INDEPENDENT NEWS

Kiwi wellbeing holds up despite economic headwinds

Published: Wed 11 Sep 2019 09:46 AM
Wednesday 11 September 2019
Today Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) shared findings from its second Wellbeing Index showing that Kiwis continue to enjoy relatively high levels of personal wellbeing despite concerns of a slowing global economy and its impacts on New Zealand.
The value of the Index is essentially unchanged since the end of 2018 (67.2 this year compared to 68.4 in 2018) indicating that the wellbeing of New Zealanders has held up well over the past eight months.
The Wellbeing Index also revealed that:
• Home ownership is linked to higher wellbeing
• Kiwis enjoy higher wellbeing than incomes would suggest
• Kiwis are more upbeat than Aussies (despite lower average incomes)
• Kiwis had optimistic expectations for their income with 40% anticipating higher incomes over the coming 12 months compared to 13% that expecting cuts
• New Zealanders rated “life-worth” as contributing the most to their overall wellbeing
• However, worries about money and finances are widespread and detract from wellbeing
Paul Conway, BNZ economist, said, “Kiwis are generally a glass half full bunch and this is borne out in the research, with personal wellbeing comparatively unchanged despite talk of a slowing economy.
“Interestingly, Kiwis tend to report higher wellbeing than our incomes would suggest, and the overall sense of “happiness” and “life satisfaction” in New Zealand is among the highest in the world.
“However, it is certainly the case that having your finances under control and saving regularly is beneficial to personal wellbeing,” says Conway.
Financial hardship is all too common in New Zealand
Despite the relatively optimistic view on wellbeing the findings show that too many Kiwis have insufficient savings to deal with emergencies and unexpected life issues.
More than a third of respondents report being “extremely concerned” about their finances (35%) while around the same number experienced a specific incidence of financial hardship in the three months prior to the survey (36%).
Having insufficient wealth to fund a desirable life style in retirement was the biggest cause of ongoing financial stress among New Zealanders, with 60% of people believing they will have “not quite, or nearly, enough savings for retirement.”
Conway says, “Financial stress and hardship is still too prevalent in New Zealand and too many Kiwis are one unexpected event away from being thrust into difficult financial circumstances.
“It’s not only those on lower incomes at risk of financial hardship. Although high incomes clearly help, around 25% of people living in households with incomes over $100,000 experienced some form of hardship over the past three months.
“These findings reinforce the need for us to find sustainable ways of lifting incomes across more New Zealanders. Efforts to lift financial capability would also allow New Zealanders to make more of the wealth we do have. We should be able to deal with unexpected issues and retirement should be something to look forward to rather than fear,” Conway says.
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1909/BNZ_Wellbeing_Report_H1_2019.pdf
ENDS
BNZ
Be good with money
Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has been a big part of New Zealand life for over 150 years since its foundation in 1861. The bank employs over 5,000 people and has more than 170 retail stores and 32 Partners business centres across the country.
Passionate about enabling a higher achieving New Zealand, BNZ works with personal, business, agri, and private wealth clients, helping them grow and make their goals a reality.
A subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group of companies, BNZ is governed locally by a Board of Directors and strives to help New Zealanders be good with money.
Contact Bank of New Zealand
Website:
Phone:
0800 275 269
Twitter:

Next in New Zealand politics

On The Ethics (and Some Of The Economics) Of Lifting The Lockdown
By: Gordon Campbell
On Going To Level Four (and Scrapping The Olympics) Right Now
By: Gordon Campbell
Cabinet Approves Business Continuity Package In Response To COVID-19
By: New Zealand Government
Statement From Police Commissioner Mike Bush Following Guilty Pleas In Operation Deans Prosecution
By: New Zealand Police
Record transport investment in Draft GPS 2021
By: New Zealand Government
On The Loss Of Abortion Safe Zones
By: Gordon Campbell
On The Oil Price Smackdown, And On National’s Fatuous Crusade Against Red Tape
By: Gordon Campbell
Predator Free 2050 Strategy - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
On Buying Ventilators, And Expanding The Testing For Covid-19
By: Gordon Campbell
Advance payments to support contractors
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland Council Welcomes Package To Stimulate Economic Recovery
By: Auckland Council
Infrastructure Sector Sees 30 Percent Less Jobs
By: Infrastructure NZ
COVID-19 And The Fundamentals Of Living On A Timed Borrow
By: Nikko AM
Fixing Wellington’s Infrastructure Deficit Should Be Top Of Government’s To-do List
By: Business Central
Nation Steps Up To COVID-19 Alert Level 2
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media