New Zealanders are backing Kiwi businesses to reboot the economy

For Colmar Brunton

Colmar Brunton’s latest research into COVID-19 shows New Zealanders are keen to reboot the economy by supporting Kiwi businesses. This reflects a wave of patriotism sweeping the nation, as we give ourselves, and the Government, a pat on the back for fighting the virus.

The latest Colmar Brunton COVID Times study surveyed over 600 New Zealanders from 20-21 April 2020. Fieldwork started after the Prime Minister’s announcement we’d be moving to Alert Level 3. It builds upon original research conducted between 3-5 April, as well as making comparisons with global research conducted across the G7 nations, by Kantar, Colmar Brunton’s global parent company.

Head of Colmar Brunton, Sarah Bolger says, “The research shows that, if anything, support for the Government has increased since we last surveyed the nation two weeks ago. Our relative success in uniting against COVID is feeding into a sense of national pride, and the beneficiaries may well be local businesses and well-known New Zealand brands. Kiwis are keen to support them in the new normal.” 

To rebuild Aotearoa, we are keen to buy New Zealand and see New Zealand.

A surge in national pride is a key factor shaping our post-COVID resolutions. Our strongest resolution is to help put the Kiwi economy back on its feet. Three in five New Zealanders (60%) plan to provide more support to their locally owned business, as well as New Zealand owned businesses.

New Zealanders are also keen to play their part in supporting out tourism industry by exploring our own backyard rather than jumping on a plane to holiday overseas. Forty-four percent say they will holiday more than they did pre-COVID across New Zealand, while 41% say they will spend less time overseas.


The Government’s response to the crisis continues to enjoy unrivalled public support.

Eighty-seven percent of the public continue to back the Government in their management of the crisis. This compares to 84% a fortnight ago. This level of public support also outstrips the G7 average of 50%.

There is a sense that we have dodged a bullet, but relatively few New Zealanders think this is down to luck. When asked about the reasons for our relative success, four in five (80%) attribute this to the fact we took effective action early on.

And our success in breaking the chain of transmission, has led to enhanced feelings of patriotism. Sixty-two percent of New Zealanders feel a greater sense of national pride than they did before the crisis. Two weeks ago, the figure was 47%.


New Zealanders continue to be prepared to do what it takes, and there is a stronger sense that everyone is pulling their weight.

Over nine in 10 New Zealanders (93%) continue to say they are doing what the Government has asked of them to slow down the spread of COVID-19. This compares to 92% on 3-5 April.

Previously, some Kiwis questioned the behaviour of their fellow citizens in fighting the virus. However, the proportion who rate other New Zealanders’ behaviour as poor has dropped from 27% to just 6%.

Public transport usage could decline in the new normal.

While Kiwi businesses might benefit under the new normal, public transport use could be at risk.

One in five people (22%) who used public transport prior to the crisis say they will use it less often once COVID is behind us. Some of those who are reluctant to use public transport are choosing to work from home more. They are also looking at using active transport modes such as walking and cycling. While relatively few indicate they will be swapping public transport for a car (14%).

And finally, … it’s the little things in life.

Over the last four weeks New Zealanders have rediscovered a new appreciation for the small things in life – a smile, a tree or even a flat white.

Over half of us (54%) intend to take more pleasure than we did pre-COVID in the small things in life. This is particularly important for those of us with children (69% say they will).

We are also keen to continue to reconnect with nature and spend more time in the great outdoors (40% say they plan to do this more often than before the COVID crisis). 

But will our best intentions to slow things down be undone by the pace of modern life, or can we truly create a new normal?

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