19/12/16 - Christmas spending plans, religious significance and shifting summer holidays to February
Every year, around December, we conduct a poll with New Zealanders on a few topics relating to Christmas and the summer holidays. The questions ask about respondents’ spending plans for Christmas presents and the Christmas holidays, whether Christmas has any personal religious significance, and whether they are in favour of shifting New Zealand’s traditional summer holiday break from December to February when the weather is more settled.
This year’s poll is based on the views of a nationally representative sample of 272 New Zealanders, 18 years and more.
The key results are:
- Fifty-seven percent of respondents plan to spend about the same amount on Christmas presents this year as they did last year, while 30 percent plan to spend less and just 10 percent plan to spend more.
- One-half (52 percent) of respondents plan to spend about the same amount on their Christmas holidays this year as they did last year, while 29 percent plan to spend less and 14 percent plan to spend more.
- Thirty-six percent of respondents said they were in favour of moving the summer holiday period from December to February, while one-half (56 percent) were not in favour and eight percent were undecided.
- Over one-half (52 percent) of respondents stated that the Christmas period does not have any religious significance for them, while 47 percent stated that it does.
06/12/16 - Fathers avoid discussing relationship issues with their sons
The White Ribbon Trust is an organisation dedicated to ending violence against women. Each year, on the 25th of November, they organise White Ribbon Day, promoting important ideas to help reduce this violence.
In a poll we conducted for the Trust in October 2016, measuring what fathers are comfortable talking to their teenage sons about, less than two-thirds stated they were comfortable talking to them about “the importance of consent and knowing when it is OK or not OK to engage in sexual activity with someone” (61%).
One-in-five then went on to state they regularly discussed this subject topic with their teenage sons (22%).
These are some of the worst results when compared with the other discussion topics that were covered by the poll (e.g. the importance of doing well at school, politics and the importance of voting, managing money and finances in general, finding a job, etc.).
31/10/16 - The majority of New Zealanders support the legalisation of euthanasia
It has been over a year since the passing of Lecretia Seales. A proponent of euthanasia legislation, Lecretia fought a legal battle in 2015 to allow her doctor to end her life without prosecution after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Lecretia’s story sparked a nationwide discourse about euthanasia. Although the issue surrounding euthanasia legalisation in New Zealand has been around for a few years, in recent months euthanasia has received increased media attention.
A recent petition, which has reached 22,000 signatures, is asking for this issue to be put to Parliament once again. Pro-euthanasia groups have also featured in the media in connection with arrests due to possession of drugs that are used in euthanasia in countries where assisted dying is legal. Arguments for and against euthanasia have come from healthcare workers, lawyers, politicians, people with terminal illnesses and the general public.
In order to gauge public opinion and support for the legalisation of euthanasia, we conducted a poll between June-July 2015 with a nationally representative sample of adult New Zealanders. We repeated the same poll this year in October 2016 and found that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents agreed that doctors should be allowed by law to help a terminally ill person end their life, if they requested this. This is similar to the result we found last year.
21/09/16 - 72% of New Zealanders believe overseas investors have impacted the housing situation in Auckland
The housing situation in Auckland has had a lot of media attention recently, with stories of families living in cars and an increasing number of homeless people in the city, while houses remain unoccupied. Some people have suggested that overseas investors are to blame for pushing the prices of housing up to unaffordable levels.
In a recent poll we ran in August 2016, we asked New Zealanders to tell us how much of an effect they felt overseas investors had had on the current housing stock and whether they believed overseas investors should be able to buy property in New Zealand.
The key results are:
- Nearly one-half of respondents (45%) stated that, in their opinion, overseas investors had had a ‘big effect’ on the housing situation in Auckland and another 27% ‘some effect’, giving a total of 72%.
- Most respondents felt that overseas investors should not be able to buy residential property in New Zealand (57%, compared with 36% who felt they should be able to buy residential property).
21/09/16 - Almost two-thirds of New Zealanders believe Mokoís killers deserve a longer sentence
The story of Moko Rangitoheriri’s (or “Little Moko” as he came to be known by the media) tragic death shocked the nation. His killers each recently received their sentence of 17 years. However, it has become known that both of Moko’s killers have appealed their sentence for a reduced jail time.
In a recent poll we ran in August 2016, we asked New Zealanders to tell us if they believed that the 17-year sentence that Moko’s killers received was enough, or if they deserved more, or less.
The key results are:
- Almost two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) believed that Moko’s killers deserved a longer sentence. Another 26 percent felt that the sentence was long enough.
- In comparison, one percent felt the pair deserved a shorter sentence.
21/09/16 - About one-half of New Zealanders disagree with the Governmentís ruling that David Bain should receive compensation
In 1995, David Bain was convicted for the murder of his family in their home in Dunedin, in a case that gained public attention across New Zealand. After spending 13 years in prison and with the help of notable people such as Joe Karam, David Bain’s conviction was overturned and he was released. Earlier this year, the government announced that it is not legally required to pay David Bain any compensation for his wrongful imprisonment.
In a recent poll we ran in August 2016, we asked New Zealanders to tell us if they agreed with the decision that the government was not required to pay David Bain any compensation.
