Fieldwork was conducted between Wednesday 3rd and Friday 5th of November
Fieldwork was deployed following the government's announcement on Monday that Waikato will move into Alert Level 3, Step 2 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 2nd of November and Auckland will move to the same step but on Tuesday the 9th of November, a week later. It was also following the decision that the Northern part of Northland would move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 2nd of November, while the rest of Northland would remain at Alert Level 2.
With lockdown fatigue really setting in, people are feeling more disconnected from friends and family and worried about missing time with them over the holidays. They are less concerned about the virus itself.
- Concern towards the virus has decreased this week (61% vs. 66%: 25th October). Even among Aucklanders, where case numbers are seeing record highs, concern is decreasing (71% compared to 78% on 25th October).
- The feeling of disconnection from friends and family continues to be a growing concern among New Zealanders (48% vs. 43%: 25th October) and is even greater among Aucklanders (57%) as the lockdown continues.
- As the holiday period draws near, more New Zealanders are growing concerned about their holidays being postponed/cancelled (33% vs. 31%: 25th October). The concern is particularly felt among younger New Zealanders aged 18-34 years (35% vs. 28%: 25th October).
Information and media attention regarding COVID-19 is beginning to overwhelm New Zealanders.
- In November, 31% of New Zealanders admit they are receiving a lot of information from the government and starting to feel overwhelmed.
- (vs. 17% 31st August (the start of the lockdown).
- 39% also claim they feel overwhelmed with information they are receiving from the media.
New alert levels updates
On Tuesday the 2nd of November, cabinet announced the following alert level changes:
- Auckland and Waikato to move to Alert Level 3, Step 2. Waikato to move at 11.59pm on Tuesday 2nd of November and Auckland to move at 11.59pm on Tuesday 9th of November.
- Northern part of Northland to move to Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 2nd of November. The rest of Northland to remain at Alert Level 2.
The decision surrounding the alert level change for both areas of Northland was favourable among New Zealanders, with just under half of New Zealanders believing it was the right option given the circumstances. Agreement is even higher among Northlanders.
When talking to those from the Waikato about their alert level change, half (51%) agree it was the right call while 37% believe the alert level should be lower or should not have changed.
Aucklanders are most divided on lowering the alert level: 32% believe it is the right decision, while 25% think it should remain unchanged, 23% believe it should go even lower, and 12% believe it isn’t enough and should be stricter.
Aucklanders are far more optimistic about light level changes than the rest of New Zealand.
- Aucklanders are far more confident that Auckland will move into the red level by December than non-Aucklanders are (57% compared to 43%).
- Almost three-quarters of Aucklanders believe that New Zealand will move into the orange level by February 2022 (compared to 64% of non-Aucklanders).
Response to the traffic light system remains fairly unchanged—there are still doubts and uncertainty with how it works.
Just over half of Kiwis agree that they understand the system and how it works, with even fewer still agreeing it is a good plan (46%).
Aucklanders still feel the same towards the system this week and think the 90% vaccination target to move to red level is fair or should be reviewed depending on vaccination rates.
For the rest of New Zealand this week, significantly more state that the 90% target is fair but believe it will need to be reviewed depending on the vaccination rates over time (33% vs. 27% 25th October).
Vaccine mandates for businesses
Majority of businesses on board with the vaccination mandate for employees.
- For businesses where the government has made vaccination mandatory for their employees, the majority say they will enforce this (89%), although 1 in 10 businesses state that they will not enforce this.
- Whereas for businesses that sit outside of the employee vaccine mandate that have the ability to enforce their own rules, just under half say they will require all staff to be fully vaccinated (34%) or if they aren’t, they will have to work from home (15%).
Customer vaccine mandates are less likely to be enforced than employee mandates.
- For businesses requiring mandatory vaccination for customers, only two-thirds of business decision-makers say they will enforce this mandate, while 28% claim they won’t and 5% are still yet to decide.
This week, more businesses are concerned about having limitations placed on them if they choose not to implement the vaccine certificate requirements (37% vs. 32%: 25th October), along with having to put things in place and monitor certificates of their customers (42% vs. 39%: 25th October).
Vaccine for younger kids
A hot topic has been protecting our young ones.
On Saturday 30th October the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US authorised the use of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years old.
- Awareness of this announcement among parents with children this age is high (72%) and positively the backing of the FDA has meant that more parents are now likely to consider getting their children vaccinated. Fifty-nine per cent of parents of 5-11 years olds are planning on getting them vaccinated when it becomes available; 44% of these have been swayed by the FDA announcement.
Return to school
With the indicative return to school date looming for kids in Years 0-8 living in Auckland and Waikato, there are mixed feelings among parents.
- Differing emotions are clearly demonstrated with only one-third of parents in Auckland or Waikato with children in Years 0-8 feeling comfortable about this indicative decision. Thirty-eight per cent feel uncomfortable and one-quarter are sitting on the fence with how they feel.