The research, conducted by Research NZ, coincides with NZ On Air’s 30th birthday, and repeats key elements of research carried out in 1989/1990 for the newly formed funding agency. That research aimed to establish what mattered to New Zealanders, our identity and culture, and informed the agency’s foundation strategy.

30 years on much has changed. The demographic, technological and media change in New Zealand has been profound. With the aim to “connect and reflect” Aotearoa, NZ On Air was interested to know if local media content is reflecting the more diverse New Zealand, and what local content New Zealanders are connecting with, amidst a tidal wave of international services and content.

The key findings show:

  • Our national identity has evolved, but we still hold fast to many of the same things we believed about ourselves 30 years ago such as that we see ourselves as friendly, genuine and straight-up
    • While big demographic changes have prompted greater acceptance of cultural diversity, New Zealanders acknowledge Māori culture is integral to national identity
  • We’re troubled by some important environmental and social issues – the ¼ acre paradise dream is over
  • We think our national sports teams shape and reflect our national identity more so than other cultural elements
  • One in four New Zealanders watch local content because it reflects and informs their view of our national identity, but even those who don’t watch local content believe it’s important to have it
  • More New Zealanders would watch more New Zealand-made content – but they want it on the services they watch, ad free, and they want it specific to their age/interests
  • New Zealanders want news media that’s independent and informative.

Full 2019 research documents available below:

Original research available here: