Fewer Kiwis than Australians identify as Christian.
In-depth research into faith and belief across the Tasman published last year found 44 per cent of Australians identify as Christian.
That compares to 33 per cent of Kiwis, according to a new report into New Zealanders' attitudes.
Both reports were prepared by Australian researchers McCrindle using comparable methodology and many of the same questions.
The combined percentage of people who follow a religion or have spiritual beliefs is similar (68 per cent in Australia and 65 per cent in New Zealand).
There's a wider gap between those who have spiritual beliefs but do not identify with a "main religion" – 14 per cent in Australia and 20 per cent here.
The New Zealand report was commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation, an Auckland-based Christian organisation. Its aims were to start a conversation about the Church's role in society with a view to being "invited back to the public square".
• ACCESS THE FULL AUSTRALIA REPORT HERE
Both reports found the Church's "teaching on homosexuality" is the biggest blocker to people engaging with Christianity.
Both found church abuse has the biggest negative impact on perceptions of Christians and Christianity.
Chris Clarke, former chief executive of World Vision New Zealand now advisor to the Wilberforce Foundation, said the similarities were expected.
"Australians are more religious in the sense of formal adherence to particular denominations. New Zealanders are more interested in sampling a lot of faith traditions."
Writer and broadcaster John Cleary, a leading commentator on religion in Australia, said the Church's stance on homosexuality reflected its handling of multiple issues with a bearing on social change over the last 150 years.
"There has been a reluctance from some conservative Christian communities to come to terms with, first Darwinism, then the issue of women – and that's still an issue in Australia, Sydney Anglicans still won't accept the equality of women in the priesthood. Homosexuality is just the latest manifestation of that.
"I think that has had a huge detrimental effect on Christianity."
Cleary said differences between the founders of Australia and New Zealand was at the root of attitudes to Christianity.
"Australia's coming out of a convict background with a sort of aggressively working-class culture, whereas New Zealand comes out of a different history.
"There's a history of education in New Zealand that's produced a range of scholarship that makes the country punch above its weight in some areas and I think that's true across cultural attitudes in New Zealand."
Clearly believed concern about church abuse was particularly strong in Australia and part of a wider issue.
"It's that general lack of faith in institutions that has been exacerbated by the sexual abuse crisis.
"That's also a broad social phenomenon. The loss of faith in institutions probably goes back to the beginning of the 1980s when Ronald Reagan made that famous speech 'Government is the problem'.
"It began a history that was particularly seen in Neoliberal economics of the trashing of institutions and the highlighting of the individual.
"That lack of faith in institutions – it's shown up in membership of trade unions, commitment to sporting clubs. The churches are suffering from that across the board, now that's a non-religious issue but it affects religious communities profoundly."
Cleary said there was hope for the Church, but non-Christians who were open to religious views wanted to see people live their faith.
"Given now that most people don't go to church regularly, the only perception they have of Christianity is what they see. The ground has shifted in both counties quite profoundly.
"The Baby Boomers began to walk away from churches and their children basically decided, 'no, religion's not for me'. You re now getting Generation Z, who are not linked by any sense of history or tradition to religion, and simply saying, 'what particulars you believe is irrelevant, what I assess you by is how you act'."
Cleary believed the Church was paying the price for withdrawing from the public sphere to focus on congregations and their beliefs.
In the last 20 years, the role of many pastors had been to "administer some gentle palliative care to a dying institution".
"That withdrawal from a public sphere has meant that people have no reason to take any notice of Christianity anymore because the only time it ventures into public is when it wants to finger-wave over some sort of moral issue to do with who you sleep with.
"The great religions, including Christianity, have been civilisational, that is they have shaped profoundly the nature of a civilisation and that's not through keeping religion as a private thing. It is saying actually religion is a very, very public thing. It is about how we deal with each other in communities.
"If Christianity is going to go anywhere it has to begin to re-engage with society."