The key results are:
- One-half (48 percent) of respondents reported that they disagreed with the ruling that the government was not legally required to pay David Bain any compensation for the 13 years he wrongfully spent in prison.
- In comparison, 38 percent agreed with the government’s ruling, and another 13 percent did not know whether they agreed or disagreed.
14/06/16 - New Zealandís Housing Shortage
The shortage of affordable housing in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, is becoming an increasingly concerning social issue. Last month, Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith said the government was prepared to elevate New Zealand’s housing issues to a ‘matter of national significance’. In a recent poll (May-June 2016), we asked New Zealanders to tell us who they felt should be mainly responsible for providing affordable housing and what factors were most to blame for the current situation in Auckland.
Most frequently respondents stated central government (75 percent) and/or local government/councils (45 percent) should be responsible for providing affordable housing.
Most respondents felt the housing market driving up the cost of renting was the main cause of the shortage of affordable housing in Auckland (60 percent), and a further 30 percent attributed it to the availability of land.
10/12/15 - Christmas spending plans, religious significance and shifting summer holidays to February
Every year, around December, we conduct a poll with New Zealanders on a few topics related to Christmas and the summer holidays. The questions ask about respondentsí spending plans for Christmas presents and the Christmas holidays, whether Christmas has any personal religious significance, and whether they are in favour of shifting New Zealandís traditional summer holiday break from December to February when the weather is more settled.
This yearís poll is based on the views of a nationally representative sample of 500 New Zealanders, 18 years and more.
The key results are as follows:
- Sixty-two percent of respondents plan to spend about the same amount on Christmas presents this year as they did last year, while 30 percent plan to spend less and just seven percent plan to spend more.
- Just over one-half (53 percent) of respondents plan to spend about the same amount on their Christmas holidays this year as they did last year, while 28 percent plan to spend less and 12 percent plan to spend more.
- Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they were in favour of moving the summer holiday period from December to February, while one-half (53 percent) were not in favour and nine percent were undecided.
09/12/15 - The most significant events impacting New Zealanders in 2015
With 2015 coming to an end, we identified 10 events that occurred this year which were potentially impacting to New Zealand and New Zealanders. These were put to respondents in a poll we conducted in December 2015. Respondents were asked to choose the one that was the most personally significant to them.
The list included events that have brought the nation together (the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, the Rugby World Cup) or caused a stir (the flag debate, rising house prices), as well as events which did not affect all New Zealanders but have the potential to do so in the future - both in New Zealand (dairy pay-outs, weather events, the TPPA) and overseas (terrorist attacks).
The key results are as follows:
- There was no clear winner.
- Six events were identified as being significant by more than 20 percent of respondents. These were (starting with the highest) the increase in terrorist attacks overseas (28 percent of respondents identified this as significant to them), climate change or specific weather events (24 percent), winning the Rugby World Cup (24 percent), signing the TPPA (23 percent), rising house prices (21 percent), and voting on a new national flag (21 percent).
09/10/15 – Should New Zealand adopt a new flag?
New Zealand adopted its current national flag in 1902. In August this year, legislation was passed allowing referenda on changing the flag. The first referendum is scheduled to take place in November this year and voters will be asked to rank five alternative flag designs. The most-preferred design from that first referendum will then go to a second binding referendum in March 2016, where voters will choose between the current flag and the most preferred alternative.
In order to gauge public opinion about changing the national flag, we conducted a poll with a nationally representative sample of adult New Zealanders in September 2015.
The three main results are as follows:
- 28 percent of New Zealanders agree that New Zealand should adopt a new flag. In November 2014, the level of support was 19 percent.
- Amongst those in favour of change, the same poll shows a level of indecision with regard to the addition of the Red Peak design to the four designs initially short-listed. Forty-three percent agree and 45 percent disagree.
- Nevertheless, the Red Peak design (22 percent) and the two silver fern designs with the Southern Cross are the three designs most preferred. Thirty-one percent prefer the silver fern design with the Southern Cross and the black, white and blue colours. In comparison, 23 percent prefer the silver fern design with the Southern Cross and the red, white and blue colours.
24/07/15 – Should euthanasia be legalised in New Zealand
The issue of whether or not euthanasia should be legal in New Zealand has received increased media attention this year. In March 2015, Lecretia Seales, a prominent Wellington lawyer with terminal brain cancer, began court proceedings in order to allow her doctor to end her life, without prosecution.
On the 5th of June 2015, hours before Lecretia Seales passed away, the Judge presiding over the case made his judgement public. He concluded that “the complex legal, philosophical, moral and clinical issues raised by Ms Seales’ proceedings can only be addressed by Parliament passing legislation to amend the effect of the Crimes Act” and urged Parliament to address the issue sooner rather than later.
In order to gauge public opinion and support for the legalisation of euthanasia, we repeated a poll we had first conducted in March between 24 June and 15 July 2015; approximately three weeks after the Judge’s ruling and Ms Seales' death. The new poll found that support for the legalisation of euthanasia had decreased. Three-quarters of respondents in March/April (74 percent) reported that doctors should be legally able to end a patient’s life if the patient requests it, whereas in June/July, 67 percent believed that this should be allowed.
