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The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) is a 20-year longitudinal national probability study of social attitudes, personality and health outcomes. The NZAVS is led by Dr Chris Sibley, and is unique to New Zealand.

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About the study

Chris Sibley talks about the NZAVS

Mission Statement

The NZAVS is a scientific study led by New Zealanders, for New Zealanders, and about New Zealanders. Broadly stated, the study aims to extend our understanding of how people and their life circumstances change over time. Results and publication of all NZAVS data are independent of any specific funding agency or government body.


Overview and Aims

The New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS) was started by Associate Professor Chris Sibley in 2009, and follows the same group of around 18,000 New Zealanders each year. The NZAVS central management team responsible for strategic planning and the day-to-day maintenance of the study consists of Associate Professor Chris SibleyLara Greaves, Dr Danny OsborneAssociate Professor Joseph Bulbulia and Dr. Fiona Kate Barlow. The NZAVS also includes many other researchers from a diverse range of universities and areas of expertise who contribute to the study.  

The NZAVS aims to track changes in various social psychological and health factors over a twenty year period, from 2009 to 2029. The study aims to provide information about how the personality, attitudes and values of New Zealanders may be changing over time. This is important because we currently know very little about how peoples’ opinions, values and levels of satisfaction with their lives may change gradually over time, and perhaps also change rapidly in response to current events in society. Another key aim of the study is to examine how changes in attitudes and values may relate to changes in health and wellbeing over time. Because the annual survey uses repeat respondents, it can track subtle changes in attitudes and values over time, and is becoming an important tool for researchers.

Read more about how the NZAVS got started, and what we hope to achieve in the future.


Sample Details

  • Wave I. In 2009, the NZAVS randomly sampled a total of 6,518 registered voters from the New Zealand electoral roll.
  • Wave II. In 2010, the NZAVS sampled 4,423 people retained from Wave I (retention rate from Wave I = 68%).
  • Wave III. In 2011, the NZAVS sampled 6,884 people, with 3,918 people retained from Wave I and a booster sample of 2,962 new participants (retention rate from Wave I = 60%, wave-to-wave retention from previous year = 80%).
  • Wave IV. In 2012, the NZAVS sampled 12,182 people, with 4,053 people retained from Wave I and a booster sample of 5,108 new participants (retention rate from Wave I = 62%, wave-to-wave retention from previous year = 84%).
  • Wave V. In 2013, the NZAVS sampled 18,264 people, with 3,934 people retained from Wave I and a booster sample of 7,581 new participants (retention rate from Wave I = 60%, wave-to-wave retention from previous year = 81%).  


Participant Confidentiality

Here at the NZAVS we take our participants’ confidentiality very seriously. All personal details are encrypted and stored separately from questionnaire data. Only Associate Prof. Chris Sibley and trusted research assistants working on the NZAVS in secure conditions have access to participants' contact details. Participants’ contact details are used solely for the purposes of contacting them to continue their participation in the NZAVS each year and to provide them with information and feedback about research findings from the NZAVS.


Data Access

A copy of the anonymous data reported in each NZAVS publication is available from Associate Prof. Chris Sibley upon request from appropriately qualified researchers. Such data will be provided with the explicit understanding that it is used solely for the purposes of replicating or otherwise checking the validity of analyses reported in scientific papers analysing NZAVS data.

Anonymous data from the study are also available on a case-by-case basis to appropriately qualified researchers for the purposes of developing novel collaborative scientific research. Such requests should also be directed to Associate Prof. Chris Sibley. Decisions about the provision of data for the purposes of novel collaborative research will be made in consultation with other members of the core NZAVS team. Finally, research reports using anonymous data from the study may also be requested strictly for the purposes of not-for-profit social and health research in New Zealand. 


Contact Details

For more information about the NZAVS please contact:


Associate Professor Chris Sibley


Google scholar profile 

List of Chris' publications

Phone: +64 9 373 7599 ext 87498 

Latest NZAVS news

Look out for the next NZAVS questionnaire in the mail soon!

It’s that time of year again, and data collection for Wave 7 of the NZAVS has started! We will roll out the questionnaire to everyone over the next 6 months. We stagger data collection to try and keep the interval between when each person completes the questionnaire at about one year. So if you completed the last wave of the questionnaire at about this time last year, then expect to hear from us soon. In the meantime, if you have moved, then please let us know ( You can also complete the quesionnaire online. Thanks for taking part in the NZAVS! (11 Nov 2015).


