Faith and belief in Aotearoa, New Zealand

The 2018 Faith and Belief in New Zealand report, commissioned by the Wilberforce Foundation, explores attitudes towards religion, spirituality and Christianity in Aotearoa, New Zealand. The purpose of the research is to investigate faith and belief blockers among New Zealanders and to understand perceptions, opinions and attitudes towards Jesus, the Church and Christianity.

TheFaith and Belief image research was undertaken during March and April 2018 and the full report was released in May 2018. The report is a resource for faith-based organisations, policy makers, academics and others interested in how faith and belief is expressed in New Zealand. Alongside the report is a summary info graphic that brings together some of the findings of the study, presented in a visual form.

The report is available here and we would welcome it being shared widely to help stimulate discussion and debate. Similarly, we would appreciate any feedback on the report, including suggested areas for future research.  The Wilberforce Foundation is happy to provide additional support, including presentations, facilitated discussions and presenters. Print resolution versions of all resources are available, please get in touch if you would like to use.

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Full report front image

Infographic image







Full report download PDF                                                      Info graphic download PDF

Summary presentation of report PPTX

The research methodology we used

The research was undertaken by McCrindle Research, an established Australian based research and communications agency which has undertaken similar studies on faith and belief in Australia in 2011 and 2017. You can read more about the Australian studies on their website here.

ChristiansMcCrindle used both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore Kiwi perceptions, attitudes and beliefs including a nationally representative survey, focus groups and an analysis of census data. The online survey was completed by 1007 Kiwi’s who were representative of the population by gender, age and religion.

The survey took place in March 2018. To add further depth to the survey findings, three focus groups were run , comprised of people from the three key generations (Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers). For reasons of comparability most of the questions are common to the New Zealand and Australian surveys.


About the Wilberforce Foundation

The Wilberforce Foundation was founded in 2008 to support faith-based organisations wishing to make a difference in New Zealand society.  The Foundation takes its inspiration from William Wilberforce  (1759-1833) and the Clapham Community, a diverse community which worked together for many decades and helped lead significant social reform in areas such as the slave trade, indigenous community rights and prison reform.

The philanthropic activities of the Foundation include:

  • Supporting the growth of faith-based organisations
  • Supporting efforts to better understand the development of the New Zealand story
  • Leadership development including the Public Square
  • Organisational capability development
  • Social and impact investment

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you. If you would like more information or would like to talk about how we can partner on using this study further, please contact us below.

Wilberforce Foundation at:

McCrindle Research Pty Ltd at: