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Some of our work


Our extensive research of New Zealand has taken us to so many interesting and varied places, as the reports here will show you. They also demonstrate the level of detail and expertise we bring to every project.

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Health Promotion Agency
Responding to Infants’ Hunger and Satiety Cues
In some countries, such as the United States, evidence shows that overweight prevalence in infancy has increased in recent decades. It is possible that a similar growth trajectory is occurring in New Zealand, particularly in light of the high overweight/obesity prevalence among two-to-four year olds here.

Given the Ministry of Health’s strategic direction in obesity prevention that focuses on maternal and infant nutrition, HPA’s Nutrition and Physical Activity (NPA) team consulted with nutrition experts to inform the development of a work stream that involves working with key influencers on infant feeding practices. Some evidence suggests that a feeding style which responds to infants’ hunger and satiety cues promotes the retention of infants’ ability to naturally self-regulate their food intake.

To help inform this work stream, HPA commissioned Research New Zealand to carry out an exploratory project to learn more about mothers’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, and experiences relating to their infants’ hunger and satiety cues. The project involved conducting six focus groups with first-time Māori, Pacific, and low-income mothers of infants aged six to 23 months to explore their perceptions of a feeding approach that recognises and responds to infants’ hunger and satiety cues.

The findings from this research are now available and may be viewed on and downloaded from the HPA’s website:

Health Promotion Agency
Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey
In 2009, the Alcohol Advisory Council (now the Health Promotion Agency) commissioned Research New Zealand to design and conduct an annual survey of New Zealanders in relation to their attitudes and behaviour towards drinking alcohol. Between that year and 2012, this grew into a significant survey, based on a substantive annual sample of over n=3,000 New Zealanders. Māori, Pacific peoples, young people aged 12-17 and older people aged 65 or more were over-sampled in order to provide greater statistical power.

Known as the Attitudes and Behaviour towards Alcohol Survey (ABAS), the survey is undertaken to provide information on the attitudes and behaviour of New Zealanders towards alcohol. This survey focuses on behaviour relating to the last drinking occasion, including how much and what was drunk, the drinking location and purpose, consequences and help or assistance offered at that occasion. Attitudes and opinions in relation to getting drunk and the seriousness of the alcohol problem are also examined, along with non-drinkers and the role they play in the company of others who are drinking. The aim of the survey is to provide insight into the behaviours and attitudes of people in relation to alcohol.

A series of new reports has been commissioned from Research New Zealand covering the 2010, 2011 and 2012 ABAS surveys. This new report series uses a three-year snapshot, with data from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 surveys combined (where possible), to improve the ability to provide breakdowns by age, gender and ethnicity.

The first of these reports is now available and may be viewed on and downloaded from the HPA’s website using these links:

Office of the Auditor General
Evolving approach to combating child obesity
Child obesity represents a significant health issue in New Zealand today, particularly amongst Māori and Pacific families. The Office of the Auditor-General (OAG) is conducting a performance audit on child obesity, to see how effective the public service is in its efforts to prevent and reduce child obesity in New Zealand.

To help inform the audit, Research New Zealand was commissioned by the OAG to conduct a series of focus groups with Māori and Pasifika parents to get their perspective (as potential end users) on the provision of obesity-related services. Conducted as a series of four hui and fono in South Auckland, between the 25th and 28th of February, 2013, this project was completed with a total of 31 Māori and Pasifika parents from Counties Manukau, Waitemata and Orakei, Auckland. All participants were recruited on the basis that they were parents or guardians of children aged 5-14 years of age.

Based on the research results the OAG has recently published a short report - Evolving approach to combating child obesity. The report may be read or downloaded here.

New Zealand Institute of Management
The New Zealand Management Capability Index (MCI)
Research New Zealand recently conducted a survey for the New Zealand Institute of Management – the New Zealand Management Capability Index (MCI).

The New Zealand Institute of Management established its Management Capability Index (MCI) in 2003. In the 10 years since, four other countries – Australia, India, Malaysia and Singapore – have adopted the MCI as a national standard for measuring and evaluating management performance in their respective economies.

