Netsafe is now the Approved Agency under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
The organisation is tasked with advising people on the steps they can take to resolve a problem, as well as investigating and attempting to resolve complaints where there is any harm.
Justice Minister Amy Adams has wished Netsafe well, saying that it now has responsibility for receiving, assessing and investigating complaints about harm caused to individuals by digital communications.
“This is a free, seven-day-a-week service which is available to all people in New Zealand who experience online harassment or cyber-bullying.”
The organisation will also provide education and advice about online safety, liaising with website hosts, internet service providers and other mediators to take down content which is clearly offensive.
“Netsafe brings vast experience in addressing many of the issues associated with harmful digital technology. They have a strong body of knowledge and an impressive track record in this area,” says Adams.
"The national and international connections and relationships Netsafe has built up are vital to successfully implementing this regime and providing the best support to victims.”
The establishment of this role aims to set a new benchmark for curbing online harassment and intimidation.
Netsafe expects to deal with up to 1500 of complaints where people are assessed to meet the harm threshold under the Act.
“In some cases Netsafe won’t be able to encourage the removal of harmful content, at which point police, the public and schools can apply through the District Court’s new civil process to deal with serious or repeated harmful digital communications,” explains Adams.
“Netsafe will play a key role in reducing the devastating impact of harmful digital communications.”