Mind & Matters
Understanding the hearts and minds of Kiwis.
Monthly insights designed to help you better understand public sentiment, from macro trends to behaviours and attitudes towards key interest areas. Brought to you by Perceptive and Sapien Research.
Many Kiwis are feeling neutral about what the next 12 months will bring (47% expect things to stay the same)
Negative emotions remain in play. Stress, sadness and frustration are all high (51%, 33% and 48% respectively).
The number of Kiwis who claimed they saved some of their income has increased (54%, +3% since September).
Our fieldwork for October covered the build up to and holding of the general election.
October saw many Kiwis remaining stressed, sad, and growing increasingly frustrated.
While all these emotions were expressed most strongly by women, the under 29s felt the most stressed and sad. Meanwhile, frustration was strongest among those aged 30-59 years and markedly lower outside these ages.
Our fieldwork for October covered the build up to and holding of the general election. Comparing the pre and post election results, stress and sadness increased a little while frustration and anger reduced slightly. More positively, there was a slight lift in the proportion of Kiwis feeling optimistic (45% October post election).
Overall, 60% of Kiwis think New Zealand is heading in the wrong direction. However, the proportion of Kiwis who think the country is going in the right direction has increased to 40% (+5% since September). Aucklanders are the most positive with 45% indicating the country is moving in the right direction. Kiwis in the Lower North Island (Taupo south) are the most negative with two-thirds feeling things are heading the wrong way; this sentiment is strongest among Kiwis aged 30-59 years.
Looking across the ditch, while the Australian public are slightly more positive, the overall sentiment is similar; the majority in both countries feel their country is going in the wrong direction (54% Australia and 60% NZ).
The key areas of concern were crime and punishment (83% wrong direction) and healthcare (78% wrong direction), followed by the economy (67%) and leadership/politics (65%). Closer to home, New Zealanders were more positive about their personal life (81% right direction) and mental health (72% right direction), and personal finances (60% right direction). However, the lower personal finances result compared to personal life and mental indicates Kiwis still have some concerns around their finances.
Echoing the overall positive personal finances trend, October saw an increase in Kiwis who claimed they saved some of their income (54% October; +3% since September), with correspondingly fewer struggling to just cover the essentials (38%; -2% since September).
When asked how they expect the next 12 months to go for them and their family, most Kiwis expect things to stay the same (47%—stable with September) while 1 in 5 (19%) feel things will get worse, and approximately one-third (35%) expect things to improve.
Mind & Matters is designed to help business and leaders better understand public sentiment. From macro trends to behaviours and attitudes towards key interest areas, such as such as job security, personal finance, mental health, the environment and more, Mind & Matters is your comprehensive check-in on the state-of-mind of the New Zealand public.
Moreover, thanks to our partnership with Quantum in Australia, we also have comparative data to help us uncover previously unexplored differences and similarities between these two markets.
In April 2020, in the midst of a pandemic lockdown, Perceptive and Sapien built the first Covid-19 Tracker to help businesses and leaders better understand the hearts and minds of Kiwis as we experienced this unprecedented event.
Fast forward to 2023 and the world—and New Zealand—continues to experience change on multiple fronts, from rising inflation to the rise of eCommerce and generative AI. With this in mind, Perceptive and Sapien have taken the best of our Covid-19 tracker produce this comprehensive tracker that explores what Kiwis think, feel and believe in relation to some of the most topical and challenging issues of today.
Mind & Matters releases its findings online every month along with a downloadable report every quarter. To ensure you don't miss a release, subscribe to Mind & Matters and have updates sent straight to your inbox.