It does so by measuring and evaluating management performance across a range of key factors. And as other countries have adopted the MCI, through its acceptance as an effective and relevant global benchmark by the Asian Association of Management Organisations (AAMO), so we have become increasingly able to compare the performance of New Zealand managers with that of other countries, particularly in the Asian region.

The full report may be read or downloaded here.

Sport New Zealand
The Economic and Social Value of Sport and Recreation to New Zealand
New Zealanders enjoy and value sport and recreation. High levels of public and private investment support participation in sport and recreation, and so it is important to understand the benefits (and costs) generated by participation in sport and recreation. Sport and recreation makes a significant contribution to the national economy and our society. Sport NZ (formerly SPARC) therefore commissioned economic research to establish the magnitude of that contribution:

• The broadly-defined sport and recreation sector's contribution (including volunteered services) to GDP (gross domestic product) in 2008/09 was more than $5.2 billion, or 2.8 per cent. The sector employs more than 50,000 people. This is similar to the contribution the dairy industry makes to GDP and employment.
• Including the value of social and personal benefits more than doubles the total value of sport and recreation to New Zealanders to around $12.2 billion.

To help bring a human face to the dollar value, Sport NZ commissioned Research NZ to conduct a seminal case study of the contribution made by a sports club (the Northern Rugby Football Club, Porirua). The case study captures, in the words of players, coaches, spectators and community leaders, the real, but hard-to-measure social and community-based values that come from participation in sport and recreation.

The case study is particularly interesting for the innovative approach in producing a Photo Story, as well as a detailed values report, and the project was used to develop a case study Toolkit, that can be used by sport and recreation organisations to tell their story.

The full report may be read or downloaded here. The Toolkit may be accessed here.

Greater Wellington – Wellington Regional Council
Public Opinion – Ngauranga to Wellington Airport Corridor – Survey of the General Public & Business Community
In 2007 Greater Wellington Commissioned a survey of residents in the Greater Wellington area as part of a public consultation on the draft plan comprising six proposed projects for the transport corridor that runs from Ngauranga Gorge through to Wellington International Airport. The survey sampled 750 residents and 250 businesses in the region.

The full report may be read or downloaded here.

Greater Wellington – Wellington Regional Council
Public Opinion – Regional Land Transport Programme Project Prioritisation – Survey of the General Public
In 2009 Greater Wellington commissioned a survey of residents to establish the priorities that should be given to the proposed projects in the Regional Land Transport Programme. The Act requires that the Regional Land Transport Programme prioritises activities for the first three years of the programme (2009/10 through 2012/13) as well as providing a statement of priorities for the first six years.

The full report may be read or downloaded here.

Department of Labour – Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat
Promoting Good Practice and Policies for Young People's work in APEC Economies
The Department of Labour and the APEC Secretariat have recently published a report designed to assist policy makers in the APEC countries cooperate on an area of common interest – youth in the labour market. The report provides the results of an APEC Human Resources Development Working Group project led by New Zealand's Department of Labour that sought to increase APEC economies' understanding of the challenges, barriers and experiences of young people in work. A wide range of issues are covered in the report including workplace issues such as health and safety and employment relations. The report offers a set of conclusions and key challenges, which highlight a number of areas for potential future focus and possible project work for APEC's Human Resources Development Working Group. The report was the outcome of a literature review, a multi-nation survey and a workshop. Research New Zealand was asked to design and conduct the survey and to present the findings at the workshop held in New Zealand on 20-21 May 2010.

The full report may be read or downloaded here:

Alcohol Advisory Council of NZ (ALAC)
Pearls Unlimited – Pacific Peoples and Alcohol
In 2009, Research New Zealand was commissioned by ALAC to develop a comprehensive information resource about Pacific Peoples and alcohol. The resource includes: a concise literature review of major research on Pacific peoples and alcohol in New Zealand; a descriptive review of ALAC's Pacific work; an overview of workforce development and a systematic list of active plans and strategies (with components relating to alcohol and/or Pacific Peoples) produced by other New Zealand government departments and relevant non-government agencies. While the resource is intended primarily for internal use within ALAC, it also provides a platform for external stakeholders and others with an interest in reducing alcohol-related harm among Pacific Peoples.

