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Plan A or Plan B? A path is chosen in the season finale of What Next?


Throughout the series, What Next? has discussed the disruptive impact of technology, the environment, the economy, increasing inequality, and how we're going to deal with a growing and aging population with finite resources.

With nearly 200,000 responses to questions so far via whatnext.nz - including surprising results such as 76% of Kiwis under-18 expecting to be able to retire one day, and 73% of all New Zealanders calling for a Universal Basic Income Trial - the past four nights have indicated that New Zealanders would like to see a lot of current policy and attitudes change, while some things to stay the same.

In tonight's season finale, co-hosts Nigel Latta and John Campbell looked at the results from the past four episodes and asks New Zealand what path we should take. Plan A? Or Plan B?

Plan A represents the path we're on now with a few tweaks, and Plan B calls for radical change to meet the challenges of a potentially disruptive future. 

On Night One, What Next? asked New Zealand how we should respond to technology replacing jobs, with 71% of Kiwis calling for Plan B. When discussing the future of our environment on Monday, 89% of us want the radical change represented by Plan B. Tuesday's episode dealt with the uncertainty of our economy with 90% of Kiwis choosing Plan B again. While last night's episode looked at the future of our Kiwi lifestyle with 92% of our country once again selecting Plan B.

Overwhelmingly, these results show that Kiwis want change in the way we approach the issues featured over the past four nights. Tonight's questions focused on what we can do collectively and as individuals to achieve those changes. 

Research from The University of Auckland showed that 89% of New Zealanders are proud of our country as it stands today. Nigel and John asked New Zealand: Are you optimistic about the future? To which 77% replied yes. Nigel and John also asked Kiwis if they think we're at a pivotal moment in our history, 84% also said yes.

Nigel and the Futurists discussed some of the new ideas New Zealand has indicated they'd like to see trialled, including a Universal Basic Income. The Futurists called on policy makers to test bold new initiatives and to not be afraid of failure. New Zealand agrees, with 93% of Kiwis thinking we should take risks.

The final question of the night revealed that 90% of New Zealanders believe we can personally influence the future. To create the changes New Zealand has asked for throughout the series, Nigel and John looked at what we can do as individuals to have a country we can continue to be proud of. 

Nigel and John called on Kiwis to connect with their community to form groups, spend money with businesses who are contributing positively to the fight against climate change and inequality, for parents to keep this conversation going with their children, and for young people to make decisions about their career based on insights around the future.

Most importantly, for everyone over the age of 18 to use their vote to select a political party that shares your vision for the future. 

Catch up on tonight's episode at TVNZ OnDemand.

Click here for images from tonight's episode. For interview requests, please contact Dominica Leonard.

What Next? is made with the support of New Zealand On Air and proudly partnered with the University of Auckland.