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Crime, Not the Economy, Concerns Kiwis

Crime, Not the Economy, Concerns Kiwis

ACNielsen Asia Pacific Survey Shows New Zealanders Least Concerned in Region about Worsening Economy

As last month’s election made clear, it’s crime, not the economy, that keeps us Kiwis awake at night, according to a recent ACNielsen Online omnibus survey.

The ACNielsen Online Omnibus polled nearly 8,000 Internet users between 13 - 31 July across 13 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Asked what their biggest concerns during the next six months would be, just 16 percent of New Zealanders said a worsening economy – a regional low. Even Australians were less confident about the economy: 20 percent cited it as their biggest concern. And on average, throughout the region, 33 percent of respondents regarded a worsening economy as their number one concern (see Table 1).

What did concern Kiwis? Crime: 17 percent cited it as their primary concern. We worry more about it than people any other country in the region, and twice as much as the regional average (six percent).

While 17 percent of Kiwis rated job security as their number one worry, that’s well down on the survey average (27 percent), which made this the second most pressing concern in the region. Indeed, only Indonesians (11 percent) are less concerned about job security than Kiwis.

To cap off this record of relative comfort, 10 percent of Kiwis said that they had no major concerns. While that’s not quite at the stratospheric levels of unconcern expressed by the Chinese, it’s easily above the regional average (7 percent).

“Although New Zealanders appear relatively unconcerned about major issues, our confidence in the global economy appears to have slipped since we last conducted the survey in November 2001, shortly after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center,” says Jocelyn Hong, Group Marketing Director, ACNielsen New Zealand. “Only 42 percent of us are now confident we will recover from a global recession within the next year, compared to 49 percent in November 2001.

“New Zealanders and their Australian counterparts, however, aren’t as pessimistic as consumers in Asia Pacific overall, where 99 percent consider themselves in the grips of a global recession, up from 85 percent in November 2001,” Hong adds.

“Compared to the rest of the region, crime rather than the threat of terrorism appears to be weighing heavily on our minds,” says Hong. “No doubt this has been influenced by the strong campaigning for action on ‘crime and punishment’ in the recent election. Widespread and frequent reportage on recent high profile crimes committed locally has also struck a resonant chord.”

A third security issue, the possibility of a war between India and Pakistan, concerned six percent of Kiwis, ahead of all other countries except Australia and India.

Health was a major concern for 13 percent of New Zealanders, compared to the regional average of 10 percent.

“This isn’t really surprising when you consider the recent focus on medical insurance premiums, the elections, and the continued challenge of meeting healthcare requirements balanced with resources and funding,” adds Hong.

Confidence in our local economy appears to be stronger than the rest of the Asia Pacific region. New Zealand recorded the lowest percent (34 percent) claiming deferral of any major investment or purchase in the last 6 months, compared to the regional average of 51 percent. Hong Kong, which registered the highest levels of concern about job security (39 percent) also had the region’s highest record of purchase deferrals (60 percent).

Of those New Zealanders (34 percent) that have deferred purchases and investments in the last 6 months, 29 percent have deferred purchasing property – the same as the November study; 20 percent have deferred buying stocks and shares – down from 26 percent in the November, and 24 percent have deferred an extended holiday down from 34 percent in November.

Table 1: Biggest concern in next six months, Asia Pacific July 2002
Low Mean High Australia New Zealand
Crime 0%
Hong Kong 6% 17%
NZ 8% 17%
Job security 11%
Indonesia 27% 39%
Hong Kong 26% 17%
Worsening of the economy 16%
NZ 33% 50%
Indonesia 20% 16%
Health 6%
Philippines 10% 15%
S. Korea 12% 13%
Terrorism 1%
S. Korea 7% 11%
India 10% 7%
Impending War between India & Pakistan 1
Taiwan 3% 12%
India 7% 6%
No concerns 2%
Philippines 7% 19%
China 7% 10%
Source: ACNielsen Online Omnibus

About the ACNielsen Online Omnibus
The ACNielsen Online Omnibus is a quarterly syndicated online survey, gathering information from regular users of the Internet across Asia Pacific on their attitudes and preferences and consumption of media, products and services across different markets. Clients can insert specific questions as required. For more information, or to purchase a copy of the latest report, go to www.acnielsen.com/asiapacific.

About ACNielsen
ACNielsen, a VNU company, is the world’s leading marketing information company. Offering services in more than 100 countries, the company provides measurement and analysis of marketplace dynamics and consumer attitudes and behaviour. Clients rely on ACNielsen’s market research, proprietary products, analytical tools and professional service to understand competitive performance, to uncover new opportunities and to raise the profitability of their marketing and sales campaigns.
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