Our story

Netsafe is New Zealand’s independent, non-profit online safety organisation. We provide online safety help, support, expertise and education to people in New Zealand. We’ve been around for almost 20 years, and there’s a bit of history behind how we got to where we are today.

Netsafe was founded in 1998 to help New Zealand internet users stay safe online.

It was well before smartphones were smart, or media had learned to be social but it was clear new technologies were connecting New Zealand internet users to new opportunities and challenges.

After noticing the growing influence of technology in their respective areas, the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Education and several not for profits teamed up with telecommunication organisations and IT industry partners to create an independent body focussed on online safety.

Together they created the Internet Safety Group (rebranded Netsafe in 2008).

Netsafe was given the remit to build an internet safety organisation that didn’t scare people away from technology. Instead we encouraged people to adopt it by promoting the tools and techniques they could use to minimise their online risks.

Thanks to our positive technology stand, pragmatic approach and innovative campaigns, Netsafe has been at the forefront of internet safety and security and received awards for our efforts too. More importantly we’ve provided support, education and advice to thousands of New Zealand internet users and helped resolve many online safety and security complaints.

We have some of the strongest relationships in the business and collaborate with government, law enforcement, industry and community organisations in New Zealand and around the world to achieve the best outcomes for internet users.

Today Netsafe is an internationally renowned independent not for profit organisation with an unrelenting focus on online safety practice. And our knowledge across all areas of digital challenge is unique.

Our expertise and experience underpinned Netsafe’s appointment as the agency to receive, assess and investigate complaints about online bullying, harassment and abuse under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.

As digital technology use grows and evolves at a rapid pace in society, it becomes more important for Netsafe to help people manage and reduce the risk of online harm, so that they feel more confident being online.