The report may be read or downloaded here:

State Services Commission
Kiwis Count 2009: New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services
State Services Commission has now released the 2009 report on New Zealanders' satisfaction with public services. This is the second of two such studies, the first benchmark study being conducted in 2007.

Research New Zealand conducted the fieldwork for the survey, which was carried out using a combination of postal and on-line interviews. Some 3,354 interviews were obtained of which 580 were completed on-line. An appendix dealing with the technical aspects of the survey was prepared by the project team and is included in the main report as Appendix II.

A summary report may be read or downloaded here:

The main report (Kiwis Count Survey 2009 - Technical Report), may be read or downloaded here:

Te Puni Kōkiri
Health of the Māori Language
In 2006 Research New Zealand undertook a major study of the Health of the Māori Language. In total 3,858 respondents were interviewed face-to-face in their homes. The sampling frame covered 85.5% of the Māori population. The remaining 14.5% could not be included in the sampling frame because of the high cost of travelling to the most remote parts of the country. Households were selected on the basis that at least one member was enrolled in the Māori Electoral Roll or identified as Māori on the General Roll. Within households one or several persons (depending on the size of the household) was selected at random and invited to participate in the survey, provided they had identified as Māori in the 2006 Census.

To download the report, please click here.

Te Puni Kōkiri
Current and future broadcasting and e-media preferences of Māori youth
In 2008 Research New Zealand undertook qualitative research to identify and understand the Māori language and cultural broadcasting and e-media content of interest and the broadcasting and e-media devices young Māori would prefer to receive Māori language and cultural content on – today and in the future.

To download the report, please click here.

Te Puni Kōkiri and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage
New Zealanders' Use of Broadcasting and Related Media
A survey was commissioned to inform future broadcasting policy development, such as the management of broadcasting funding, and the appropriateness of the regulatory regimen for broadcasting, telecommunications and content standards. In addition, Te Puni Kōkiri commissioned the survey to inform the prioritisation of policies and programmes aimed at protecting and promoting the Māori language and culture in the broadcasting and e-media environment. The survey was undertaken with a national sample of n=1,827 New Zealanders, 15 years +. Māori and youth (aged 15-24 years) were over-sampled for analysis and reporting purposes, with results weighted at the analysis stage to ensure the sample was representative of the total population of people aged 15+.

To download the report, please click here.

The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand 
Monitoring New Zealanders drinking behaviours 2007-08
The latest report covers the monitoring programme undertaken in September 2007, December 2007 and March 2008. Previous reports covered four quarters. The sample size and sampling errors, which take into account the design effect due to non-proportional sampling,  for particular subsamples, are as follows:

Adults only (18 years and over) n=1,353 – maximum sampling error = plus or minus 3.5%
Young people (12 – 17 years) n=913 - maximum sampling error = plus or minus 3.7%.

Where appropriate, results have been compared to the results obtain in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Comparisons have only been made where they are statistically significant.

To download the reports, please click below:

Ministry for the Environment
Household Sustainability September 2008
The Household Sustainability Survey 2008 provides a 'snapshot' of New Zealanders' attitudes and behaviour with regard to being environmentally sustainable. Subjects of the survey include: using water efficiently; organic waste reduction; managing electrical waste; energy efficiency; transportation; building and renovating sustainably; and taking sustainability into account for purchasing decisions.

The survey also updates the results of the Household Sustainability Benchmark Survey, which was completed in November 2007.

To download the report, please click here. To download the supplement (questionnaire, pre-notification letter and detailed tables) click here.

Families Commission
Attitudes to parenting
A report based on a survey of n=500 New Zealanders, showing the need to value and support parents in bringing up children, one of the most important roles anyone will ever perform.

Ministry for the Environment
Household Sustainability - Benchmark Survey 2007
A report based on a benchmark survey of n=1,000 New Zealanders' attitudes and behaviour towards acting sustainably. Areas investigated include 'lighting and heating in the home', 'waste', 'water', 'food and general products', 'major household renovations and building' and 'transportation'

Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand (ALAC)
The Way We Drink – The current attitudes and behaviours of New Zealanders (aged 12 plus) towards drinking alcohol
(NB: In viewing this report, you will be taken to the ALAC website.)

