A third of Kiwis believe in UFOs. Photo from ODT files.
A third of New Zealanders believe aliens have visited
Earth and a majority think psychic powers exist, a study has
One thousand respondents were asked by UMR Research if they
believed "that Earth has been visited by UFOs from other
About 33% said they did, and Maori (42%) and Pasifika (40%)
were more likely to believe.
The number of believers is greatest among the 30 to
44-year-olds at 36%, and drops to 26% among those aged 60 and
Graeme Opie, a sighting investigator and researcher for the
Ufocus New Zealand Research Network, said: "According to
reports, the number of Americans that believe in
extra-terrestrials and life on other planets is quite high
too, so it isn't too surprising that many of us here believe
in UFOs." The veteran Hamilton traffic controller and pilot
adds, "I can say with near certainty that UFOs have been to
Earth ... and there's plenty of literature to back this
belief." Sightings in New Zealand include events such as the
Kaikoura lights, the Ngatea landing-site mystery and the
Gisborne UFO event of the late '70s that included sightings
of silver-suited humanoids in the Waimata Valley.
The UMR survey also found 55% believed that at least some
people have psychic powers such as ESP.
Women (67%), over-60s (63%) and Maori (60%) were more likely
than others to be believers.
Six in 10 - 72% of women and 52% of men - believe in the
existence of God or a universal spirit, and 57% believe in
life after death. That belief declined with age, falling from
65% among under-30s to 49% among over-60s.
A quarter believed astrology could predict people's futures.
- Lincoln Tan