Aotearoa New Zealand Public Responses to COVID-19

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Thaker J
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This report is based on findings from a national survey conducted by the School of Communication, Journalism & Marketing—Te Pou Aro Kōrero, Massey University and fielded by Qualtrics. Interview dates: June 26 to July 13, 2020, after New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1. Interviews: 1040 adults (18+). Average margin of error: +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The research was funded by the Massey University. Survey results show one in three New Zealanders impacted by job and income loss due to COVID-19 The findings of a recent nationally representative survey by Massey University reveals one in three New Zealanders or a member in their household lost income from a job or business or had their work hours reduced, as a result of COVID-19. The survey, Aotearoa New Zealand Public Responses to Covid-19, investigated how New Zealanders have been impacted by the global pandemic, including everything from job and income losses, depression, their attitudes towards immigration in a post-COVID-19 New Zealand and their response to Government actions. The Massey University-funded survey was led by two lecturers in the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Drs. Jagadish Thaker and Vishnu Menon. “The purpose of this research was to find out how New Zealanders were coping with the lockdown and some of the flow on effects they are experiencing as a result,” says Dr. Thaker. More than 1000 people completed the survey during Alert Level 1. The findings showed Māori were twice or more likely to say they or a household member had lost a job (20 per cent compared to 11 per cent of New Zealand Europeans—a census category) while 34 per cent were unable to pay monthly bills, more than double New Zealand Europeans at 14 per cent. Almost half of respondents reported having trouble sleeping, experiencing depression, or were cut off from their social networks. A third of respondents also said they had lost money in retirement accounts or investment. Nine in ten New Zealanders think there will be more job losses in the next six months. One of the most surprising findings, the researchers say, was New Zealanders’ attitudes to immigration and tourists coming to the country. More than eight out of 10 New Zealanders strongly supported (88 per cent) stopping immigration from countries that have poorly managed their response to the virus, like the U.S. Meanwhile, seven out of 10 respondents supported reducing immigration and stopping tourists from China.
COVID19, COVID-19, Public attitudes towards COVID-19, Trust, Knowledge about coronavirus, Attitudes towards racism, Health communication, Public health, Government approval