New Zealand Country Performance, Brand Image and Reputation

New Zealand: how does this “clean and green” country perform in global rankings that measure talent attraction potential, public diplomacy and soft power strength, environmental sustainability and economic development? Why does the remote island nation have the fame of being a good place for doing business?

Let’s explore how New Zealand shapes its distinctive narrative in the global arena, drawing insights from data provided by TPBO partners and other reputable institutions.

Let’s take a closer look at:

  • New Zealand’s soft power and brand strength
  • Its appeal to skilled labor, investors and visitors
  • The country’s global contribution to peace and wellbeing
  • How well it fares in terms of happiness and sustainability

New Zealand’s soft power and brand strength

How does New Zealand compare in terms of reputation and brand value globally? 

In the Global Soft Power Index 2023 by Brand Finance, New Zealand secures the 26th spot, behind Qatar (24th) and Austria (25th). New Zealand dropped five positions from 2022, although its score increased by 1.5%.

In the U.S. News Best Countries 2023 ranking, New Zealand secures the 8th position, behind Germany (7th) and above the United Kingdom (8th). Notably, Australia excels in three key areas: agility (4th), social purpose (5th) and adventure (7th). New Zealand jumped three positions from 2022, with its lowest scores in power and heritage

The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brand Index (NBI) calculates its ranking based on averaging the scores of six different factors: exports, governance, tourism, culture, people and immigration, and tourism. According to the NBI 2023 ranking New Zealand secures the 14th position, maintaining its positioning from the 2022 ranking.

Talent in New Zealand

Is New Zealand attractive for talent?

The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index 2019 edition placed New Zealand at the 19th position among 141 countries. However, it’s important to note that an updated version of this report hasn’t been released in the past five years, and rankings may have shifted since then.

New Zealand, classified as a high income country within the Eastern, Southeastern Asia and Oceania regional group, currently holds the 18th position in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2023. New Zealand thrives in GK Skills and Enable pillars ranking 11th for both and its main challenge is Vocational and Technical skills (57th).

New Zealand’s environmental performance 

How well does New Zealand perform in terms of environmentally sustainable action-taking?

The 2022 edition of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks New Zealand 26th, sitting in between Japan (25th) and Spain (27th). The EPI analyzes the performance of 180 countries, scoring and ranking these countries on their environmental performance using the most recent year of data available as well as providing calculable changes in scores over the previous decade. New Zealand has experienced a change in score of negative 0.40.

Peace and happiness in New Zealand

Is New Zealand a happy and safe place to invest time and money in?

The Global Peace Index 2023 ranks New Zealand 4th, jumping two positions. Australia sits behind Denmark (2nd) and Ireland (3rd). Australia falls under the very high sector of the ‘State of Peace’ spectrum as defined by the Institute for Economics & Peace. New Zealand is positioned 1st in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Institute for Economics & Peace similarly ranks New Zealand within the medium impact zone in terms of ‘Impact of Terrorism’ in the 2022 Global Terrorism Index. New Zealand ranks 46th, sitting in between Russia (45th) and Cote d’Ivoire (47th). 

Meanwhile, the World Happiness Report 2023 which displays the Ranking of Happiness based on a three-year-average 2020–2022 ranks New Zealand 10th.

New Zealand’s appeal to digital nomads, business, trade and travel

What is the global perception of New Zealand as a destination for living, conducting business, and tourism?

The Expat Insider 2023 ranks New Zealand in 45th position out of 53 countries, below the UK (43rd) and Japan (4th). New Zealand ranks highest in the Environment and Climate metric where it positioned 8th.

The Bloom Consulting biannual Country Brand Ranking Trade Edition 2022-2023 assesses investment-related variables, emphasizing perceptions of a country’s trade-specific brand and evaluating branding performance. Regionally, New Zealand continues to place 2nd. However, globally New Zealand jumped two positions since the previous ranking. According to Bloom Consulting, the country’s success is attributed to increased FDI Net inflows and improvements to its online and social media performance and the country is expected to experience more growth in the near future.

In addition, the Bloom Consulting Country Brand Ranking Tourism Edition 2022-2023 places New Zealand at the 24th global position, sitting between Norway (23rd) and Egypt (25th), demonstrating a jump of one position since the previous ranking. Its success is due to high levels of D2 – Digital Demand © and continuous growth across online and social media performance reports. However, there is room for growth in terms of CBS Rating ©, which fell this time around. Regionally, New Zealand continues to hold the 2nd position.

In the IMD 2023 World Competitiveness Ranking, New Zealand secured the 31st position, maintaining its ranking from 2022. Currently, it sits behind the UK (29th) and Thailand (30th), while surpassing Lithuania (32nd) and France (33rd). 

In terms of specific characteristics, New Zealand’s economic performance decreased by three positions to the 50th spot in 2023. It holds the 21st position for government efficiency, experiencing a drop of four positions compared to 2022. Lastly, New Zealand jumped one position to the 35th position for business efficiency, and jumped one position to the 28th spot for infrastructure.

New Zealand a Good Country?

What is New Zealand’s contribution to global well-being?

In the Caf World Giving Index 2023, New Zealand secured the 10th position, a drop of five positions from last year’s ranking. In terms of specific metrics, 65% of the adult population helped a stranger, 58% donated money and 35% volunteered.

In the Good Country Index, New Zealand currently holds the 19th position overall, with notable subfactors as follows: Science & Technology (14th), Culture (35th), International Peace & Security (17th), World Order (15th), Planet & Climate (30th), Prosperity & Equality (73rd), and Health & Wellbeing (26th). It’s worth mentioning that in 2022, New Zealand was ranked 22nd, and in 2021 it held the 17th position. Showcasing that the country has almost bounced back to 2021 levels.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Democracy Index 2023, New Zealand ranked in the dark blue zone (9-10 range) with a 9.61 out of 10, higher than Australia who scored 8.71.

The 2022 Corruption Perception Index, ranks New Zealand 2nd with a score of 87/100, tying with Finland and sitting under Denmark. New Zealand’s score has decreased by one since 2021.

The Sustainable Development Report 2023 ranks New Zealand in 47th position, it highlights that the country continues to face many challenges across the majority of the goals. However, the Gender Equality factor has reached and continues to be on track with the SDG goal standard.

Last updated in November 2023. More country profiles here.

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