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New research reveals Kiwi attitudes

New research reveals Kiwi attitudes


Media Release

9 June 2008

More people trust Trade Me than the Police, eight out of ten people enjoy their work and a third of us are extremely concerned about the economy – these are just a few of the findings from the G2 ‘Eye on New Zealand’ latest research.

The survey reveals New Zealanders attitudes to a range of topics including their personal finances, the economy and views on work.

G2 is part of Grey Group, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies with offices in 83 countries around the globe. The research is done by Australian company, Sweeney Research. The findings are used to advise clients on potential marketing strategies.

Responding to the findings that one in three New Zealanders are very concerned about the economic outlook, Michael Barnett, CEO of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce says, “this research is consistent with what I believe to be true - about two thirds of the population are currently sitting pretty comfortably but one third could be better.

Barnett believes “if Alan Bollard let up on interest rates, the dollar could drop, exporters would then be getting a better return and there will be more money in pockets through tax cuts – this would be the change we’re looking for.”

“We will be dealing with the consequences if things don’t change. Business people will stop making decisions and the economy will stall. At the moment everyone’s current attitude is for a shrinking market, therefore they are thinking defensively – what we need is leadership in business, not curling up into the foetus position.”

He says there is comfort in the fact that 83 % of those surveyed agreed they are actively trying to reduce their level of debt and are in control of their finances.

“I found it interesting that the message is getting through about managing the level of debt people have in their lives. People now see managing their lives as also managing their debt,” he says.

When it comes to Kiwi attitudes to work, 78% of respondents said they enjoy their work with 76% declaring they are loyal to their employer while 73% acknowledge seeking out self-improvement opportunities through their employment. This, says Barnett, is heartening news.

“This means employers must be providing a good, nurturing environment. It is a heartening attitude particularly coupled with the comments on the balance of work and life.”

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed agreed their life is well balanced between being busy and having time to spare.

Hudson Global Resources HR Manager, Roz Urbahn says “the work-life balance comes down to employers really implementing flexible working practices. It means putting your money where your mouth is and delivering on your flexibility promise. Ultimately you need your employees to be happy as the proven flow on success for the organisation and individual are immense.”

Urbahn says “Hudson research backs up enjoyment from work and while people can absolutely be happy in their work, they are still looking for that next step.”

This, says Urbahn, links into the other research finding of 63% of people talk about their work when they are not there. “When people talk about their work, there is an element of checking in with themselves – am I OK where I am?”

Barnett wasn’t surprised Trade Me is more trusted than banks, supermarkets and the police. This he says “comes down to the big organisations needing to live up to their stated values and backing this up with their performance – they need to walk the talk.”

We were fascinated by ‘The Eye on NZ’ findings says Sarah Norrie, Managing Director, G2.

“These findings will be invaluable to advising our clients. We can see which brands and organisations are trusted and use that to determine some of the success factors we need to look for. The generational views towards work and the economy are very useful insights for marketing and communication.”


ENDS


Editors note

* The sample is drawn from an internet research panel with over 125,000 NZ members. Samples are screened for eligibility, duplications and to ensure that they are representative. The sample size of 500 which was chosen to ensure a cross-section of New Zealand provides confidence in the conclusions reached but does not allow for detailed analysis for smaller subpopulations. It does allow breakdowns by age, gender and four locations.

* The surveying was carried out by well-known Australian survey company Sweeney Research, who has over 30 years of research experience. http://www.sweeneyresearch.com.au/

Full findings

* More than one in three New Zealanders in this survey (36%) were extremely concerned or very concerned about the economy

* Only one in four (24%) thought their household finances would get better in the next year, but 40% thought they would remain the same

* While home affordability, personal finances and retirement income rate highly as keeping New Zealanders awake at night people surveyed didn’t seem to feel powerless. 83 % of those surveyed agreed they are actively trying to reduce their level of debt, and that they are in control of their finances

* 93% of the sample said they are more likely to trust a company that admits making a mistake or has good customer service (90%), more so than companies that look after the environment (68%)

* Being a local or small company makes you more trustworthy to 36% of the sample, and giving to charities makes you trustworthy to 32%

* Nearly 4 out of 5 (78%) said they enjoy their work and 76% say they are loyal to their employer with 73% seeking out self-improvement opportunities through their employment

* Half of those surveyed, (51%) agreed that their life is well balanced between being busy and having time to spare (26% didn’t agree)

* 48% believe the future is likely to be better than the past (22% disagree)

* TradeMe is regarded as more trustworthy than banks, supermarkets, department stores and the Police.


