Monday, January 15, 2007

the 8 tribes of new zealand

came across this interesting insight into new zealand culture today. following is an extract from an article on about a book that has just been released in nz by two PR people, Jill Caldwell and Christopher Brown. '8 Tribes: The Hidden Classes of New Zealand' describes nz culture by grouping nzers into 8 stereotypes. the official website relating to the book is here (nicely done). brilliantly, you can fill out an online questionnaire and find out your tribe here. the full article that this excerpt is from is here...

EIGHT TRIBES: The hidden classes of New Zealand


The ambitious, hard-working, heavily mortgaged inhabitants of the great suburban jungle for whom keeping up appearances is fundamentally important. They survive in the jungle by constantly moving ahead, up through the ranks of job, car, house, street and suburb.
FOUND IN: Suburbs with concentrations of malls, nice cars and plasma TVs - especially north, east and central Auckland, north and west Christchurch, Tauranga, Hamilton.


The highly educated intelligentsia who value ideas above material things and intellectualise every element of their lives. Their most prized possession is a painting by the artist of the moment, they frequent film festivals, secretly wish they had more gay and Maori friends, feel guilty about discussing property values and deep down are uneasy about their passion for rugby.
FOUND IN: Bookshops, cafes and former working-class suburbs with concentrations of renovated villas - especially Grey Lynn, Ponsonby, Pt Chevalier, Mt Victoria, St Albans, Otago Peninsula.


The round-vowelled children of privilege for whom breeding is the greatest virtue, manners really do make a difference, money shows class if it's old but is crass if it's new, and what school you went to defines the rest of your life.
FOUND IN: Leafy suburbs with concentrations of mansions, English gardens and private schools - especially Remuera, Epsom, Karori, Wadestown, Fendalton, Merivale, Maori Hill, Havelock North.


The tribe of the Kiwi heartland, the provincial conservatives, who see themselves as a source of stability and commonsense - solid, reliable and down to earth, but also deceptively smart.
FOUND IN: Small towns, provincial cities and any other area with a concentration of sheep, cows, and utes.

THE RAGLAN TRIBE: Free-spirited

The independent spirits who value the ability to live a life according to their own priorities, not what the boss or society says is important. They can be maverick entrepreneurs, or hedonists, spiritual journeyers, fitness fanatics, adrenaline junkies and adventurers.
FOUND IN: Professions where freelancers predominate, trades where free agents are well paid. Living in city suburbs in the midst of renewal, coastal towns and suburbs, near ski fields and lakes, or in a remote Kiwi bach.


The hipster tribe on the cutting edge of cool, where "new" is the greatest virtue, being labelled mainstream the greatest fear and self-expression the preoccupation. In the 1980s it was the vanguard of espresso, in the 1990s of body piercing and tattoos.
FOUND IN: Bohemian areas of our largest cities attending art schools and the coolest gigs.


Urban, often immigrant, often Polynesian, community-minded people for whom family is paramount and church is likely to play a central social role. The sense of belonging is strong as is the pressure to "do the right thing" and uphold appearances. In our grandparents' generation, many working-class Catholics fitted this profile.
FOUND IN: Areas with concentrations of churches and state housing - especially south Auckland, Porirua, east Christchurch.


Urban working people who revere physical prowess, don't trust anything intellectual, disdain "wankers" and are unwilling to think of themselves as better than their mates - the classic "state house and jug of beer" Kiwis.
FOUND IN: Suburbs and towns with concentrations of car yards, supermarkets and sports grounds - especially south and west Auckland, Hastings, Hutt Valley, south Christchurch, Tokoroa, Invercargill.

my tribe, according to my questionnaire results, is predominantly 'grey lynn' (no surprise there i guess), followed by 'cuba st' (cool), but then surprisingly, i am slightly more 'balclutha' than 'north shore'... something funny there. i would say that i would tend towards 'north shore' by birth - it would seem that life is eradicating that from me.

on the stereo: '0078h' by m83, from the album 'dead cities, red seas & lost ghosts'.


andrew killick said...

hello. quite a few people i know have taken the questionnaire - but no one has been brave enough to post a comment. i can report however, that when white middle class christians (like me) take the questionnaire the results are often skewed towards 'grey lynn'. this is because of christian social conscience and the christian tendency for enjoying debating issues. so i think this is a bit of a glitch in the questionnaire. having said that, a number of my friends that have come out 'grey lynn' are in fact 'grey lynn' (i include myself in this).

Anonymous said...

i came out grey lynn, followed closely by raglan and cuba st. and i actually achieved a negative reading for north shore, which was pretty amusing because i lived at whangaparaoa for 17 years! i was a bit surprised by the grey lynn thing - although i have lived there - you might be right with your comment andrew. i felt most connection with the raglan description (where i was born, funnily enough). and i'll concede that i may be a bit cuba st. at times. there are elements in most of them that i identify with a bit though. it doesn't seem particularly helpful as a tribal identity to me if i can identify with 3 different ones... i wonder what my cat would come out as? keep up the strange work mr. killick.

andrew killick said...

i think that the tribes have some validity, but i think it is much more meaningful to look at which tribe you feel the most affinity with, than to look at what the questionnaire says. this of course fits in with the authors' original intent. they are PR people and have ultimately created a tool that aims to assist public relations and marketing people to define you. from a marketing point of view, it would much more important to know which tribe the target audience had an affinity with or aspired to be like, than to simply catagorise them by their answers. thanks for your comments art.

Anonymous Mike said...

Cuba St. 40%
Grey Lynn 25%
Papatoetoe 20%
Balclutha 15%


matthew said...

I took the test twice as i was not happy with my first one which was raglan, in the second test i got Balclutha followed by raglan again so i guess i must be huh.

Anonymous said...

my cat, the reverend ian paisley: a good balance of tribes. his highest was raglan, the most appropriate points are probably about living life according to his own priorities and that he is a highly sensate and internally focussed hedonist. his second place was papatoetoe, which i can only think he attained due to his general unpretentiousness, as the details don’t seem to fit. because he definitely thinks of himself as better than his ‘mates’. equal third were cuba street and otara. i can’t see how he got cuba st., except for “likes looking weird,” as he often comes in with spots of automotive oil as decorations. i think he only scored well on otara because of his family and neighbourhood connections, which are mostly antagonistic to his own kind, but friendly towards any human neighbours with an open fridge policy. remuera and balclutha were both very low, and negative for north shore and grey lynn.

i probably should point out that he is an inscrutable beast, and because i answered the questions on his behalf, this will only really give his tribe according to me. i'm just waiting for them to redesign the test a bit, so that it is more appropriate for cats...