The early December study, carried out by specialist agriculture advisory firm Primary Purpose, shows that the majority of New Zealanders feel favourable towards the primary industries.
The company says there were a range of reasons driving this view, but the dominant one (expressed by 32%) was the belief of how critical farmers are to the economic wellbeing of New Zealand by providing jobs and exports.
The next most common theme (25%) was the essential role farmers played in providing New Zealanders with quality, safe and locally produced food.
The survey also found that the horticulture industry continues to receive a strong positive rating from New Zealanders. Some 67% of respondents declared a positive view of the sector compared to only 4% (9% less than 2020) with a negative view. The vast majority (81%) of older New Zealanders (aged over 60 years) had a positive of view of the horticulture industry.
Primary Purpose says that even though the ratings for sheep and beef, and dairy farming have slipped from the 2020 result – they both remain in positive territory and higher than those recorded in 2019.
“There also continues to be substantially more New Zealanders on the favourable side of the fence for pastoral farmers,” it adds.
The survey found that 58% (down 5%) of New Zealanders held a positive view of sheep and beef farming – compared to only 13% having a negative view. A similar number 55% (down 5%) held a positive view of dairy farming compared to only 16% with a negative one.
“We believe this data provides a positive contribution to the discussion about the urban-rural divide,” says Primary Purpose research and insight lead Mark Elliot.
“Especially as it shows the majority of New Zealanders have a positive view of our food and fibre industries.”