TechMate’s Mission

We are a community organisation that promotes social and digital inclusion by supporting people to use digital technology in their daily lives.

TechMate History

The Early Years - 2001-2011

Originally known as Addington.net, the centre opened in November 2001 with the stated purpose to provide ‘affordable access to information and communication technologies’[1].   Speaking at the centre’s official opening local MP and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton stated that ‘technology is changing rapidly and access to up to date technology is essential’.[2]  Addington had an identified need for affordable access to technology and the centre provided the community with a suite of computers and free internet access for public use.  Many people who came to the centre had never used computers before and training was essential so that people were able to use the technology.  Education became an essential component of the Addington.net way.

In 2004 the centre opened its doors to children after school.  Up to 30 children attended the daily sessions where the focus was on completing homework and participating in educational games.[3]  Participants came from Addington as well as from neighbouring suburbs. 

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton (centre left) reviews his notes prior to delivering his speech officially opening Addington.net on 23 November 2001.

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton (centre left) reviews his notes prior to delivering his speech officially opening Addington.net on 23 November 2001.

On the move and new services - 2011 - 2018

Rising rents following the February 2011 earthquake meant that Addington.net had to move premises.  The centre shifted to Selwyn Street and, in early 2016, Addington.net moved to the St James site on Barrington Street in Spreydon. 

In 2016 Addington.net introduced a mobile community outreach service.  This saw the centre partnering with other community groups and organisations and Addington.net volunteers went out to places in the community, such as community centres, to provide learning opportunities there. 

Addington.net relaunched its children’s programme in February 2017. Children aged 8-12 years were invited to participate in IT Kids, a fun, educational initiative covering a myriad of technological subjects from the creative to the practical.  Demand was such that a second weekly group was soon started. 

Following the sale of the St James site Addington.net moved again in April 2018, this time to Penbury Street in nearby Sydenham.  In the new premises Addington.net continued to offer access to technology and the internet, as well as its core learning services, both in the centre and at the sites of community groups and organisations.  

Addington.net also partnered with the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) to offer Jump low-cost internet to homes with children but with no broadband internet service.  In addition, Addington.net signed up to deliver the Stepping Up free classes viewing the classes as complimentary to its traditional one-on-one learning sessions.

Addington.net becomes TechMate - 2019

The new TechMate name and logo was adopted in February 2019.

The new TechMate name and logo was adopted in February 2019.

In early 2019 Addington.net officially changed its trading name to TechMate.   This contemporary, forward-focused name was chosen both to sound familiar and to reflect the kiwi ‘ask a mate’ culture.  The interaction of people with digital technology is highlighted in the new TechMate logo and underscores the organisation’s ongoing mission to close the digital divide and so open up worlds of opportunity.  

References

[1] Observer, 25 November 2001, p.1

[2] Anderton, Jim. Addington.net opening speech, November 2001

[3] Christchurch Mail, 21 April 2004, p.6

 

TechMate gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the following funding organisations: