Inbox: Asia through Kiwi eyes

A recent snapshot of public opinion surrounding New Zealand’s relationship with Asia paints largely positive picture.
When independent thinktank Asia New Zealand Foundation asked research group Colmar Brunton to test the waters once more this year, it found that more than four out of five (83 percent) of us see the Asian region as important to New Zealand’s future.
The group’s report, “New Zealanders’ perceptions of Asia and Asian peoples in 2011”, shows public perceptions of the importance of Asia to New Zealand are now at an all-time high. They continue to outstrip ratings for all other regions. Europe, for example, rated as most important for just 69 percent of the survey’s 1105 respondents. North America: 59 percent.
Colmar Brunton cautioned, however, that surveys reflect the wider context in which they are conducted. This latest research may have benefited from halo effect of positive feelings towards post-tsunami Japan and the warm glow of Rugby World Cup international attention.
When asked whether they think New Zealanders feel warmer, about the same, or less warm towards Asian people compared with the previous 12 months, 21 percent went for the warm factor. Just 12 percent did the previous year.
For full copy of the report: M

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