Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 - Roy Morgan Research

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...

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.’

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!

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), April 2012 – March 2013

Base: New Zealand population aged 14+

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.”

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Roy Morgan Research


Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
P: 03 9224 5332
W: www.roymorgan.com

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all about attitudes

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