Natasha Zimmerman –
How different are Kiwis?

Insights from Winsborough’s New Zealand Norm Group
new zealand-topographic-map

Technical Summary of NZ Norm

Natasha Zimmerman

Author: Natasha Zimmerman

At Winsborough, we are always interested in innovating and embracing emerging lines of thought around the way we do business. Bringing the Assessio personality tool to the New Zealand market last year aligned us with the latest science around personality and its impact on workplace behaviour.  

In doing so, we always want to ensure our tools are contextual to Aotearoa and our unique population make-up. Simply put, we want to be able to help people who take our assessments understand where they stand with everyone else in Aotearoa, and assure New Zealand organisations that our tools are locally relevant.

Over the past year, we’ve been working to build a New Zealand norm group to allow organisations to choose whether they want to have their assessments compared to the New Zealand population or a global population. With a sample size of over 700 working adults, we were able to draw some meaningful inferences from the analysis. 

So, what did we find? 

In comparison to the existing global norm, there were more similarities than differences. Across all of the values and risk behaviours assessed by the tool, there were no statistically significant differences between the New Zealand norm group and the global norm group. This underscores the Big 5 personality premise that we see more differences from person to person than we do from culture to culture.  

At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge where differences do emerge. Among the Big 5 personality traits measured by the daily style assessment (MAP), there were two key areas in which the New Zealand norm group differed from the global norm group. The New Zealand norm group profiled as being lower in both Conscientiousness and Emotional Experience. 

The variation in Conscientiousness suggests that Kiwis may be slightly less detail-focused and process-oriented, as well as more flexible and open to change than our global counterparts. This is in alignment with previous research comparing values across cultures which showed New Zealander leaders to place less emphasis on stability, predictability, and planning ahead than other leaders around the world.

Likewise, the difference in Emotional Experience would point to New Zealanders being more coachable and open to feedback, while also wearing stress more visibly and being attuned to what could go wrong. 

What’s Next?

While we can only make assumptions about the reasons for these slight differences without deeper research, having a New Zealand-specific norm in place ensures that when you receive a personality assessment, you’ll be accurately compared to your peers in Aotearoa. What do you make of these differences between New Zealand and the global population? 

If you're keen to gain a comprehensive understanding of your personality in comparison to other Kiwis, we’d love to hear from you. Our assessments are administered through our user-friendly web platform, Ka tipu te Rangatiratanga (the Sprouts of Leadership), and include a personalised debrief by a Winsborough consultant. We’ll help you make sense of your results and uncover the story of what it means for you. 

We are delighted to have an established New Zealand norm, but we won’t stop there. In the coming months, we will continue to expand our norm population and progressively re-evaluate to ensure its continued relevance and insight into the unique personality dynamics of Aotearoa.  

Need more information? Contact the Winsborough Team:
winsborough.co.nz | 0800 222 061 | support@winsborough.co.nz