NZAVS research team members awarded prestigious Marsden Fund grant

Congratulations to NZAVS researchers Dr. Carla Houkamau and Associate Professor Chris Sibley, who with Associate Professor Manuka Henare, were awarded a grant from the Marsden Fund for their research project: How great can we be? Identity leaders of the Maori economic renaissance.

This exciting new project will build on the existing infrastructure and expertise of the NZAVS team in conducting world-class longitudinal research to develop a novel longitudinal study of Maori identity and economic behaviour (5 November 2015). 


The NZAVS is 7 years old

The NZAVS is now entering its 7th year. We are now a third of the way through our planned 20-year time-frame. A big thank you from all of us here at the NZAVS to the thousands of participants who have completed the questionnaire each year for the last 6 years! Thank you also to our newer participants who have joined the study as part of our more recent booster sample. It's exciting to think about what the next 13 years may bring for our research project, and what we might discover by looking at change in attitudes and values over this timeframe! (5 November, 2014).


NZAVS research team publish 80th scientific paper!

The NZAVS research team have just published their 80th peer-reviewed research paper. The team continue to work at a prolific rate, and are regularly making new and exciting discoveries using data from the first four years of the study. We are confident that  the most exciting research findings are still to come as we collect more longitudinal data! Read more about our latest findings on the NZAVS Facebook page (11 November 2015). 


New Analysis Shows NZAVS Performing Well

A recent paper led by graduate student Nicole Satherley examined how well the NZAVS is doing at following people over time and keeping people involved in the study from year to year (congrats Nicole!). The analyses reported in this paper show that the NZAVS is healthy and performing well at keeping people involved, with detectable systematic drop out having only small effects. To be able to represent everyone reliably, the NZAVS needs as diverse and broad a range of respondents as possible. Every single person in the study is incredibly important to us, as every single response can help to increase the reliability and accuracy of our analyses. Thank you to all the participants who continue to take part in the NZAVS and who make the study possible! Read the paper online. (22 March 2015).


NZAVS team finish preparation of Wave V data

Maintaining the NZAVS is a huge team effort from researchers all accross New Zealand, and around the globe. Coding and preparation of the NZAVS dataset each year is a big part of our job, and we are proud to announce that Wave V is now offically finished and the data coded and ready for analysis. Stay tuned to read more about the many exciting results from the Wave V NZAVS dataset to follow soon. (17 March 2015).


Congratulations to all NZAVS prize draw winners

Congratulations to the five winners of the NZAVS bonus seasonal prize draw. Everyone who participated in the NZAVS was entered into this prize draw, and we awarded 5 prizes of $200 grocery vouchers each. Prizes were drawn on 15/12/2014, and the winners have been contacted. This year, the winners of our bonus seasonal draw were from Hamilton, New Plymouth, Auckland, Kapiti, and Palmerston North. Congratulations again, and thanks to everyone for taking part in the study! (16 December 2014)


Congratulations to all NZAVS prize draw winners

The NZAVS prize draw for $1000 grocery vouchers for participating in the latest wave of the study was held on Tue 21st October. The winners have been notified and received their prizes. Congratulations to all the winners of our latest prize draw, and thanks everyone for completing the latest NZAVS questionnaire! (26 October, 2014).


Grant to fund research into religion and personal well-being

Drs Joseph Bulbulia, Geoff Troughton and Chris Sibley have been awarded a grant from the prestigious Templeton World Charity Foundation. This grant will sustain a long-term investigation of religion and personal well-being as part of the NZAVS. (18 December 2013)


Dr Joseph Bulbulia awarded a Marsden Fund grant to extend the NZAVS in new directions

Associate Professor Joseph Bulbulia from Victoria University of Wellington has just been awarded a Marsden Fund grant to extend the NZAVS in new directions. In particular, he will add recent migrants and religious/spiritual groups to the sample and follow up on groups who have experienced the Christchurch earthquakes. Because this project will continue over the life of the NZAVS, it will show changes in the role of religion in our everyday lives and create knowledge with enduring benefits for future generations of New Zealanders. (2 November 2013).