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Are New Zealanders More Evolved Internet Users Than Aussies?
Posted on 22-May-2012 13:29 by Alastair Thompson | Filed under: Articles

Are New Zealanders More Evolved Internet Users Than Aussies?
Last month RMR CEO Michele Levine visited New Zealand to present the latest State of the Nation report for New Zealand. This (admittedly fairly pricey report) features ten years of continuous research into all aspects of human attitudes and activity in New Zealand.

A key theme in Michele’s presentation was the remarkable change in media use over the decade. For this column I dug deeper into comparisons she made between Australian and New Zealand internet use and found a remarkable story.

Internet usage is now ubiquitous. In both New Zealand and Australia 93% of the population have used the internet at least once. More than 56% of people in both countries access it more than once a day. 81% of New Zealanders access it at least once a week (vs 77% of Australians).

This we already knew. What this data rather strikingly reveals however is that New Zealanders are using the web more effectively than our cousins across the ditch. New Zealanders seem to be more evolved.

Almost across the board Aussie use of the internet lags that of New Zealanders. Even amongst the disadvantaged (New Zealanders in lowest 20% socioeconomic band – which takes into account income, education and occupation - use the internet for an hour and 20 minutes more a week than the corresponding wealthier group in Australia), and the elderly (New Zealanders aged over 50 are 36% more likely to be using internet telephony.)

And when we look at online activities we find that New Zealanders use their time on the internet more effectively. Over the past four weeks:

- 50% of New Zealanders (1.7 million) purchased something or sold something online vs 41% of Australians (7.5 million);
- 66% of New Zealanders used the internet for research or information activities (e.g. Google) vs 57% of Australians;
- 52% of New Zealanders used the internet for entertainment or amusement vs 44% of Australians;
- 58% of New Zealanders used online banking or online finance sites vs 51% of Australians;

And remarkably New Zealanders are 30% more likely to have visited a blog or participated in an online community (e.g. Facebook) than Australians.

For all this to be true New Zealanders must be doing more things during the time they spend online.

Australians pay a little more for their internet and use it for around the same amount of time - 14 hours a week on average. 85% of Kiwis now have home internet connections (74% broadband) vs 80% of Australians (69% broadband).

New Zealanders however use the internet at different times. Australians are 17% more likely to have used the internet between midnight and 6am. And New Zealanders are 11% more likely to access it between 5pm and 10pm (i.e. during TV primetime).

Somewhat counter-intuitively given the level of educational expenditure New Zealanders are more likely to be online at school than Australians - 11% vs 10%. Only at work are Australians more likely to be wired 43% to 42% - perhaps reflecting (albeit barely) the higher quality of jobs in Australia.

Finally there is one striking number which shows clear evidence that New Zealanders are more evolved telecommunications users than their Australian counterparts.

Overall New Zealanders are 24% more likely to have used internet telephony (Skype or VOIP). But among the wealthier households that number skyrockets. Among $80k + earning respondents 29% of New Zealanders used internet telephony in the past four weeks – this number is 42% higher than the comparative number in Australia. This seems to show a significant trend for the future of the landline phone connection.

This InterActive Bytes guest post by Alastair Thompson ( first appeared in print on AdMedia. Disclaimer: Scoop Media Cartel is a client of Roy Morgan.

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