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NetSafe, (Formerly called The Internet Safety Group or ISG), promotes and supports the confident, safe and responsible use of the internet and electronic communication technology, for all New Zealanders.


NetSafe is an independent non-profit organisation whose members represent:

  • The New Zealand Police
  • The Police Youth Education Service
  • Educators from primary through university level
  • The Judiciary
  • The Department of Internal Affairs
  • New Zealand Customs Service
  • The Ministry of Education
  • Community organisations
  • Businesses
  • Boards of trustees
  • Parents, Caregivers, and students.


Founded in 1998, NetSafe brings together the numbeous sectors required to support New Zealand's digital citizens. As a non-profit organisation, it is supported by sponsors, including the primary sponsor the Ministry of Education. (NetSafe is also a conference attempted to be held in 1996, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Tysons Corner,Virginia, but was cancelled when a California firewall company, Checkpoint, cancelled its participation shortly before the conference was to be held.)

Organisational structure[edit]

The Internet Safety Group is now managed by a six member Board of Directors and a full-time Executive Director Martin Cocker.

At a Distance - A Short Film about Cyberbullying[edit]

In 2009 NetSafe recognised the need to address issues of cyberbullying and cyber-harassment for late primary school students (aged 8 to 12 years). Following consultation and collaboration with the Primary sector, NetSafe produced a short film At a Distance for schools and families to use discuss the issues of cyberbullying and harassment with a slightly younger audience.

The film highlights the importance of bystander action in helping to manage and stop cyberbullying and harassment. The film is hosted on NetSafe's website, which includes information on what cyberbullying is and how you can support someone being harassed in this way.

International Law Enforcement Cybercrime Award[edit]

The NetSafe Programme was recognised in 2002 with the International Law Enforcement Cybercrime Award. This award was shared by ISG and the New Zealand Police and was given by the Society for the Policing of Cyberspace (POLCYB) in British Columbia, Canada. Their membership includes representatives of police forces in Australia, Canada, USA, Britain and Hong Kong. The award recognises innovation and best practices pertaining to the prevention, detection and/or response to cybercrimes. The ISG is grateful for this recognition of what has been achieved here in New Zealand in cybersafety. Police Superintendent (now Police Commissioner) Howard Broad, as the principal law enforcement member involved, went to Canada and received the award and trophy.

NetGuide Awards 2003[edit]

NetGuide Magazine donated the proceeds of its NetGuide Web Awards 2003 to the Internet Safety Group. The ISG used this donation to begin the process of animating the ISG character 'Hector Protector'. At the awards evening, NetGuide publisher Phil Ryan also presented ISG Director Liz Butterfield with the 'Living Legend Award' for her (and the ISG's) contribution to the Internet industry.

Education projects[edit]

In April 2003, the NetSafe Kit for Schools was sent to every school and library in New Zealand. This comprehensive kit was sponsored by the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand Police, Child, Youth & Family and the JR McKenzie Trust. This kit builds on the great success of the Internet Safety Kit (2000). Like its predecessor, the NetSafe Kit for Schools is considered a model of best practice by the Ministry of Education.

Email Query Service[edit]

Queries can be sent by email to the ISG, or people within New Zealand can call the toll-free Helpline (0508 NetSafe). The ISG receives queries about txt bullying, Cyber-bullying, online harassment, managing social networking profiles on a social network service, images of child sexual abuse, spam (electronic), cyberstalking, Internet fraud, hacking and the hacker (computer security), phishing, sex offenders contacting children and much more. The email queries have come from every continent, including Antarctica!

National and International Collaboration on Cybersafety[edit]

Although the Internet Safety Group is based in Auckland, key members travel to all parts of New Zealand and overseas to give lectures, seminars and workshops on cybersafety topics. Presentations have also been given at national and international conferences, and for school parent groups, service clubs, community organisations and city councils.

Articles written by members of the ISG or about NetSafe have appeared in almost every major newspaper and educational publication in New Zealand, as well as journals like Social Work Now and the US Journal of School Violence, and magazines like New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Radio, television and print journalists have come to rely on the ISG for comment on a broad range of issues regarding safety with communication technologies.

The Internet Safety Group has pioneered research on Internet risk in New Zealand and also works collaboratively with researchers overseas on projects of international importance.

Net Basics and Computer Security for Home Users[edit]

NetSafe also provides advice and information about computer security for home users.


  • The above text has been taken from the Internet Safety Group (ISG) charter, and can also be found on the ISG web site at The information has been reproduced with the express permission of the ISG, by ISG employees.