Update on the national demographics survey of Homeopaths in New Zealand by Barbara Roberts

In 2023 we completed the first national demographics survey of Homeopaths in New Zealand. This is important because it gives us a baseline of who our Homeopaths are, and gives us the opportunity to see where we need to focus our attention to grow Homeopathy in New Zealand.

This is a preliminary report of some of the findings – we hope to publish later this year.

Homeopaths in New Zealand are mostly female (95%) with an average age of 58, and half of all Homeopaths between the ages of 52 and 65. Over 80% of Homeopaths in New Zealand identify as New Zealand European or European.

24% of surveyed Homeopaths lived in Auckland, followed by 14% in Waikato, 11% in the Bay of Plenty, 10% in Wellington and 8% in Northland. Two thirds of Homeopaths working in New Zealand trained in New Zealand.

80% of surveyed Homeopaths are currently practicing, and 76% of Homeopaths work or worked by themselves as a Homeopath.

Three quarters of Homeopaths used at least one other modality for healing in their practice – most common are tissue salts, flower essences, nutritional counselling, herbal medicine, homeobotanicals and kinesiology.

Two thirds of Homeopaths surveyed have another form of income, most commonly admin work, followed by working in other Health Professions, Farming and Retail. Half the Homeopaths were seeing 1-5 clients a week.

The other questions we asked were open questions to assess what areas need attention to advance Homeopathy in New Zealand.

When setting up practice the two biggest challenges were marketing and referrals, and the financial burden of setting up practice. The third biggest challenge was other lifestyle factors – including family commitments and personal health.

The biggest challenge facing Homeopathy as a profession was believed to be the lack of knowledge of Homeopathy by the general public, with 54% of Homeopaths identifying this as a challenge. This survey was carried out after the Therapeutic Products Act was passed, and 30% of Homeopaths identified the Government as a challenge for the profession. (It should be noted the current Government has committed to repealing this Act).

Our final question was about the most satisfying aspects of practicing as a Homeopath. Overwhelmingly this was the ability to help people and animals and support them on their healing journey.

A huge thank you to the NZ Homeopathic Society and the NZ Council of Homeopaths for funding that made this survey possible, and to NaturoPharm Ltd, Simillimum Homeopathic Pharmacy and Radar Opus for providing prizes as an incentive to complete the survey.

Barbara Roberts, RCHom, BPharm (hons), DipHom