New Zealanders’ Perceptions of
Asia and Asian Peoples 2016

The Asia New Zealand Foundation has been investing in this annual survey since 1997. The survey is a temperature check of the self-perception of New Zealanders' knowledge of Asia. This work represents almost 20 years of data and it reveals a great deal about New Zealanders’ readiness and ability to engage and succeed in Asia.


This report presents the results of a survey of the general public in New Zealand, conducted during late July and early August 2016. The survey interviewed a random sample of 1,000 New Zealanders aged 15 years and over. The results have been weighted so they are representative of New Zealanders by key demographics such as age, gender, household size, ethnicity, and location.

The following topics, issues, and media reports occurred shortly before survey fieldwork and may have contributed to New Zealanders’ perceptions:

  • Media reports of increased migration in 2016
  • Media reports about an increase in tourist numbers from China
  • The average house price reaching $1 million in Auckland
  • Asian property speculators supposedly influencing this increase in house prices
  • The Brexit vote, when just over half voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union
  • News about free trade agreements with China, Indonesia, and other Asian countries

It should be noted that survey fieldwork occurred during the presidential campaign in the United States of America. However, fieldwork was completed before the election of Donald Trump as President.

Read the full report