Perceptions of Chinese People in New Zealand Towards Nature and Possums
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This study explores perceptions of Chinese people in New Zealand toward nature and the environment, particularly towards possums, an introduced pest species that people have been trying to eradicate from New Zealand for decades. Perceptions of possums by Chinese people and other people living in New Zealand have been compared and contrasted in the study as well. Chinese people who have never been to New Zealand were excluded from the research. Before the research, previous research studies on topics relating to public perceptions of various ethnicities towards nature or pests in New Zealand, were investigated as supportive backgrounds for this study. Only a few studies were found. Out of those studies, there were either no Asian people separated as one ethnic group, or they were under-represented. This research, through the combination of quantitative survey research and qualitative research interviews with Chinese academics in New Zealand, has deduced that: Chinese people in New Zealand have no less knowledge about possums in terms of their effects than New Zealand people have; also, Chinese people have more neutral perceptions towards possums compared with those of New Zealanders.
However, as the survey received rather limited respondents, even with the complementary data from qualitative interviews with Chinese academics, we cannot conclude that the survey results represent all the Chinese people in New Zealand. My small non-representative sample was of people with higher average education and with more outdoor activities than the Chinese population in New Zealand as a whole. As a case study, this research can still help guide future research in New Zealand in terms of differences between ethnicities and quantitative research surveys. Further research could focus on using quantitative research methods with available data in New Zealand, to differentiate the perceptions among different ethnicities, in order to help future policymaking and policy execution.