Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand’s Soft Power: A Strategic Asset for Global Exporters


  • New Zealand’s “soft power” attributes like humanity and sustainability are highlighted in a recent market pulse consumer survey across five major markets, showcasing the country’s strong global perception.
  • Surprising findings include New Zealand’s ranking as the fourth largest space industry globally and its ambitious environmental goals, alongside a solid democratic economy and innovative achievements.
  • The New Zealand Story initiative sees an opportunity to enhance the country’s image further by promoting its scientific, technological, and innovative capabilities to the world.

New Zealand, while not a global behemoth, wields considerable influence on the world stage through its commendable soft powers of humanity and sustainability. These attributes offer fertile ground for compelling marketing narratives, as revealed by the latest New Zealand Story market pulse consumer survey.

The survey, which spanned five key markets and engaged 150,000 consumers, shed light on New Zealand’s perceived strengths in sustainability practices and humanitarian efforts. Conducted in Australia, Singapore, China, the United States, and the United Kingdom, the findings underscore New Zealand’s image as a collectivist, progressive nation committed to the greater good and environmental stewardship.

Joshua Thomas-Goodey, the survey presenter, emphasised New Zealand’s global perception as a country prioritising collective action and nature conservation.

Unexpectedly, the survey also unveiled New Zealand’s significant standing in the space industry, ranking fourth globally, and its ambitious environmental objectives. “These insights paint a picture of New Zealand as humane, collective, creative, and kinda beacon of values currently scarce worldwide,” Thomas-Goodey remarked.

Integrating the Māori value of kaitiakitanga, or environmental guardianship, further strengthens these attributes. The challenge lies in enhancing New Zealand’s reputation in science, technology, innovation, and space exploration to match its existing positive image.

Lucy Alborn, a consultant for NZ Story, noted that consumers were astounded by New Zealand’s innovative prowess. “We have compelling stories of innovation that need wider dissemination,” Alborn stated, highlighting the need to leverage New Zealand’s democratic, diverse, and educationally advanced society to showcase its ingenuity.

Despite the global pandemic’s impact, perceptions of New Zealand as a remote, self-sufficient, yet somewhat isolated country persist, with its natural beauty, relaxed lifestyle, and agrarian culture remaining foundational to its image.

David Downs, CEO of NZ Story, sees this as an opportunity to expand global awareness of New Zealand beyond its established food and fibre exports, emphasising the integration of sustainability values. “Enhancing our global perception can lead to increased value recognition,” Downs explained, viewing the survey results not as a call for a strategic pivot but as an opportunity to enrich New Zealand’s export narrative with its respected values.