First Colmar Brunton–NZ Woman’s Weekly marriage survey highlights changing face of Kiwi relationships

By Wright Communications

Among its key insights, the survey has some tips for young Kiwi men who want to get in less strife at home - brush up on personal hygiene, and drink and smoke less; for men, issues over money and finance annoy them most about their significant other.

Colmar Brunton's initial research for the August survey found 76 per cent of New Zealanders aged 18-64 are in a relationship. The State of the New Zealand Marriage survey questioned a representative sample of those - a total of 503 people - about marriage, love and the state of their relationships.

The survey found marriage alive and well, with 71 per cent of those in a relationship either married or in a civil union.

Jacqueline Ireland, Colmar Brunton Managing Director, says a standout finding was the attitudes of women under 30 - particularly their expectations of sharing responsibilities with their partner.

"Younger women are more likely to be the main breadwinner in their relationship, and they are not prepared to take on the housewife role their mother did, as well as support the relationship financially."

Though 60 per cent of those surveyed were "completely satisfied" with the split of household chores, women under 50 were significantly less satisfied with the fairness of how jobs are divided up.

"Interestingly, and happily for the state of the relationship given women's expectation for an even playing field, men aged under 30 do more around the home, and reported being happy with that."

Clear gender and age group differences also emerged in the analysis of "pain points" - the things partners do which annoy their other half.

In order, the things which annoy women the most about their partners are lack of communication, not helping enough around the house, and money. Women aged under 30 are significantly more annoyed by their partner's lack of communication, their partner's poor personal hygiene, and their excessive drinking and smoking.

Issues with money was thing which annoyed men most about their partner, followed by a tie between too much nagging, and not being loving or romantic enough.

Sarah Stuart, New Zealand Woman's Weekly Editor says the magazine knows New Zealand women: "But we wanted to understand whether marriage was still important to them."

A huge percentage (85 per cent) of people surveyed imagine being in a relationship with the same person for the rest of their life, and 78 per cent said they were still in love with their partner.

The survey highlighted a further difference in approach among age groups when it comes to dealing with relationship infidelities. While women over 50 years are more likely to work through issues caused by a partner's affair and stay together, women under 30 years are significantly more likely to walk out of the relationship.

Overall, the gender analysis proved interesting: 57 per cent of respondents said the male is the main breadwinner, and 55 per cent said the male instigates sex more often (compared to just 8 per cent the woman) - though women have the task of organising contraception in 42 per cent of relationships, compared to men with 18 per cent.

Colmar Brunton and New Zealand Woman's Weekly will conduct this survey on an annual basis to capture the trends in New Zealanders' relationships. The full results are in the latest New Zealand Woman's Weekly that went on sale from Saturday, September 17. 


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