Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

On Being Kiwi: The results


This post follows on from On being Kiwi: A Survey

100,000 Kiwis have now completed the survey. That’s 1 in 45 or 2.2% of the population.

I didn’t study statistics, so I’ll leave the detailed analysis to the experts. The best I can do is look at the figures and gain a general impression of what we as a nation are.

Firstly, where do I fit in compared to other Kiwis? As most guessed, my closest fit is Egalitarian, followed by Globalist. I am least like a Traditionalist.

The results are broken down into several areas:


  • Māori: assimilation vs biculturism
  • internationalism: inward vs outward
  • Immigration: pro vs anti
  • Politics: libertarian vs socialist
  • Imperialism: independentist vs loyalist
  • Nationalism: universalism vs exceptionalism
  • Sport: Apathetic vs enthusiastic
  • Religion: secular vs religious


A sense of pride in our:

  • nuclear-free status
  • scientific and technological achievements
  • lifestyle; achievements in art and literature
  • political influence in the world
  • fair and equal treatment of all groups in society
  • economic achievements
  • history
  • achievements in sports
  • armed forces


Preference for our current flag or the proposed replacement:

old_flag1 vs new_flag1


Icons that we most closely identify as national symbols of Aotearoa New Zealand. Some of the symbols may not be familiar to you if you are not a Kiwi: All blacks; Beach holidays; Great outdoors; Haka; Kiwi; Pounamu; Rugby; Silver fern; The Queen; Union Jack.

How I compare with the typical Kiwi.

I want to explore some aspects of being Kiwi over upcoming posts, especially as there are some results I didn’t expect. Differences in sense of national pride, the flag ,and symbols, while of interest, are not particularly important to me and how I differ from the “typical Kiwi” is of no significance. On the other hand, those aspects covered under ideology are important to me, and I believe should be important to all New Zealanders.

A number of statements were given to which one had to supply one’s level of agreement. The choices were:

Strongly agree -> Somewhat agree -> Slightly agree -> slightly disagree -> Somewhat disagree -> Strongly disagree

I noticed that there was no “neither agree nor disagree” option, for which I’m grateful. Otherwise that would have been my first choice with too many statements.

Very briefly, my position compared to the NZ average is as follows:


I am significantly more in favour of biculturalism than average based on the following propositions:

  • somewhat agree that a history of discrimination has created conditions that make it difficult for Māori to be successful.
  • slightly disagree that Māori should not receive any special treatment.
  • strongly agree that Māori culture is something that all New Zealanders can take pride in, no matter their background.


I have an extremely outward view compared with the average NZer based on the following propositions:

  • strongly agree that refugees should be welcomed in New Zealand.
  • strongly disagree that New Zealand should focus only on domestic, not international, issues.
  • strongly agree that New Zealand should participate in humanitarian intervention efforts abroad.


I am significantly more pro-immigration than average based on the following propositions:

  • strongly agree that all immigrants can retain their cultural values without being any less of a New Zealander.
  • somewhat disagree that most immigrants these days don’t try hard enough to fit into New Zealand society.
  • somewhat disagree that immigration is a threat to New Zealand’s culture.

Perhaps the above are understandable considering the wife is an immigrant, as is a daughter-in-law. A little known fact is that almost one in four New Zealanders is an immigrant.


I have strong socialist leanings compared to the average Kiwi – much more than I thought. This is based on the following propositions:

  • strongly agree that in New Zealand, the gap between those with high incomes and those with low incomes is too large.
  • strongly agree that wealthy people have a greater obligation than everyone else to help those who are in need.
  • slightly disagree that no matter what circumstances you are born into, if you work hard enough you can be as successful as anyone else.


I am less of a loyalist than the typical Kiwi based on the following propositions:

  • somewhat agree that the British monarch should no longer be New Zealand’s head of state.
  • somewhat disagree that New Zealand’s British heritage should be central to its national identity.
  • somewhat agree that it is important for New Zealand to retain its ties to the British Commonwealth.


I lean towards universalism more the the average Kiwi based on the following propositions:

  • strongly agree that Kiwis have a unique set of values that distinguish New Zealand from the rest of the world.
  • somewhat agree that New Zealand is the best country in the world in which to live.
  • slightly agree that New Zealand is not perfect, but its values are superior to others.


I am only slightly more apathetic towards sport than average. T found this rather surprising, as the typical Kiwi is not as enthusiastic as I believed. This is based on the following propositions:

  • slightly disagree that sport is too much a part of New Zealand’s national psyche.
  • slightly agree that nothing brings New Zealanders together like a sporting event.
  • slightly agree that good sportsmanship sets New Zealanders apart from other people.


This is one result that did surprise me. Although I don’t believe in a deity, I am ranked slightly more religious than the average NZer based on the following propositions:

  • slightly disagree that society would be better off if people were more religious.
  • somewhat disagree that we rely too much on science and not enough on faith.
  • somewhat agree that religion should not have any influence in the affairs of government.

So there you have it. I have nailed my colours to the mast, warts and all. I’ll elaborate on what I consider the most important in future posts. If you have a particular interest in any aspect of the survey that you would my opinion on, please do ask.

