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What Worries New Zealanders?


What Worries New Zealanders? The qualitative research stage of the survey involved interviewing three groups:

  • Starting Outs: 25-34 years

  • Nesters: 35-49 years

  • Empty Nesters: 50 years+
  • During the week prior to attending a group session, participants completed a “Worry Diary” outlining what was on his or her mind. Areas of concern included:

    Family and Friends, Health, Money, Work, Home, New Zealand, The World, Things I Own, and Leisure.

    Quotes from the Diaries include:

    “I never feel like I do enough for the kids.” “I can’t remember the last time the family ate together.” “Life is getting more complicated.” “Everything costs money.” “We’re more materialistic than we used to be.” “We put too much emphasis on possessions.” “I hope I win Lotto. Does that make me greedy?” “People don’t take responsibility for their own actions.” “We don’t like people to be better than us.” “We don’t encourage people to achieve for themselves.” “Auckland will become too expensive to live in.” “Auckland is a place to work, not a place to live.” “I have to have every new toy.” “We’re turning into a nation of scaredy cats.” “We all live in debt.” “I’ll cope with tomorrow when it comes.” “I can’t afford to save.” “You can never earn enough to do what you want because there is so much to do.” “There is too much confusion about what is right and what is wrong.” “The targets seem to be getting higher and higher and more stretched. You keep working yourself to the bone just to get anywhere.” “If you want a decent standard of living then you both have to work, otherwise you go backwards and backwards and you never get anywhere.” “I wish my snobby co-workers would loosen up!”

    Quotes continued:

    “I don’t have enough clothes, I don’t look after my clothes. I need more time and more help with washing. I need to get more organised. I need clothes that don’t need ironing.”

    “I don’t have the guts to ask for a carpark at work. It’s such a hassle commuting to work and parking in town. Why can’t a carpark in the building be included in my salary?”

    "I worry about what the neighbours think when they look in my recycling bin ... they never have bottles of wine in theirs!"

    “I’m worried they won’t have name tags at my intermediate school reunion.”

    “I’m tired just thinking about the fact I didn’t go for a run this morning … I’m angry I didn’t go for a run again. Why can’t I run and not have to go at 6am?”

    “I didn’t want to go to work today. If we didn’t have Mondays I wouldn’t have this problem.”


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