A recent Primary Purpose online survey shows that over the last few years New Zealanders' overall attitude towards the primary industries has been on a positive trajectory.
This early December study demonstrates that the majority of New Zealanders feel favourable towards the primary industries.
The main reason for the positive result (expressed by 32 per cent) was the belief that farmers are critical to the economic wellbeing of New Zealand in providing jobs and exports.
"Farmers provide profit to our economy, job growth and are the backbone of exports for this country," a West Auckland respondent wrote.
The next most common theme (25 per cent) was the essential role farmers play in providing New Zealanders with quality, safe and locally produced food.
"Farmers are doing the mahi to feed us," a South Auckland respondent wrote.
"Even in a pandemic there is no shortage of food," a Central Auckland respondent wrote.
The horticulture industry continues to receive a strong positive rating from New Zealanders with 67 per cent declaring a positive view compared to only 4 per cent (9 per cent less than 2020) with a negative view.
The vast majority (81 per cent) of older New Zealanders (aged over 60 years) declared a positive of view of the horticulture industry.
Even though the ratings for pastoral industries sheep and beef and dairy farming have slipped from the 2020 result they both remain in positive territory and higher than recorded in 2019.
There also continues to be substantially more New Zealanders on the favourable side of the fence for pastoral farmers.
Fifty-eight per cent (down 5 per cent) of New Zealanders held a positive view of sheep and beef farming compared to only 13 per cent with a negative view.
A similar number 55 per cent (down 5 per cent) held a positive view of dairy farming compared to only 16 per cent with a negative one.
For deer farming the figures were 43 per cent positive and 14 per cent negative, however, 43 per cent felt either neutral towards this industry or were unsure about it.
"We believe this data provides a positive contribution to the discussion about the urban-rural divide, especially as it shows the majority of New Zealanders have a positive view of our food and fibre industries," research and insight lead at Primary Purpose, Marc Elliott said.
These results are from an online nationally representative survey of n= 1,006 New Zealanders aged 18 years and over.
The margin of error for a sample of this size for a 50 per cent figure at the 95 per cent confidence level is ± 3 per cent.
- Primary Purpose is a design-led strategy, research, and advisory firm, specialising in agriculture, food, and natural resources.