that media experiences play in that development. Although ACCM writes from an Australian perspective, their website contains a wealth of information relevant to the New Zealand context, including information for kids on Kidzone:

Topics include:


This page last reviewed 07 March 2013
© Paediatric Society of New Zealand and Starship Foundation 2005 – 2015
Printed on 29 March 2015. Content is regularly updated so please refer to for the most up-to-date version
Content endorsed by the Paediatric Society of New Zealand