Netsafe is often asked about gaming and the best ways whānau can support tamariki to navigate the challenges they may encounter. The Online Gaming Whānau Toolkit has been produced in response. It follows the seven step framework of Netsafe’s Online Safety Parent Toolkit – but with a specific focus on gaming.

Eighty percent of children in New Zealand aged 8-17 have played games online. They are drawn to their challenge and entertainment.

Games can have many benefits: entertainment, social opportunities, coordination development, problem-solving and multi-tasking skills. But, most of all, gaming is popular because it’s fun.

Most parents have had conversations about screen time and battled young people reluctant to put down their controller. Games can absorb the time needed for other things – like education, sport, and family.
As games become more sophisticated and social, they also provide a platform for more complex challenges, such as bullying, unwanted contact, excessive spending and inappropriate content.

You do not have to be an online gaming expert to keep children safe. Sharing your experience, skills, maturity and support can reduce the chance of something going wrong and the harm that occurs if it does.

Young people prefer to engage with adults they believe have a genuine interest in their online lives. By working through the seven steps of this Toolkit, you should get to a place where you feel confident and equipped to engage with your kids about the world of gaming.

The steps

This Toolkit is constructed around seven practical steps that will help every parent feel confident and equipped to help their children stay safe online – no matter what level of experience or knowledge you have to begin with.

Get support

There are a variety of places to get support with online safety issues.


We offer a free and confidential online safety service for everyone. It helps people with online bullying, abuse, harassment and other challenges


Certnz provides practical information and advice on how to keep your information secure. You can also report cyber security problems.

New Zealand Police | Nga Pirihimana O Aotearoa

If you think you or someone else is in immediate danger or if a crime has been committed, call 111.

Call 105 to report crimes that don’t require an urgent response.


If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.


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