Children's Media Use Research

Children's Media Use Study 2015 (pdf)
01 Jan 2015

Our lives are now awash with media. Consequently our children are exposed to, or can potentially access more content, from a wider range of media, on an ever-expanding range of devices.

  • But what media are New Zealand children consuming in 2014? How are they accessing it, and how often?
  • What content do they love and seek out, and what might they be missing?
  • What do parents allow and not allow, and what content do they want for their children?
  • How often are children exposed to challenging content? Do they recognise it as ‘not for them’, and what do they do in response?
  • What are parents doing to try to minimise this exposure?

The 2014 Children’s Media Use Study aims to answer these questions.


The broad objectives of the 2014 Children’s Media Use study were to:

  • Measure and profile children’s media use (e.g. reach, time spent) across all relevant media including TV, radio and online
  • Measure and profile how children source content (e.g. music, online), and are accessing audio-visual media (e.g. devices and platforms used)
  • Measure behaviour and attitudes of parents/caregivers in relation to their children’s media consumption
  • Measure children’s and parents/caregivers’ attitudes to the suitability of content on key media
  • Measure children’s reaction to challenging content, and parent/caregivers’ actions to reduce exposure to challenging content
  • Measure knowledge and use of safeguards such as the 8.30pm watershed (the time after which programmes with adult content may be broadcast) and the programme classification system
  • Track changes in attitudes and behaviours in relation to challenging content since the 2007 BSA study.


Scoping meeting conducted with NZ On Air and BSA to finalise objectives and identify specific topics for investigation

  • Questionnaires developed in close consultation with NZ On Air and BSA
  • Questionnaires pilot tested in six homes with parents/caregivers and children aged 6-14.

Fieldwork conducted using door to door interviewing between November 1st and December 14th 2014

  • Nationwide survey including rural areas using a proportionally representative sample of Statistics NZ Area Units
  • Population size within Area Units determined by the number of 6-14 year olds living in each Area Unit as at the 2013 Census

Total sample of N=708 households interviewed

  • Maximum margin for error of ± 3.7%
  • Final response rate of 71% (based on eligible population of households with children aged 6-14)

Respondents defined as children aged 6-14 and their "primary caregiver"

  • Two interviews were conducted comprising one child and one parent/caregiver in each home
  • If more than one child lived in a home, the eligible respondent was selected based on the child that had the last birthday
  • Pre-schoolers: At the end of the Parent questionnaire, respondents were asked about the number of children aged under 14 living in the home. If a child aged between 2-5 years was living in the home the parent was asked six questions about one pre-school child. If there was more than one, the parent was asked about the one with the next birthday. The results of these questions are included in a separate section of the report.

Sample stratified by region and area type as per the 2013 Census, with specific Area Units randomly selected within a nine cell matrix. Quota in place to ensure no more than 50% of interviews were conducted in SKY homes.

Final sample was pre-weighted by household size, and post-weighted by age, gender, and ethnicity to match the 2013 Census. The sample was also post-weighted by day of the week to ensure questions relating to "yesterday" were representative across the week.

Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018