How Important is Culture? New Zealanders’ Views in 2008

How important is culture? New Zealander’s views in…
01 Feb 2009

How Important is Culture? New Zealanders’ Views in 2008 was commissioned to provide information about New Zealanders’ perceptions on the importance of culture and cultural activities. This report follows on from research commissioned in 1994 and 1997. Key measures from the two previous surveys have been repeated in the 2008 survey and some new questions added.


The key objective of this research is to provide up-to-date information on the New Zealand public’s perceptions of the importance of culture and cultural activities.

With this objective in mind, key measures from the two previous surveys conducted in 1994 and 1997 have been repeated in this survey. The methodology, sample sizes and sample structure have been retained to allow for direct comparability with previous surveys where possible.


Telephone interviews were conducted with 1,000 New Zealand residents aged 18 and over. These were conducted in 2008.

Quota management of the sample was undertaken to ensure the survey sample was representative of New Zealand residents. Gender, age, geographic and Māori ethnic quotas have been applied.

The survey was conducted as a stand-alone questionnaire with interviewers probing the open-ended questions to obtain quality detailed responses. The average interview duration was 18 minutes.

The margin of error for this sample size is +/-3.1% at a 95% confidence interval assuming a score of 50% on any one attribute. This means that there can be 95% confidence that the survey measure is within 3.1% of the measure that would have been gained had the entire population of New Zealand residents over 18 years of age been surveyed.

To allow respondents to respond to a clearly defined issue, a definition of culture and cultural activities was provided at the beginning of the questionnaire:

One way of thinking about it is that culture and cultural activities are about our way of life and are a combination of;

  • Our past and present languages, traditions and beliefs, as reflected in museums, historic places and libraries, on marae, television, radio, the internet, and in films.
  • Activities such as dance, classical and modern music, the visual arts, theatre, reading books and magazines, and other forms of crafts and hobbies.
  • And finally when we talk about national identity we are referring to who we are as a country.
Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018