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Farming in Top Four of Defining NZ Characteristics

Farming in top 4 of defining NZ characteristics

It’s often said Kiwis are sports-mad but a new survey shows our regard for agriculture and farming out-ranks rugby, netball and other sports as a hallmark of New Zealand.

In the Well-being Statistics 2016 survey, in which nearly 9000 people gave their views, agriculture and farming scored a mean rating of 8.2 out of 10 for "important characteristics when defining New Zealand".

Topping the ratings were ‘freedom, rights and peace’ and ‘environment’, both 9.1, and just in front of farming, ‘people in New Zealand’ at 8.5. ‘History’ had a mean rating of 8, and sports 7.8, the Statistics NZ annual survey said.

Federated Farmers President Katie Milne said she wasn’t surprised by the survey results.

"Kiwis can relate to people who have a No. 8 wire, get-stuck-in, resilient sort of attitude - all common with farming folk. And as much as tourism is a big earner, most New Zealanders also appreciate that it is primary producers who deliver the goods that win the lion’s share of our export earnings."

The survey found that regard for farming as a key national characteristic increased with age.

Those over 65 were more likely to rate agriculture and farming as extremely important when defining New Zealand - 40 percent rated it 10/10. This compares with only 27.5 percent of young people.

That might indicate agriculture has more work to do to show our best and brightest young people that the sector has much to offer career and lifestyle-wise, Katie said.

Agriculture and farming featured in the top four most-highly rated characteristics for European (30.6 percent rated it 10/10) and Asian people (34.4). But Maori and Pasifika people tended to rate sport more highly as a defining characteristic.


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