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New Zealand Becoming Nation Of Worriers - Survey

New Zealand Becoming Nation Of Worriers - Survey

New Zealanders are more worried about their family’s health, education and financial position than five years ago, according to the TOWER/NFO NZ survey, What Worries New Zealanders?

The nationwide telephone survey conducted by NFO New Zealand during April 2003, reveals that almost 50% of young people aged between 18 and 24 years, 55% of people between 25 and 34 years and almost 60% of ‘nesters’ aged between 35 and 49 years have become more concerned about the welfare of their family.

Other survey findings include that Aucklanders worry more about their families than other New Zealanders, young people worry more about their parents than their parents worry about them, and rural South Islanders worry more about money than people living in other parts of the country.

TOWER Insurance, Head of Sales and Marketing, Henry Lynch, said TOWER commissioned NFO to undertake the survey in order to identify issues weighing on people’s minds, measure the extent of these concerns, and improve understanding about the impact of these issues on New Zealanders and their families.

During the week prior to answering the survey questions, respondents were asked to make notes in a “Worry Diary”, Mr Lynch said.

“The survey results show New Zealanders are becoming more concerned with money and one respondent even suggested that New Zealanders are becoming more materialistic,” he said.

“Nesters are mostly worried about money and a strong message coming through is that young people are concerned about the financial welfare of their parents who were brought up to believe that the state would provide for their retirement.

“The onus is now on individuals to provide for their retirement which explains the concerns young people have for their parents. While young people worry about money almost as much as their parents, they are more concerned about their earning ability than about saving for retirement.

“Another interesting survey result is that saving for retirement and other money matters are a bigger worry for rural South Islanders than for people living in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. Rural South Islanders are also more worried about maintaining good health than other New Zealanders, except those people living in Auckland. “On the other hand, rural dwellers in both the North and South Island are less worried about work matters, including job security, than those living elsewhere.

“While more than 70% [72%] of New Zealanders rarely worry about losing their job, more than 40% [42%] feel they don’t have enough time to do their work well, particularly those with household incomes of up to NZ$50,000 per year,” Mr Lynch said.

Offsetting these concerns, 65% of New Zealanders are optimistic about the future, with 54% believing that life will improve for them in the next 12 months, he said.

“Overall, Wellingtonians are by far the most relaxed people in the country. They are less worried about time, money, and family matters than most other New Zealanders. However, Wellington residents have the biggest social conscience expressing more concern about society issues than others.

“The survey also contains compelling evidence that community spirit is at a low ebb. Almost 30% [28%] of New Zealanders don’t talk to their neighbours although one respondent said ‘I worry about what the neighbours think when they look in my recycling bin….they never have bottles of wine in theirs!’”.

Mr Lynch said that 42% of survey respondents agreed that Kiwis don’t want to volunteer any more.

The survey results will be used to support TOWER’s brand campaign which include a series of television advertisements designed to show New Zealanders how they can take the insurance worries out of their lives, said Mr Lynch.

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