Young Kiwis see bright future for themselves, but not NZ
NZPA | Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Young New Zealanders aren't all that impressed by the world around them but they have plenty of confidence in themselves, according to a new survey.

In the Youth Confidence Index, commissioned by ASB bank, market research company 18tracker polled more than 2000 people aged 14 to 29, between March and November this year.

ASB head of marketing Jonathan Symons said 70 per cent of respondents thought life for young New Zealanders was going to get worse in the future, or at least stay the same. However, when asked about where their own lives specifically were headed, the attitude was extremely positive.

"This could mean that while youth are quite cynical about society in general, personally they are very confident about the path they are choosing for themselves," Mr Symons said. He said high petrol prices and the cost of living could be behind the fact that only 27 per cent of respondents thought the future was looking good.

However, summer holidays and warmer weather might trigger a turnaround, he said. And yet young New Zealanders appeared to be a very unmaterialistic bunch, with travel and home ownership coming second to family and relationships.

Asked to rank a list of priorities, spending time abroad and buying a house came in well below getting married and having children. This could be a reflection of strong family ties, as respondents gave their relationships with parents an average mark of 7.8 out of 10 - with 10 being "fantastic" and zero "not the best".

University students indicated that voting and having a say in things were increasingly important to them. "It will be interesting to see if this means more people will turn out at the voting polls in years to come, or maybe it's just be a reflection of the prominence of student politics," Mr Symons said.