Industry New Zealand
Promoting a Business and Enterprise Culture in New Zealand – The Research Results June 2003 (194KB)

Ministry of Education
Te Reo Māori in the Mainstream Professional Development (PD) Pilot Programmes for Primary School Teachers

Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Health contracted Research New Zealand and T&T Consulting to carry out the Smokefree Pregnancy Evaluation which was completed over a three year period finishing in 2006.

The evaluation was extensive with each phase building on the previous phases. The evaluation involved intensive work with five community based health and social service providers. These services, and the evaluation, included a particular focus on service delivery to Māori by Māori. When working with Māori health providers in this evaluation Research New Zealand worked in partnership with T&T Consulting. The evaluation included a scoping phase including interviews with experts and an extensive Literature Review (see below); a Sector Analysis (see below) to describe gaps and overlaps of effort to support pregnant women who smoke; detailed case studies with five providers funded by the Ministry of Health to deliver intensive programmes to pregnant women who smoke; development of Best Practice principles for providers (see below) and an overarching analysis of all the evaluation findings and recommendations for the Ministry.

The findings were presented at an international conference 'Oceania Tobacco Control Conference (see the presentation below).

Smoking in Pregnancy Literature Review – Summary Report (260Kb)
Smoking in Pregnancy Literature Review – Full Report (1.2Mb)
Overview Smokefree Pregnancy Services – Final Report (711 KB)
Best Practice in Smokefree Pregnancy Services – Final Report (1.3 MB)
Oceania 07 Evaluation Intensive Programmes Pregnant Women who smoke – Presentation (1.7 MB)

A related product developed the following report template:
Smoking Cessation Reporting Template (SCSRT)

The Learning Centre Trust of New Zealand
Information Communications Technology in New Zealand Schools 1993-2003 (792KB)


Conference Papers

In 2006, Research New Zealand decided to sponsor its own research into the small business sector. The overarching objective of this project was to help government agencies and corporates better understand how to successfully engage with small businesses. It is for this reason that we named the project, "Shattering the Myth that small businesses are little big businesses".

Over the last two years, as time has permitted, we have worked away at the three stages of the project: a literature review to identify other research that had been completed on this topic, a qualitative study to understand why people are motivated to become small business owners, and a survey of the sector.

Early this year we completed the third and final stage of the project, the results for which will be published shortly. In the meantime, Mark Johnson (a Partner at Research New Zealand) has used a section of the results to inform a paper he recently presented at the 2008 anzea conference in Rotorua.

To view or download the report (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader), please click here.

The following paper was presented at the ESOMAR (World Association of Research Professionals) "Public Sector Social Research Conference – Connecting policy makers and the people – the citizen focus", held in Berlin (Germany), 9-11 May 2004.

The Way We Drink – the development of a social marketing and public education programme to promote "more moderation and less harm" among New Zealand drinkers (393KB)

Jointly presented by Pete McMillen, Research Director, BRC Marketing & Social Research, and Sandra Kirby, Group Manager Population Programmes, Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand.

For more information please view the published Executive Summary on the ALAC website, or contact Emanuel Kalafatelis or Sandra Kirby.

A copy of all conference papers on CD-ROM can be ordered from (click on "Just Released!" from the "Publications" pull-down menu).

The following paper was presented at the "Connecting Policy, Research and Practice – The Social Policy Research and Evaluation Conference 2003" held in Wellington in April 2003.

Evaluation of a Maori Smoking Cessation Programme (2.3MB)

Presented by Anne Dowden, Research Director – Evaluation.
For more information please contact

The following paper was presented at the "Connecting Policy, Research and Practice – The Social Policy Research and Evaluation Conference 2003" held in Wellington in April 2003.

Survey of Attitudes Towards, and Beliefs and Values About, the Māori Langauge (98KB)

Presented by Emanuel Kalafatelis, Director.
For more information please contact

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