Welcome to not so clean and green New Zealand
September 8, 2017
Welcome to not so clean and green New Zealand
It may be the tagline New Zealand sells to the world but more than a quarter of Kiwis don’t believe the country lives up to its ‘clean and green’ reputation, according to a new survey.
This year’s HRV State of the Home Survey, conducted by research company Buzz Channel, aims to give an insight into issues facing New Zealanders in their home environments.
The survey of 1040 people, which was commissioned by HRV and completed in association with AUT Professor of Sociology, Charles Crothers, found 27 percent didn’t agree that New Zealand is clean and green. A further 30 percent could not give a definitive answer, or chose to remain neutral on the subject.
Professor Crothers says this means less than half of New Zealanders believe the country is clean and green which shows people don’t have much faith in a tagline which is adopted by many in the local tourism industry.
“It’s the growing awareness about the state of our rivers and waterways that influenced many people to question New Zealand’s clean green status.
“Two thirds of those people who did not agree that New Zealand was clean and green said polluted rivers, and the impact of dairy farming and factories on waterways, was a factor in their decision,” he says.
The clean and green findings are the third and final lot of results to be released from the annual survey. It also asked respondents about their views on sustainability and about the quality of their household water.
While the majority of people believe New Zealand’s drinking water is good, almost 40 percent think the quality of our waterways is an urgent priority which needs fixing.
Sam Judd, CEO and Co-Founder of Sustainable Coastlines, says it will take the efforts of all New Zealanders to keep the waterways and coastlines we love beautiful.
“We are on a mission to enable people to look after coastlines and waterways through education, large scale clean-ups and restoration projects.”
Sustainable Coastlines’ nationwide freshwater restoration programme, Love Your Water, combines workshops, presentations and riparian planting activities to enable communities to tackle problems in their own backyards.
This year, the charity has run events in Auckland, Wellington, Canterbury and other regions around the country, planting thousands of new trees alongside waterways to restore freshwater ecosystems.
Professor Crothers says the survey found the vast majority of Kiwis are becoming more environmentally minded and focused on sustainability.
“Almost three quarters would like to live in an energy efficient home with sustainable elements such as solar power and recyclable water,” he says.
The importance of solar power has increased five percent from 2016, with 27 percent of respondents saying it was “important” or “very important” when considering a home to live in or when renovating.
While only six percent of New Zealanders already have solar power, four in 10 people believe it is “the way of the future” but don’t have it installed at their homes. Similarly, just over 40 percent said they would like to install solar panels but it is currently too expensive.
“For many people, they don’t know enough about solar power or how it works. However, the growing awareness about the importance of solar power is clear, with a common comment from respondents being that all new builds should be fitted with solar panels,” Crothers says.
*See key findings table from the survey
*This survey was conducted by Buzz Channel with participants sourced from buzzthepeople online research panel of more than 20,000 New Zealanders. We surveyed N=1040 respondents who were between the age of 18 and 74 years. The margin of error on this sample is +/- 3.6% at the 95% confidence level.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE HRV STATE OF THE HOME SURVEY 2017
5% of New Zealanders have solar power
A quarter of households have invested in energy efficient products or energy saving devices to help reduce heating costs
Almost half said cold, dampness or condensation increase the cost of heating their home
36% of renters have insulation compared to 73% of home owners and renters are less likely to have double glazing, a heat pump, or a ventilation system
Almost three quarters would like to live in an energy efficient home with sustainable elements such as solar power and recyclable water
Four in 10 people believe solar power is “the way of the future” but don’t have it installed at their homes
Over a third think the state of our waterways is an urgent issue and a priority for New Zealand to fix
Only 4% think New Zealand waterways are fine as they are
Two thirds do not have a water filter at home but most respondents agree the water in their home is fine
The number of respondents who consider a home ventilation system and home water filtration system important has increased since last year
Clean & Green
Over 25% disagreed with the idea New Zealand is a clean and green country
Under half agree that New Zealand is a clean and green country
Two thirds of those who did not agree New Zealand was clean and green mentioned polluted waterways due to farming and factories
Over a third (34%) of those who agreed New Zealand was clean and green mentioned it in comparison to other countries
Renters vs Landlords
66% of renters said their landlord either didn’t respond, failed to fix a problem, or “kind of made some effort to remedy an issue”
80% of renters would rather live in a warmer, drier home compared to just half of homeowners
Landlords placed little importance on heating and ventilation (9%) and addressing mould and dampness (4%)
24% said they thought their rental was not worth what they paid
42% of renters would like their landlord to make their rental warmer, drier and healthier
Only 40% of Māori or Pasifika were home owners comparted to 68% Pakeha
Renters were more likely to use as little heating as possible and 50% of renters (compared to 35% overall) said the cost of their power bill was excessive in winter
38% try to reduce their winter power bill by using as little heating as possible