Does any of what I have revealed surprise you or contradict what I have revealed about myself either here on Another Spectrum or in comments I have offered on other blogs?

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

10 thoughts on “On Being Kiwi: The results

  1. Interesting and generally the impression I had from your previous posts and comments. This survey is too complex. It was written by an academic. Having some experience in surveying and the impact of the questions on the answers and profile, I can tell you right now that there were too many option variations and it should have included a “don’t care” option. Also, the answers require understanding a double negative and correctly matching the choice to feelings – people do that very poorly either because they don’t understand or because they don’t consider the survey important enough to stop and consider the answers..

    I’ll tell you something funny Barry. The last time I saw a format like this it was on a Master’s level entrance exam and the testee was permitted 10 minutes to read the survey results – many of which were double negatives – then the results were removed and the next 20 minutes were spent answering questions on what the results meant. It was both a memory and comprehension test combined.

    The questions should be structured so that the answers go from don’t care to strongly agree with perhaps 3 or 4 options only. This would give a much better reflection of people’s feelings. Trying to get too much detail from one survey inevitably skews the results away from reality.

    As an aside Barry, I just posted over at Mark Bialczak’s If you have time to drop by for a read, i’d be honored.

    • I question your statement regarding double negatives. There were no questions, just a set of statements to which you say how much you agree or disagree. It’s much like every other survey I’ve seen except that it doesn’t have a completely neutral position nor a “don’t know” option. However as the entire survey is about opinions over which practically every Kiwi is familiar and will hold a view, I think the options available do just fine.

      I’m not sure if the survey is accessible to those outside NZ, but the url is if you’d like to see the details.

      I’ve read your latest post, but my WP app doesn’t want to let me comment there. I’ll probably do so when I have access to something better than my phone.

      • I could look at the survey Barry – it is not as hard as I thought but there are still double negatives in there.

  2. I had a similar reaction to Paul, finding the results confusing to read, but I think part of that is the incorporation of your answer into the original statements which seems to make for an extra convolution. For example, I find this difficult: “I slightly disagree that society would be better off if more people were religious.” I find this easier: “‘Society would be better off if more people were religious.’ Slightly disagree.” More like how it would have looked to you. As always, I respect your interest in both the world and your own country.

    • You’re right EA. It’s the way I have composed the sentences rather than the survey statements themselves. The parts in bold were the actual survey statements. It was all clear to me when I wrote the article but in hindsight I can see it wasn’t the best way to convey my results. I’ll try to do better when I cover aspects of the survey in more detail.

  3. I read a very interesting analysis of this survey on The Spinoff by someone who had completed it two ways.
    Highly disturbing that if you think Maori culture is something that we can all be proud of you are rated as less of a patriot!

    • Disturbing in what way? I am very patriotic, but I don’t identify with the survey classification of Patriot. Looking at the other attributes that contribute to the Patriot classification, I suspect it contains a high proportion of Pakeha who retain a strong pioneering spirit. I think that for them, the distinctiveness of their Pakeha culture is more important to them than the distinctiveness of the Maori culture. It’s not a case of one being less patriotic by being proud of Maori culture, but that people like me who place a higher value on wanting Maori culture to play a more significant role in the wider Kiwi community are more likely to fit into one of the other categories – particularly Globalist and Egalitarian.

      • Disturbing to me that they only count you as a patriot if you react negatively to questions on inclusiveness and acknowledgement of the importance of Maori culture to this country. I would count myself as a patriot and also as egalitarian, in fact egalitarianism used to be a feature of New Zealand culture we prided ourselves on. Will try to find the link to the article to post here. I

          • But she didn’t reverse her response to only the inclusiveness and Maori related questions; she reversed her answers to every question. It’s rather ingenuous of her to claim that changing the the inclusiveness and Maori culture questions made her a Patriot.

            There are two points I want to make:

            1: The are no “right” or “wrong” categories. They are broad brush strokes on how we see ourselves by asking questions about popular icons and values often portrayed as “being Kiwi”. The term “Patriot” as used here means you consider your country the best in the world, right or wrong, and have a tendency to go along with government policy. In general people who fall into the Patriot category tend to be more interested in their own history and culture than others. Perhaps one could say they tend to be somewhat insular. I read recently this description of patriot:
            Originally, a patriot was someone who loves their country and supports it, but won’t blindly follow whatever their country’s government does. These days, it is synonymous with Nationalist, which is someone who blindly follows whatever his country’s government does, and lacks his own ability to think and reason for himself.
            I think the term as used in the survey borrows a lot from the former definition and a little from the latter. Certainly, as it is used in the survey, the opposite of “Patriot” would not be “Traitor”.

            2: If you react more positively to the questions on inclusiveness and Maori culture, it doesn’t make you less patriotic, it simply makes you more compatible with globalists or egalitarians.

            What perhaps is disturbing is that the survey reveals that NZers are less tolerant of cultural differences than I thought: All Kiwis should be treated the same, provided it is the middle class pakeha way.

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