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State of the Nation New Zealand: all about attitudes

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

State of the Nation New Zealand: all about attitudes

If, as Winston Churchill once remarked, attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference, then Wellington, Auckland and the rest of New Zealand are diverse indeed. As the latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation New Zealand reveals, the different attitudes of Kiwis around the country offer a fascinating glimpse into its varied population.

A progressive reputation

With its long-standing nuclear-free stance, a proud suffragette history and most recently, the legalisation of same-sex marriage, New Zealand is an enlightened country by world standards. But not all Kiwis consider themselves so. Only 20.8% of people living outside of the two major cities describe their attitudes to social issues and trends as progressive. This figure rises to 25.9% in Auckland and 29% in Wellington.

However, the State of the Nation New Zealand report suggests that Wellingtonians are more progressive than they give themselves credit for: 65.5% believe that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children, for example — in contrast to 58.6% of Aucklanders and 56.1% of people from the rest of the country.

Attitudes to the government and economy

While the differences between Auckland, Wellington and the rest of New Zealand are striking in some respects, it’s interesting to note their similar levels of distrust for John Key’s National Party — with 44.3% of Aucklanders, 45.2% of Wellingtonians and 45.1% of people from the rest of the country agreeing with the statement, ‘I don’t trust the current New Zealand Government.’

Attitudes towards the NZ Government and the Economy

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), April 2012 – March 2013
Base: New Zealand population aged 14+

Overall, Wellingtonians are the least satisfied with their political leaders: 43.7% believe the Government is doing a good job of running the country (compared to 47.6% of Aucklanders), while little more than a third (35.1%) think the national economy is improving, compared to 38.3% of Aucklanders.

And the rest of the country? They’re less disenchanted than Wellingtonians about the current Government, but more pessimistic than Aucklanders.

Auckland: environmentally and security conscious

Of all New Zealanders, those living in Auckland are most likely to consider crime a growing problem in their community (59.5%, compared to 51% in Wellington and 58.7% in the rest of the country).

Aucklanders are also the most environmentally-friendly Kiwis, with an impressive 89.9% recycling whenever they can (Wellington’s 84.2% pales in comparison). Indeed, one in five are so committed to the green cause, they even dream of a total ecotourism experience for their next holiday!

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The latest Roy Morgan State of the Nation New Zealand shines a spotlight on Auckland, Wellington and the rest of the country, revealing their differences and similarities.

“The rivalry between Auckland and Wellington is no secret, and comparing the attitudes of residents in these cities confirms the cities’ differences. While Wellingtonians come across as more cynical about the government (almost certainly due to living in the nation’s capital), Aucklanders are more preoccupied about crime in the community – a concern shared by many big-city dwellers around the world. Fortunately, the Auckland Council has included a directive to ‘improve community safety and feelings of being safe’ in its long-term development strategy, The Auckland Plan.

“Interestingly, while people from Wellington generally hold more progressive social attitudes, those from Auckland tend to be more environmentally aware, especially when it comes to recycling.

“Being home to a higher proportion of older people than the two major cities, the rest of New Zealand reveals more conservative attitudes all round. Almost as concerned about crime as Aucklanders, and convinced society’s fundamental values are under threat, these people yearn for the ‘good old days’ and view new things and ideas with caution.”

In this Roy Morgan State of the Nation Report, we have measured all of these issues and more – plotted them over time – and explored in more detail how they have played out, in terms of Society, Technology, Economy, Politics, and Environment. Click here to view the report and other Roy Morgan reports and data.


Please click on this link to the Roy Morgan Online Store

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Roy Morgan Research New Zealand

Roy Morgan Research was set up in New Zealand in the 1990s and has been collecting information across a wide range of industries in New Zealand ever since. Roy Morgan currently has over 10 years of trended data on a geographically and demographically representative sample of over 12,000 New Zealanders aged 14+.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size Percentage Estimate
 40%-60% 25% or 75% 10% or 90% 5% or 95%
5,000 ±1.4 ±1.2 ±0.8 ±0.6
7,500 ±1.1 ±1.0 ±0.7 ±0.5
10,000 ±1.0 ±0.9 ±0.6 ±0.4
20,000 ±0.7 ±0.6 ±0.4 ±0.3

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