Kiwi Grit Report 2023
As Kiwis, we have always prided ourselves on our “good ol’ Kiwi ingenuity” to help us solve problems. The past few years have dealt us more challenges than we have faced as a nation in many years, from the pandemic to political change, and economic uncertainty. Yet, as a nation with ‘grit’ many of us have bounced back, taking on a positive outlook and growth mindset that will help us navigate the challenges ahead.
Based on a survey of over 502 Kiwis, The Kiwi Grit Report 2023 explores a sense of ‘grit’ in New Zealand nationhood, revealing how we have responded to challenges over the past 5 years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, politics in New Zealand, and how it has affected our kids, and the economy.
A nation with ‘grit’
Respondents believed that our ‘national grit’ has been forged by historical events like COVID-19 (55%), natural disasters (44%), or economic hardship (43%), we see Aotearoa as a beacon of hope with most of us (92%) agreeing that ours is a nation of people with ‘grit’. In the past five years, our shared experience of challenges like the rising cost of living (74%), pandemic impacts (66%), and housing affordability (61%) have been viewed as the most prominent challenges we have faced as a nation. These events have put our fighting spirit to the test, but most (82%) of us trust that we have been able to bounce back positively after tough times.
Although more tough times appear to be ahead, we’ve been able to see the bright side of recent adversity and have grown to become more optimistic (39%) and grateful (65%). We’ve also learnt some powerful lessons along the way, such as putting things into perspective (84%), resetting our priorities and goals (72%), and connecting with what really matters (79%) (we deserve a pat on the back for that!).
Bouncing back from the challenges ahead
If we learned anything from the past few years, it’s that the future is unpredictable – but when armed with a resilient outlook on life, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s no surprise that with many of us feeling the financial pinch lately, most of us (70%) are expecting New Zealand to be hit by a major economic recession in the coming year. And with more than three-quarters (81%) of us concerned about how we will cope with the rising cost of living, close to two-thirds (66%) of us feel equipped to manage it, believing our ‘Kiwi grit’ will pull us through economic challenges (74%).
The state of the property market is another worry shared by many (85%) Kiwis, agreeing that rent affordability (68%), the rising cost of building (65%), rising interest rates (64%), and the supply of affordable housing (62%) are the main obstacles we currently face.
However, reflecting on how the New Zealand government has responded to challenges in our recent past, nearly half (48%) of us are at least reasonably optimistic that the incoming government will tackle issues like the rising cost of living (73%), housing affordability (60%), and crime, safety and security (53%), effectively.
Our future generation
Being a Kiwi parent in 2023 is no easy feat, especially after navigating your family throughout the challenges of recent years. After a period of such extreme flux, it’s far from uncommon (93%) to believe that Kiwi kids have been at least somewhat negatively impacted over the last few years by recent challenges, with over half of respondents feeling that kids have been more negatively impacted than adults (51%).
For some Kiwi parents living with children at home, their parenting experiences over the recent years have sparked concerns around their child falling behind at school due to remote learning (51%), developing behavioural issues due to remote learning/lockdowns (47%) and struggling to return to pre-pandemic school schedules (45%).
But on a positive note, most parents are passing down the value of ‘Kiwi grit’ to their kids, teaching them how to adopt a growth mindset to cope with these challenges (91%).
Looking at the bright side
Another silver lining to come out of recent events is our comradery as a nation, which has shown us the importance of having each other’s backs during times of struggle. From supporting small businesses to reaching out to friends, many of us have shifted our outlook on our lifestyles more than ever.
These challenges have meant that we may need to take better care of ourselves, with many acknowledging that the past five years have taken a toll on our general wellbeing in some way (71%).
In fact, many of us (89%) say that we have been changed and shaped by the personal challenges experienced in recent years, becoming more grateful for what we have (65%), more self-aware and mindful (57%), emotionally/mentally strong (55%), building resilience and determination (49%), and developing a growth mindset (45%) (good for us!).
Kiwis who have experienced negative impacts due to challenges over the past 5 years have taken action to counteract this by speaking to friends and family (54%), becoming more aware of the importance of mental health (54%), or putting more effort into physical health (49%).
There’s no doubt the past few years were tough for Aotearoa, but in true Kiwi fashion, we were able to make the best of a bad situation. And while we continue to pick ourselves up and adapt to the ‘new normal’, our ‘grit’ and community spirit will help us to persist through upcoming challenges.
13 Jun 2023