That’s the conclusion of a recent poll of the general public conducted for the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Responses to two questions have been released (media release here), with a full report — apparently with findings by age, occupation, personal income, etc — scheduled for December.

Question 1

How important do you think sustainability is in providing New Zealand with a competitive advantage in global markets (for example, in the spirit of the 100% Pure brand campaign)?

Overall, 47% said ‘important’ and another 39% said ‘very important’. Farm owners and managers are the occupational group with the strongest belief that sustainability is important for overseas trade (77% rate it “very important”). Wouldn’t we like to see that belief reflected in farming practices?!

Question 2

Generally, do you think New Zealand lives up to its 100% Pure overseas marketing message?

Totally — 2%
Mostly — 53%

Slightly — 31%
Not at all — 14%

If 45% of us locals are dubious, do you suppose that doubt is being communicated abroad? If you don’t think so, get yourself an RSS newsfeed tracking something like ‘New Zealand reputation’.

As cited by the Business Council for Sustainable Development, Pure Advantage chairman Rob Morrison, whose group of high-flying businessmen — Rob Fyfe, Chris Liddell, Sir Stephen Tindall and Lloyd Morrison among others — want New Zealand to embrace its pure image, said the study reinforced the importance of the brand and the need to better live up to it.

“It’s clear that there is a gap between this 100 per cent Pure brand and reality,” said Morrison. “New Zealand pushes its clean and green credentials more than probably any other country. Environmentally New Zealand stacks up well, but relative is not good enough if you promote yourself the way New Zealand promotes itself.”

Baybuzz will report more from the survey as released.

Tom Belford

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