Life is…

· Around half of New Zealanders who responded are extremely satisfied or very satisfied with life today, this view was shared equally between male and females

1 42% were more content with life than they were last year, led by 55 % of under 34 year olds but leaving behind those over 65 years at 26%

2 Responses indicate that the major issues concerning New Zealanders in the next 5 years are:

· Affordable housing 17% (across all age groups)

1 Cost of living 13% (16% for those aged 35 to 44)

2 Petrol and oil prices 13% (of more concern to those under 44)

3 Crime and violence 13% (19% amongst those over 65)

4 Least important at 3% was three-way tie between the gap between rich and poor, inflation and youth behaviour.

· Keeping New Zealanders awake at night is (respondents able to make several choices)

· Rising crime (51%)

1 Home affordability 45%

2 Personal finances 44%

3 Having enough money for retirement (40%)

4 These all headed off health and fitness (34%), loss of privacy (29%), work / life balance (26%) loss of community (23%), immigration (22%) terror threat (17%) and recycled packaging (13%)

Our finances

* While home affordability, personal finances and retirement income rate highly as keeping New Zealanders awake at night, people surveyed didn’t seem to feel powerless. 83 % of those surveyed agreed they are actively trying to reduce their level of debt, that they are in control of their finances

* Half of us (52%) think interest rates will mean we can spend less on ourselves; while 51% believe will spend more this year than last year. 49% are optimistic about our financial positions will improve in the next 12 months.


Work

* Nearly 4 out of 5 (78%) said they enjoy their work and 76% say they are loyal to their employer with 73% seeking out self-improvement opportunities through their employment

* We are what we do for 64% of respondents who get a sense of identity through their work

* 63% of those sampled talk about work when they aren’t there

* Two in five workers (42 %) say they are always on the lookout for a better job

* According to respondents, the younger you are the less likely you are to be happy with your work (71% of 18-34 year olds surveyed compared to 78% for whole sample), to feel loyalty to your employer (68% of 18-34 year olds surveyed compared to 76% for whole sample), seek self-improvement opportunities (67% of 18-34 year olds surveyed compared to 73% for whole sample), but more likely to be on the look out for a better job (57% of 18-34 year olds surveyed compared to 42% for whole sample)

* Half, of those surveyed, 51% agreed that their life is well balanced between being busy and having time to spare (26% didn’t agree)

* 53% in the survey agreed that the work environment has too many pressures (16% didn’t agree)

* 48% believe the future is likely to be better than the past (22% disagree)

* 33% said they were considering moving overseas for better opportunities (45% disagree)


We think the economy is …

* More than one in three New Zealanders in this survey (36%) were extremely concerned or very concerned about the economy

* Of New Zealanders surveyed (four groups Auckland rest of North Island, Christchurch, and rest of South Island) people in Christchurch were the most concerned at 39%.

* Only 2% were not concerned at all about the economy.

* Only one in four of us (24%) thought their household finances would get better in the next year, but 40% thought they would remain the same

* 62% have an average or lower than average concern about the state of the economy with 22% of those having little or no concern at all


Who do we trust?

* 93% of the sample said they are more likely to trust a company that admits making a mistake or has good customer service (90%), more so than companies that look after the environment (68%)

* Being a local or small company makes you more trustworthy to 36% of the sample, and giving to charities makes you trustworthy to 32%

* TradeMe is regarded as more trustworthy than banks, supermarkets, department stores and the Police

* Motor vehicle manufacturers were seen as more trustworthy than food manufacturers but both were between by hardware stores

* Google is more trusted than the Salvation Army

* New Zealanders surveyed trusted Microsoft more than Apple, and NZPost more than Air NZ

* Beer manufacturers were seen as more trustworthy than the accounting profession, the rugby union, Telecom or journalists

* Advertising agencies were seen as slightly more trustworthy than Government Departments, but both were not as trustworthy as motor vehicle sales people

* Least trusted were government politicians, who were just beaten by real estate agents and oil companies

* As a trustworthy information source, family (67%) and friends (55%) easily outranked work colleagues (25%), newspapers (12%), advertisements (7%) and celebrities (2%)

About the research

The research surveyed New Zealanders’ attitudes to such diverse topics as social responsibility, the economy, contentment, trust and information, the environment, leisure and working, brands, health and well-being.

Kiwis up and down the country were interviewed for the G2 Eye on New Zealand. The research group was made up of a 50/50 male and female split, aged between 18 and 65 with a representative break down of age groups and all with a household income above $25k.

The sample is drawn from an internet research panel with over 125,000 NZ members and samples are screened for eligibility, duplications and to ensure that they are representative. The sample size of 500 which was chosen to ensure a cross-section of New Zealand provides confidence in the conclusions reached but does not allow for detailed analysis for smaller sub-populations, but does allow breakdowns by age, gender and four locations.

The surveying was carried out by well-known Australian survey company Sweeney Research, that has over 30 years of research experience. http://www.sweeneyresearch.com.au/

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