New Zealand has a pretty good reputation around the world for being a place of beauty with great people.
But what do we as Kiwis really think about each other and our country?
After the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns of 2020, you could be forgiven for thinking people are a little more pessimistic about life.
But research released today shows Kiwis are extremely optimistic, with living here in New Zealand the main factor behind our optimism.
In research commissioned by Tip Top, a whopping 82 per cent of respondents describe ourselves as optimistic, with 9 in 10 describing New Zealanders as positive people.
Regardless of age, gender and wherever you live in the country, the majority are optimistic.
However, those over 60 are the most optimistic and having children also helps you see the bright side of life.
While Covid-19 has caused havoc around the world, 85 per cent of Kiwis are continuing to strive to be optimistic.
Those surveyed noted three key areas that have given them optimism for 2021.
Eighty-six per cent were positive mostly about New Zealand's natural outdoor beauty, 79 per cent about our response to Covid-19 and 63 per cent about our friendly people.
Just 2 per cent said there was nothing to be optimistic about.
The vast majority of those surveyed also believe New Zealand is one of the best countries on Earth.
Associate Professor Chris Krägeloh of the AUT Department of Psychology and Neuroscience says it appears Kiwis are ready to tackle any more challenges thrown our way.
"Research has clearly linked optimism to wellbeing and happiness. The results of this survey show that New Zealanders appear to be ready for any challenges that 2021 will present".
"Of course, reasons for optimism are diverse, and our predictions for the future are constantly adjusted depending on what we see in the news."
With Kiwis feeling more optimistic today than they were six months ago (half said it had improved), the researchers also asked what they were looking forward to this year.
Community, family time and a Covid-19 vaccine were all named by more than 50 per cent of those questioned.
"It seems that New Zealanders are overall very resilient and perhaps benefited from less disruption to life throughout the 2020 lockdowns than other nations, which would have set them up well for a positive outlook on 2021," Associate Professor Krägeloh said.
"A previous international wellbeing survey showed New Zealand as a relatively reserved nation - less socially inclined than people in European countries. This in turn could have resulted in a less disruptive effect on the social wellbeing of Kiwis last year, and a higher sense of optimism for the year ahead.
"The relatively reserved New Zealanders may thus have coped with lockdown better than people in other countries, but of course that doesn't mean New Zealanders shouldn't get together for an ice cream, connect, and give each other encouragement for the future."
Other findings included:
• 60 per cent of Kiwis are optimistic about New Zealanders continuing to work together on what's important
• 59 per cent are optimistic about a Covid-19 vaccine for everyone
• 55 per cent are optimistic about spending time with family
• 37 per cent say being able to travel to other Covid-19-free countries is what they're most optimistic about
• 4 in 10 Kiwis have made a New Year's resolution – and the more optimistic you are, the more likely you are to have made one
• New Zealanders rate their optimism for the year ahead as a 7 out of 10
The survey was conducted between January 7 and 12, with 750 Kiwis over the age of 18 from around the country taking part.