Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

New Zealand Society Becoming More Conservative

9 August 2006

New Zealand Society Becoming More Conservative

A University of Otago study of consumer lifestyles reveals that New Zealand society is becoming more conservative.

New Zealand in the 21st Century: A Consumer and Lifestyles Study, released today by the University’s Consumer Research Group in the Department of Marketing, reveals New Zealanders are becoming more traditional in their viewpoints, with emphasis on marriage, the family unit, showing respect to one’s elders and attaining social recognition.

This report is the fifth major survey of its type to be carried out by the Consumer Research Group since 1979. The survey is one of the country’s major studies offering insights into New Zealand society within global, political, technological and economic contexts.

The 2005/06 survey of more than 3600 New Zealanders was conducted in November by Professor Rob Lawson, Associate Professor Sarah Todd and Dr Sian Evans. It comprised more than 500 individual questions.

Assoc Prof Todd says the aim of the study was to provide a snapshot of New Zealand consumers.

“We looked at trends and issues, including changes in the way people consume things, the impact of various technologies and government policies and changes in consumer segments identified in our previous studies.”

The previous study was conducted in 2000/01 and showed that family relationships were changing rapidly, with Kiwi families spending less time together and a disappearing middle class.

In contrast, the current study has shown a return to traditional family relationships and marriage as an institution, with respondents indicating a desire to spend more time at home with family and concern about working parents spending less time with their children.

“In part this could be a reaction to the establishment of civil unions in the period between the two surveys and also promotion of statistics showing that the number of marriages has in fact risen,” says Associate Prof Todd.

The survey also found New Zealanders have a more positive sentiment toward New Zealand as a place to live, no longer believing that one needs to go overseas to succeed, or that “most of what is good is borrowed from overseas”.

The report identifies a number of major lifestyle segments – Success-Driven Extroverts, Educated Liberals, Pragmatic Strugglers, Social Strivers, Accepting Mid-lifers, Young Pleasure Seekers and Conservative Quiet-Lifers – offering insights into socio-economic and demographic groups in New Zealand’s populace.

“Overall, the groups identified in this study continue to reflect trends, such as the aging population and the substantial divides in wealth that have grown between the most and least prosperous members of society,” Assoc Prof Todd says.

“This is apparent in the disappearance of the ‘Accepting Mid-Lifers’ as a defined group and the re-emergence of the ‘Conservative Quiet-Lifers’ as a segment – a trend toward New Zealand’s aging population with longer life expectancy.

“Other differences noted were the demographics of the groups. We noted more young females joining the ‘Success-Driven Extroverts’ group, while conversely, the age range of the ‘Pleasure Seekers’ group – a segment traditionally aligned with the hedonic Generation X cluster, has increased to the mid 40s.”

Other trends and opinions identified in the study include:

- New Zealanders across all sectors believe they are paying too much tax – a marked change since the previous survey.

- More New Zealanders are content with the current population size and do not support higher levels of immigration.

- For the first time since 1995, people believe racial issues are better.

- New Zealanders believe spending on health and education are the main priorities for government expenditure, followed by policing and the environment.

- New Zealanders have become more sophisticated consumers paying more attention to quality and service in addition to price – responding to “specials” and other deals on prices.

- More New Zealanders claim to use independent resources like Consumer magazine and check labelling for nutritional information.

- Consumers appear to be less concerned about avoiding foods with genetically modified components.

The study was jointly funded by New Zealand Post, Loyalty New Zealand and the University of Otago.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Jenny Abrahamson's John & Charles Enys: Castle Hill Runholders, 1864-1891

This volume will be of interest to a range of readers interested in the South Island high country, New Zealand’s natural environment, and the history of science. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION