Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon

The New Zealand Consumer Lifestyles survey is a research programme that has been carried out by the Department of Marketing, University of Otago, since 1979, with surveys conducted in 1979, 1989, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2013 and 2020. The study is a lifestyles segmentation (Plummer 1974), designed to provide insights into the attitudes, consumption patterns and choices, and behavioural trends of New Zealand consumers. For each survey, approximately 400 individual questions are used to collect information from consumers about their attitudes, interests, opinions and activities. Over the iterations of the New Zealand Lifestyles survey programme, many questions have remained the same for comparison purposes, however new questions have been added to represent changing norms, technologies and behaviours.

Data for the current Consumer Lifestyles study (Challenge, Constraint and Commitment to Change) was collected from 1640 individuals in late 2020 using an online panel questionnaire covering a range of psychographic, consumption and lifestyle questions. The study identifies six lifestyle segments which are defined according to their psychographic, attitudinal and behavioural characteristics: Educated Liberals; Financial Strugglers; Contemporary New Zealanders; Uncertain Young; Traditional Family Value; and Disengaged. The discussion of the segments provides a number of new and useful insights into the contemporary world of the New Zealand consumer.

The Lifestyles Research Group is based in the Department of Marketing at the University of Otago and comprises Associate Professor Leah Watkins, Professor Rob Aitken, Associate Professor Kirsten Robertson, Dr John Williams and Professor Maree Thyne.

Associate Professor Leah Watkins' area of academic interest lies in Marketing and Society, including research on culture, values, lifestyles, ethical business/consumption, and consumer socialisation.

Professor Rob Aitken's academic and research interests include marketing ethics, advertising, branding, consumer behaviour, service-dominant logic, corporate social responsibility, communications and the media.

Associate Professor Kirsten Roberston's research interests include consumer behaviour and public policy, in particular in relation to food, alcohol, cannabis and violence.

Professor Maree Thyne's research interests include tourist and travel behaviour, particularly in relation to tourist motivations, tourist and resident engagement, cruise tourism and sustainable consumption behaviour.

Dr John Williams' research interests include Macromarketing, Marketing Theory, Marketing Ethics and research design and quantitative data analysis.

New Zealand Consumer Lifestyles report 2020

Challenge, Constraint and Commitment to Change: A New Zealand Consumer Lifestyles Study (PDF)

Related publications 2015-2020

Aitken, A., Watkins, L. & Williams, J. (2017) The Role of Information in Encouraging Sustainable Consumption. Proceedings of the Macro Marketing Conference, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Aitken, R., Watkins, L., Williams, J., and Kean, A. (2020) The Positive Role of Labelling on Consumers' Perceived Behavioural Control and Intention to Purchase Organic Food. Journal of Cleaner Production, 55, p. 120334.

Khalil Zadeh, N., Robertson, K., & Green, J. A. (2017). 'At-risk' Individuals' Responses to Direct to Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs: A Nationally Representative Crosssectional Study. BMJ Open, 7(12), e017865.

Robertson, K., Thyne, M., & Green, J. A. (2018). Supporting a Sugar Tax in New Zealand: Sugar Sweetened Beverage ('fizzy drink') Consumption as a Normal Behaviour Within the Obesogenic Environment. PeerJ, 6, e5821.

Robertson, K., Thyne, M., & Hibbert, S. (2017). Drinkers' Perceived Negative Alcohol-related Expectancies: Informing Alcohol Warning Messages. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 24(2), p. 197-205.

Sen, R., Robertson, K & Watkins, L. (2016). Examining Gender-specific Differences in Demographic Characteristics, Psychographic Characteristics, and Drinking Behaviours Between Drinker Subgroups. Proceedings of the Australian New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Watkins, L., Aitken, R., and Mather, D. (2015) Conscientious Consumers: A Relationship between Moral Foundations, Political Orientation and Sustainable Consumption. Journal of Cleaner Production, 134, p. 137-146.

Watkins, L., Aitken, R., Lawson, R., Mather, D., Robertson, K., and Williams, J. (2015). Change, Challenge and Choice: A New Zealand Consumer Lifestyles Study. [ISBN: 978-1-877156-44-1]

Watkins, L., Aitken, R., Hinder, C., Lawson, R., Mather, D., Paul, A., Robertson, K., and Williams, J. (2015) The New Zealand Consumer Lifestyle Segments. New Zealand Sociology, 30(1), p. 111.

Zadeh, N. K., Robertson, K., & Green, J. A. (2019). Lifestyle Determinants of Behavioural Outcomes Triggered by Direct‐to‐consumer Advertising of Prescription Medicines: A Cross‐sectional Study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 43(2), p. 190-196.

Back to top