Health and Crime, Not Economy, Concern Kiwis

Published: Mon 22 Dec 2003 11:10 AM
Health and Crime, Not Economy, Concern Kiwis
ACNielsen Asia Pacific Survey Shows New Zealanders Most Concerned in Region about Crime
Kiwis are happy enough with the economy but increasingly concerned with crime and health, according to the latest ACNielsen Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Study. Conducted in October, the Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Study surveyed 7,230 consumers in 13 Asian markets online. Of the nationalities surveyed in Asia Pacific, Kiwis are the most concerned about crime, with 48 percent stating it is a major concern (up 12 percent from May). Across the region, 39 percent of people surveyed stated that crime was a serious concern.
Health check Overall, health has overtaken the economy around the region and tops the list of worries. Across Asia Pacific, 63 percent of all respondents are concerned about their health. In New Zealand, concern about health has risen significantly to become our biggest concern (65 percent compared to 52 percent in May ‘03). “What the SARS-affected cities experienced in the beginning of the year has clearly raised people’s consciousness about health. But environmental factors and media reports on such issues as obesity have also played a role in stimulating concern for health,” says Alistair Watts, MD ACNielsen Pacific. “As fear about war and terrorism subsides, people tend to switch their focus from external to personal issues.”
Economic ease spurs spending, saving In New Zealand, 48 percent of those surveyed believe that local economic performance has improved over the last six months and some 76 percent believe that local economic performance will either increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. New Zealanders were the least concerned about the economy of any nationality surveyed in Asia Pacific, which may be on the back of a strong kiwi dollar. Some 92 percent of New Zealanders surveyed said they are spending spare cash after covering essential living expenses, including on out of home entertainment (48 percent) and home improvements/ decorating (37 percent). Only 25 percent said they were spending on international holidays. However, Kiwis are also focused on paying off credit card debt (92 percent) and saving (85 percent).
Attitudes on war and terrorism Terrorism and war worries are waning for New Zealanders. This is reflected throughout the Asia Pacific region, with some 72 percent believing that random terror attracts will continue regardless of intervention and only 13 percent believing that the US-led coalition will succeed. This compares with 10 percent of New Zealanders surveyed believing that the US-led coalition will succeed, and 83 percent believing that random terror attacts will continue regardless of intervention. Only 27 percent of New Zealanders stated terrorism is a major concern and only 19 percent believe war is a major concern. Across the Tasman, 40 percent of Australians surveyed believe that terrorism is a major concern, and 27 percent believe war is a major concern.
Environment matters Environmental attitudes are fairly consistent among all Asia Pacific countries, except for Kiwis and Singaporeans who tend to think that local governments are not doing enough to protect the environment. Instead, consumers are more willing to take their own initiatives, with Kiwis and Australians the biggest recyclers of papers and plastic, Philippinos the biggest supporters of energy conservation and Indians the most active shoppers of environmental friendly products.
Perceptions of globalisation Sometimes seen as controversial in New Zealand, globalisation seems quite accepted by Asian consumers. On average, 90 percent believe globalisation enables them to be more informed with access to news, entertainment and information around the world; 77 percent think it would bring more job opportunities; 72 percent say it helps break down borders and fosters understanding and tolerance of other cultures and societies. The other side of the coin is that some believe globalisation would make local economies more vulnerable to trends and events happening elsewhere in the world (88 percent), changing people’s values and making life too fast and impersonal (64 percent), and even posing threats to local traditions and cultures (61 percent).
“Developing markets seem to be more receptive of globalisation and hopeful about the benefits it will bring, while in developed markets like New Zealand, Australia and Japan, people perceive less benefits from globalisation,” says Watts. “In New Zealand, consumers hold a moderate view towards all dimensions of globalisation.”
The ACNielsen Asia Pacific Consumer Confidence Survey is a regular syndicated online consumer 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.
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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