Sports, family our favourites

Most Southlanders prefer to spend time with family and play and watch sports, according to new research.

The Vodafone What Kiwis Love study, conducted by Nielsen, surveyed more than 1500 New Zealanders aged over 15.

The results showed nearly 17 per cent of Southlanders preferred to spend their free time with their family, while one in six Southlanders ranked sport as their favourite thing to do.

Among the other top five free time activities preferred by the people surveyed were spending time with friends, reading and gardening.

Southlanders spoken to on Esk St yesterday reinforced the findings.

David Valli said depending on the weather, fishing, motorcycle riding or general property maintenance might be on the agenda.

"It depends if it's raining. I look after the property on a typical day off," he said.

Kevin O'Connor said he spent his spare time playing outdoor bowls and looking after his grandchildren.

"I've started playing outdoor bowls, and I'm really enjoying that. Family is important. My grandchildren keep me active. I take them to Splash Palace and Queens Park," he said.

Cheryl Anderson said the weekends were for spending time with family, often in shared activities.

"The weekends are a time you spend together - going on trips.

"During the week, you don't get to," she said.

Registered psychologist Sara Chatwin said the research showed much about Southland culture.

"Family receiving the top spot is a great result and speaks volumes about the commitment people from Southland have to family time."

Vodafone consumer marketing general manager Aaron Beckman said southerners were eager to share their personal stories in the survey.

"It was clear from the results that people from Southland love talking about thier favourite things and reliving these experiences, delivering wonderful insights that truly reflect what Kiwis enjoy doing the most."