Kauri Park students (from left) Isobelle Masters, 9,
Isabella Lundberg, 10, Stella-Rose Pirie-Marsters, 11, Alex
Gordon, 10, Emily Nebbling, 11, William Hawkins, 9, and
James Potter, 9, were among 700 Kiwi kids who took part in
a global survey of children. Photo / Natalie Slade
They may not face many in New Zealand, but Kiwi children
rate dangerous animals as their biggest fear.
And when our kids grow up, they want to be professional
athletes, according to a global survey.
But children in developing countries want to become people
who help meet the the basic needs of their community, such as
teachers, doctors, nurses or dentists.
The third annual Child Fund Small Voices, Big Dreams survey
was released today in conjunction with Universal Children's
More than 6200 children across 47 developed and developing
countries - including 720 from New Zealand - were asked about
their hopes, dreams and fears and their thoughts on the
Despite 60 per cent of Kiwi kids experiencing earthquakes,
they said they were more concerned about pollution than
And when they were asked what they were most afraid of,
dangerous animals trumped violence and crime, the world
ending and the dark.
Alex Gordon, 10, doesn't like spiders - especially when they
get too close or try to bite you.
The student at Kauri Park School on the North Shore said he
also didn't like the dark. But that's because "you can't see
properly so you can stumble into things and hurt yourself",
Violence and crime is the top fear of children in war-torn
developing countries such as Afghanistan (30 per cent) but in
Sri Lanka, children most feared ghosts (40 per cent).
Shona Jennings of ChildFund NZ said Kiwi kids' fear of
dangerous animals was one of the most surprising results of
And when Alex grows up, he wants a part-time job as an actor
and to also be an architect. But classmate Stella-Rose
Pirie-Marsters, 11, wants to be a netball player.
In New Zealand, 18 per cent said they wanted to be a
professional athlete. Children in developing countries,
though, most want to work in medicine.
Kiwi kids v the world
If you could grow up to be anything you wanted, what would
NZ: Professional athlete 18%
All developed countries: Professional athlete 19%
All developing countries: Doctor/nurse/dentist/healthcare
What are you most afraid of?
NZ: Dangerous animals 26%
All developed countries: Dangerous animals 21%
All developing countries: Dangerous animals 29%
If you were president or leader of your country, what would
you do to improve the lives of children in your country?
NZ: Provide for basic needs: food/clothing/shelter 32%
All developed countries: Provide for basic needs:
All developing countries: Improve education/provide
enrichment opportunities 50%
- Amelia Wade, New Zealand Herald