7 Mar 2021

Protection against Covid-19 ranks as NZ's biggest issue

From Sunday Morning, 10:44 am on 7 March 2021

Fifty percent of New Zealanders surveyed in Research New Zealand's latest poll have ranked Covid-19 as the country's most pressing issue, followed by the availability of affordable housing and economic stability. 

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Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers, Dom Thomas, Supplied / Ministry of Health, RNZ / Dan Cook

Research NZ Managing Partner Emanuel Kalafatelis said the survey aimed to guage how important other issues were in addition to the pandemic.

"Covid, not surprising, is our big worry: 50 percent of our respondents identified that as the most important issue at this time. 

And 75 percent said it was one of the important issues currently.

Coming in at a close second was housing.

"The availability of affordable housing ... was the number two most important issue of this time.

"And that was followed by economic stability, I guess that's connected to the Covid-19 situation.

"Quickly after that came child poverty ... we had in the vicinity of 90 percent if not more of our sample identifying those issues as being important."

He said all the issues were at about the same level.

Following those were issues around crime, being paid a living wage, job security and climate change. 

Kalafatelis said 85 percent of female respondents believed it important for New Zealand to take action to limit climate change compared with 75 percent males.

"There are five things that 50 percent of people are doing: recycling (82 percent), hanging up clothes to dry (80 percent), washing clothes in cold water (70 percent), changing to energy-efficient light bulbs (65 percent), reducing organic waste and rubbish (58 percent), and buying local produce (57 percent)."

And a third were eating meat-free meals, many people were walking or cycling more, he said.

Research New Zealand’s social polling of New Zealanders’ opinions about current issues

Photo: Research New Zealand