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Fishing has more Kiwis hooked than Rugby

6 Mar 12

Fishing has more Kiwis hooked than Rugby
Fishing: beats them all when it comes to taking part

Rugby is New Zealand’s most watched sport, but fishing has more than five times more people participating.


Rugby is watched by 68% of adult New Zealanders, with 5% playing it.


However, 26% are going fishing (while 28% watch).


The top four most watched sports in the country are Rugby (68% of adults), Rugby league (48%), netball (41%) and motor sport (39%).


When it comes to taking part, the top four activities are fishing (26%), swimming (19%), cycling (11.5%) and snow sports (11.4%).


The results are from a 19-month rolling survey by Horizon Research, interviewing 8,514 New Zealanders aged 18+ between August 2010 and March 2, 2012. Results for the top four sports are from the latest interviews conducted between the end of November 2011 and March 2, 2012.


They survey also reveals sports’ appeal by gender, age and personal income.



Rugby is watched by 70% of men and 59% of women.



Rugby League is watched by 50% of adult men and 43.2% of women.

League has a higher number of followers in younger age brackets, with few watching it as age increases. People with higher with higher incomes tend to watch slightly more League, than those with lower incomes.



When it comes to getting off the couch, 25.5% of adult men and 18% of women go fishing.


Swimming is equally engaged in by men and women (19%), and watched by a similar proportion of both. Participation tends to decrease with age. Of those swimming, 45% are aged 18-24 years.



Men predominantly participate in cycling (17%). Cyclists also tend to be in the 18-24 bracket (29%). By age, participation then drops off, with a small revival among those aged 35 – 45 years (15%) and 45 – 55 years (17%). Participation in cycling tends to increase with personal income, showing a steady rise across all brackets.


A full demographic summary of sports viewing and participation is available from Horizon Research.


Download the spreadsheet here for information on participation and viewing for 19 sports and activities.

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