04/06/15 – Trust and Confidence in Members of Parliament
In July 2013, following a number of controversies impacting Parliament and parliamentarians (e.g. a leaked GCSB report, a ministerial inquiry into Novopay, and SkyCity’s extension deal) we conducted a poll to measure the level of trust and confidence that New Zealanders had in their parliamentary representatives compared with a range of other professions and occupations.
Almost two years on, we decided to repeat this poll, by including the same poll question in our regular monthly omnibus survey. Each omnibus survey is completed by telephone and involves a nationally representative sample of n=500 New Zealanders, 18 years of age and over.
Trust and confidence in Members of Parliament was compared with trust and confidence in local councillors, lawyers, journalists and others such as those working in the Ambulance Service, the Fire Service and the Police. Comparing the current results with the 2013 results, MPs have a similarly low trust and confidence ranking (currently one spot ahead of the lowest ranked: journalists); however, between the years, there has been a slight improvement in the percentage of New Zealanders who now have overall trust and confidence in MPs (currently 25 percent).
14/04/15 – Should euthanasia be legalised in New Zealand?
Over the past two months there has been an increase in media attention and public debate surrounding the legalisation of euthanasia in New Zealand. Specifically, politicians, lawyers, healthcare workers, people with terminal illnesses and the general public have been publicly debating whether a law should be passed that would allow doctors to assist terminally ill patients who would like to end their lives.
In order to gauge public opinion and support for the legalisation of euthanasia, we conducted a poll with a nationally representative sample of adult New Zealanders between March and April 2015. For this poll. we decided to use exactly the same question wording that a Department of Marketing, Massey University survey used in 2008.
The key results are as follows:
- Three-in-four respondents (74 percent) agreed that doctors should legally be able to euthanise terminally ill patients, if that patient has a painful incurable disease and requests their life to be ended. Twenty percent did not agree with this stance and six percent were unsure. This result is comparable to the 2008 Massey University result. Seventy percent of the respondents in that survey agreed that doctors should legally be able to euthanize terminally ill patients, if that patient has a painful incurable disease and requests their life to be ended.
- In contrast, respondents were divided as to whether other people (e.g. close relatives) should be able to help end someone’s life, given a similar situation. One-half (51 percent) agreed, while 41 percent disagreed. Nine percent were unsure. Again, this result is comparable to the 2008 Massey University result. Fifty-two percent of the respondents in that survey agreed that other people (e.g. close relatives) should be able to help end someone’s life, given a situation in which a person had a painful incurable disease and requested their life to be ended.
23/02/15 – Should the Government be closely monitoring people living in New Zealand who have close ties to international terrorist groups?
In November 2014, Prime Minister John Key announced that around 80 New Zealanders are either on a watch-list of people currently being monitored, or on a list of people to be investigated by the Government in relation to international terrorist activity. In his speech on national security, The Prime Minister announced proposed short-term changes to security laws that would allow the Government, to more closely monitor the people on these watch-lists and to suspend or cancel their passports.
Given that these proposed law changes would significantly increase the Government’s surveillance powers, we decided to conduct a poll to gauge public support for these changes. The interviewing for this poll was completed with a nationally representative sample of n=575 New Zealanders, 18 years of age or more, between the 4th and 20th of February 2015, and therefore after the terrorist events in Sydney (on 15–16 December 2014, a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place) and Paris (on the morning of 7 January 2015, at about 11:30 AM local time, two Islamist terrorists armed with assault rifles and other weapons forced their way into the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo).
This poll was piloted in November 2014 with a relatively small sample of n=70 respondents. Despite the relatively small sample, the results for the pilot poll are provided in this report as there are significant differences between the results of the November 2014 poll (before the events in Sydney and Paris) and the February 2015 poll.
Overall, we found that most New Zealanders believed that New Zealanders who have close ties to international terrorist organisations pose a safety risk and should be closely monitored:
- When respondents were asked whether these people pose a threat to the safety of New Zealanders, 67 percent answered in the affirmative.
- A significant majority (85 percent) said that these people should be closely monitored.
12/01/15 – Moving the summer holidays to February
Climate change has had a number of interesting effects, including the fact that the hottest and sunniest summer weather now seems to occur after the New Year, when New Zealanders have returned to work and not, as was previously the case, in the months leading up to Christmas. Consequently, some people have proposed moving the summer holidays to February.
Such a proposal would have a significant impact in just about every aspect of the economy and society. As a result, we decided to repeat a polling question we first asked in 2010 in order to measure current public opinion on this issue. We did this by including the following question in our monthly nationwide omnibus survey between 25 November and 8 December 2014:
Do you believe New Zealand should move its summer holiday period from December to February when the weather is warmer?
Respondents were divided with 48 percent agreeing and 45 percent disagreeing that the summer holiday period should be moved from December to February. A further six percent were unsure and responded that they did not know whether the holiday period should be changed.
However, between December 2010 and November 2014, a significant increase in the proportion of respondents who felt that the holiday period should be moved to February has been observed (48 percent in November 2014, compared with 42 percent in December 2010).