Being a small nation does, I suppose, provide certain advantages. Having said that, cultural differences do come into it, New Zealanders are less afraid of central government introducing legislation to ensure stuff gets done. We have publically funded healthcare, for example, however my family does have helath insurance, and I've made use of it in the past, because it means being able to bypass multi year waiting queues for 'optional' surgery. In New Zealand, we have a number of initiatives being driven by the central government to encourage things like better home insulation, and more efficient heating in an effort to reduce energy consumption. Addendum: Much of NZ's power supply comes from Hydro projects in the South Island, unfortunately, Rainfall in NZ is very susceptable to the ENSO weather pattern, the end result being that at times the Hydro lakes start running dry, and NZer's have to save power or face rolling blackouts, and we do it, IIRC the goal is 10%, with a number of incentives offered by power companies, and even institutions such as radio stations (in the form of competitions to see who can save the most power).