New Zealand leads world in public perception of COVID-19 response

For Colmar Brunton

A new study released today by Colmar Brunton shows the public’s response to Government measures to tackle COVID-19 far outstrips the response in any of the G7 nations.

The Colmar Brunton COVID Times is a study of over 600 New Zealanders surveyed from 3-5 April 2020, and makes comparisons with results from Great Britain, United States, Italy, Canada, France, Germany and Japan, provided by Kantar, Colmar Brunton’s global parent company.

Head of Colmar Brunton Sarah Bolger says, “Around the world, the COVID-19 crisis has seen a marked rise in the public’s perception of governments, and this is very much the case in New Zealand. 

“As the world struggles to come to terms with a new normal, it is heartening to see the government of New Zealand building such a high level of trust with its citizens during these most challenging of times.”

There has been a huge surge in public trust in government

The public’s trust in the Government to deal successfully with national problems has rocketed from 59% to 83%.   88% trust the Government to make the right decisions on COVID-19.  This is well above the G7 average of 59%.

The New Zealand results show the Government is seen as a key source of reliable information about the outbreak. Thirty one percent say it is the most trusted source (compared to just 13% across the G7), with the Prime Minister’s and Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield’s daily briefings seen as essential information sources for many New Zealanders. 

We are proud of our response as a nation.  National pride has risen by a nett increase of 41% and community spirit is also strongly on the up – a nett increase of 39%. 

The Government has won the public’s approval with their response … at least so far

Public support leads the G7.  More than eight out of 10 (84%) New Zealanders approve of how the Government is handling the outbreak. This compares to 54% across the G7.

New Zealanders are more likely to feel the Government has got it right (60% vs. 42% in the G7). They are less likely to feel the Government hasn’t gone far enough (34% vs. 42%).

However, the pain in New Zealand is more widespread than in the G7 and New Zealanders anticipate it will last longer

Over four out of 10 (42%) New Zealanders say that COVID-19 has already impacted their personal income. This compares to 29% across the G7 nations.

Most New Zealanders believe we have a long road to recovery. Two in three (64%) believe it will take more than six months to get back to normal. This is notably longer than the G7 average (37%).

New Zealanders are personally prepared to do what it takes, but they do have some doubts over whether all Kiwis are as committed as they believe they should be

Over nine in 10 New Zealanders (92%) say they are doing what the Government has asked of them to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

However, Kiwis do question the behaviour of those around us. Twenty seven percent rate the behaviour of New Zealand citizens as ‘poor’ in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

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