COVID-19 Conversations week #3 report

9 April 2020


A look at what NZers think and feel after week 3 of lockdown

Throughout the COVID crisis, One Picture has spoken to thousands of New Zealanders from across the country to monitor changing consumer behaviours and attitudes. This week, we remain in level 4 lockdown, but consumer sentiment continues to evolve.

Last week,

we wanted to check in with our neighbourhood as to how they were feeling with COVID-19 escalating in NZ and potential changes to their lives on the horizon. Our three key findings were:

Our three key findings were:

1. Our concern is growing –especially for things out of our control now our families are home safe. But we are starting to gain a sense of what brands are supporting us through this difficult time.

2. We are uncertain and worried about our futures but are trying to look on the bright side, such as appreciating the small things more –think time with family and time to do the things that often go to the bottom of the list.

3. We miss human connection - hugs and handshakes, freedom and spontaneity to go out and do something, personal space. We are now focusing on our most basic human needs and are missing what makes us human: freedom and connection.

This week,

we aimed to dig deeper into what’s changing, taking a closer look at how we are feeling about those sectors that have built us as a nation, and also been affected through this crisis.

Our three key findings were:

1. We fear the impact of COVID-19 on our family’s future prosperity and security more than the virus itself. We fear the unknown and uncertainty of the present, but we do not think ourselves likely to contract the virus.

2. It is believed that the agricultural/ primary sector will now be the returning hero in our economic recovery. We are more interested in going back to the tried and proven rather than the new. But we also know that there is a view that to be globally competitive we also need to be technologically competitive.

3. There is an emerging sense of general anxiety and it’s growingOur anxiety can be directed at many things but mainly it’s about financial security and keeping our jobs.

Learn more from week 2 here

What did our fellow Kiwis tell us this week?

After a week in lock down, it's not the virus we fear. It's the impact on our family's future prosperity and security.

  • 45% are most concerned about the impact Covid-19 will have on their family.
  • 4% of us believe we are likely to contract the virus.

There is a sense of general anxiety and we are uncertain if NZ will have this under control in 4 weeks

We have adjusted to the lock down, and are finding new routines/habits more than ever, living for today and taking pleasure in the small things. We are living in the present, for now. We are also becoming conflicted. Living relatively contently in our bubbles but beginning to fret about what the future holds for us and our families. This is a simmering anxiety and has not yet come to fruition. We are going through the grieving process for our ‘old’ lives; coming to terms with the new normal, finding our locus of control through greater control of what we do have a say over in our own lives

Our anxiety is initiated by many things but mainly it's about financial security and keeping our jobs. 

Our job:

“My and my partners job prospects/ability to continue earning as we have been.”

“Having to close my personal training company if isolation time is extended.”

Our mental health:

“My mental well being - I'm very busy at work (from home) and also trying to look after and educate three kids and just feel stretched thin without my usual support networks and fun activities.” 

“The mental health of myself and others of not being able to go out and enjoy life as fully as we used to be able to.”

Our family:

“My in-laws and parents are over 70 with health issues. We have three asthmatics in our house.” 

“How to keep my family safe from the virus as my daughter and mum have low immune systems.”

Others not isolating:

“Some are just treating this like a holiday... I worry that the isolation period will be extended and that many businesses will never re-open.”

"Other people not sticking to the rules of self isolation and extending the lockdown period, as well as potentially spreading COVID-19 further.”

So, our focus is shifting from short-term to long-term impacts and we see this no longer being an injury but instead a worry about the scar it will leave. When thinking about what brings us joy and pleasure, it’s no longer the ‘light and the immediate’ – we are drawn to what is deeper and more meaningful: that which really matters in our lives. We, in turn, want the brands we are choosing to support through these times to be seen to be supporting us too; a reciprocal relationship. We are turning to those who we believe will be most likely to support and sustain us and our future. Agriculture is a part of us, and we are looking at it with new and favourable eyes. What is it your brand/company can do to support Kiwi’s going forward?

Our Neighbourhood told us that is is the agricultural/primary sector that will be the returning hero in our economic recovery

We are more interested in going back to the tried and proven rather than the new –to look towards what is certain and less risky in a time where we are surrounded by unknowns. It’s a future where we are expecting to be more self-sufficient. But we also know that there is a view that to be globally competitive, we also need to be technologically competitive in a sector that is high value and not reliant on a traditional business model. We are aware of the successes of the Xero’s, Rocket Lab’s, Fisher & Paykel’s, WetaDigital’s, that do it from here in NZ and deliver on a global scale. Right now, we know that technology is the saviour in our own lives – allowing us to work and keep our jobs, connect and stay in touch with those we know and love. This means giving NZerssomething solid and reliable that they can lean on, as well as pointing to that which can take us forward, and keep us going into the future. But all industries will need to play a role moving forward. What role can your sector play in the medium to long-term recovery? 

... And we are now prouder than ever about agriculture

We know that NZ has been increasingly struggling with a rural/urban divide. We know that farmers have been feeling up against it; that the sector that built our country has been challenged, with some farmers feeling as though the country is against them rather than with them–but we can now see a growth in pride and trust in this sector, with 67% of NZers believing farmers play a more important role than ever in helping the NZ economy through this difficult time. There is an opportunity here to rebuild NZers love for the agrisector, to have NZers get behind that which is grown and made here; for NZers to better understand what we farm, how we farm and why we farm. There is also an opportunity for those brands and businesses that work the regions and rural NZ to show that they are getting behind and supporting our farmers –and winning trust in doing so. 

-We are just not yet sure if businesses are in our corner. 45% of us think our companies are supporting Kiwis through this, but 42% are unsure and 57% are sceptical or unsure if companies won’t take advantage and raise prices, whilst 58% believe employers are supporting them. At this time, we are unsure if we trust the business sector. But 78% are looking to businesses to play a leading role in getting NZ through this. Led by the primary sector, we believe all sectors need to play a role. They want to know businesses are doing what they can to keep their people employed, showing fairness and transparency.

So what are we seeing on our business rankings? Those that are feeding and caring for the nation continue to lead the way.

Beyond the usual suspects like ramping up online channels, fair pricing and supporting those in need or those on the front line, we are unsure what this looks like; beyond supporting staff (keeping them employed) and communicating with clarity and transparency. What Kiwi’s crave now from businesses is empathy, clarity, honesty and leadership; demonstrations that business is truly in our corner and that they have a plan. Businesses will soon have the permission and opportunity to lead with actions that are purposeful and focused on helping NZ recover from this. Consumers will in turn support those who are supporting them –essential services that are still here for all consumers.

Questions going forward:

  • What about our homes –have we changed our minds about moving/selling? 
  • What do we think will happen to the housing market? 
  • How are we creating routine and staying well in our own four walls?

We’d love to hear your questions. Be part of the One Picture COVID Conversation.
Please email them to Questions are posted every Friday, with findings available EOB Wednesday. We look forward to you being part of it.

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Tags: Travel & tourism, Wellbeing, COVID19, Lockdown, Insights