Every year, the ominously named Perils of Perception survey forms a snapshot of how different countries view themselves.
...The most jarring disconnect between reality and wherever New Zealand is, was around the division of wealth. In NZ, the wealthiest one percent of the population control 18 percent of the country's money. But the results showed that the average Kiwi believed the super rich were actually in charge of 50 percent of the nation's cash.
......When asked what percent the wealthy should control, New Zealanders felt they should crank it up to 27 percent.
Topics like immigration, which is extensively reported on, were often seen to be more pressing, and affecting more people, than they were. Survey results showed New Zealanders believe that 37 percent of the population were migrants—the third highest estimate of any country—but in reality it is 25 percent.
The only time New Zealanders demonstrated any glimmer of positivity was when estimating rates of obesity. In fact, when it comes to waistlines, Kiwis are feeling pretty good about themselves. Residents reported thinking that only 47 percent of the population was overweight or obese—unfortunately the real number is 66 percent.
At a glance the results could be viewed as evidence that the population is wildly out of touch, and overly influenced by the media. But the general trend across the data was that New Zealanders have a deeply pessimistic view of themselves. With the exception of the obesity stats—the participants continuously underestimated their own population. For example, they estimated that they had less women in the workplace and political office and fewer people with access to the internet than they actually did.
http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/a-study- ... =vicefbanz
Seems to me to be a reflection of New Zealand psyche (rather than just ignorance) - massively overestimating both how bad things are as well as how shit things ought to be, avoids the situation of coming across as arrogant (tall poppy) and/or naive (small country complex?) - and constructs a reality where you are likely to be pleasantly surprised and can continue to avoid the unpleasantness of complaining.