Fieldwork was conducted between Friday 19th to the 22nd of November 2021.
Fieldwork was deployed following the government’s announcement that the Auckland boarders will be relaxed on December 15th in time for the holidays. Aucklanders will need to either be fully vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. This measure will be in place until January 17th 2022. It also follows the announcement of the booster vaccines.
Concern is easing
Some positive signs were observed this week with concern towards the virus and some topics easing. However, there is more concern around a resurgence of the virus among the older age group. We also see confidence in the government growing after the latest announcement.
- Concern towards the virus itself continues to fall this week (58% vs 61% 3rd November and 66%: 25th October). It has fallen more so among Aucklanders (59% vs 71% 3rd November).
- The recent announcement has helped Aucklanders minimise their concerns around economic conditions, disconnection, health and wellbeing, and their holidays being cancelled.
- The change in concerns looks slightly different across the various age groups. In particular, concern towards resurgence of the virus, economic conditions and health and wellbeing has fallen among our youngest group (18-34 years). Whereas for those over 55 years, concern has grown further towards the resurgence of the virus (70% vs. 60% 3rd of November) and on their health and wellbeing (40% vs 31%).
- New Zealanders’ confidence in the government has increased this week (43% vs. 38% 3rd of November).
Relaxing the Auckland borders
Kiwis are divided about opening the borders
Agreement that the government should relax the Auckland boarders over the holiday period is strong among Aucklanders but not all of the country is on board.
- It comes as a sigh of relief for Aucklanders with 61% agreeing it was the right move. When asked about the timeframe given, 67% of Aucklanders say it should either happen sooner or should have no end date put on it.
- 17% of Aucklanders think the timeframe should be shorter and 22% think the borders should remain in place.
- Agreement isn’t so strong among the rest of Aotearoa, with only 37% agreeing with the Governments choice. Regions that are particularly opposed to the idea are Manawatu (60% don’t agree), Wellington (49% don’t agree), Canterbury (50% don’t agree) and Otago (68% don’t agree).
A higher proportion of New Zealanders think that every person leaving Auckland should be checked rather than the planned spot checks
- While 37% agree with the government's plan that spot checks are the best way (higher among Aucklanders at 46%), almost half (49%) think that there should be checkpoints in place to check every person leaving Auckland (lower among Aucklanders, 37%). The remaining 10% don’t think there should be any enforcement of the rules.
- In terms of the $1000 fine for not complying, 37% think it is not enough and should be increased, 44% say it is about right, 9% think it's too much and should be lower and 10% think there should be no fine at all.
Travelling in and out of Auckland
Despite the much-anticipated announcement for Aucklanders, those planning to travel out from and into Auckland is relatively low
- Among Aucklanders, just over one-third say they plan to travel out of the region between December 15th 2021 and January 17th 2022, which is lower than normal. The intention to travel is higher among 18–44-year-olds (42%): 46% say they aren’t planning to while 19% are still unsure on the matter.
- The majority (79%) of New Zealanders living outside of Auckland aren’t planning on travelling in and out of the Auckland region, 10% are planning to and 11% are still unsure.
- Only 2% of those travelling in or out of Auckland during the holiday period are not planning on following the rules.
Return to school
School life is starting to be somewhat normal again for kids in Years 1-8 in Auckland and Waikato
- Two-thirds of parents in Auckland and Waikato say their kids in Years 1-8 have gone back to school either full-time or part-time. A further 15% indicated they would return this week, 19% said they have decided not to send them back and just 2% said the school decided not to open.
- Although senior students in Years 11-13 have been allowed back since the 26th of October, return to school numbers are lower, with 50% of parents saying they have returned, 41% saying they haven’t gone back to school and 9% claiming the school decided not to open.
Intent to get a booster shot when eligible is high among New Zealanders who are already fully or partially vaccinated
- Following the government’s announcement that booster shots will soon become available to those who have had their second vaccination at least 6 months ago, 82% of fully or partially vaccinated New Zealanders plan to get it once eligible, 14% are still undecided and 4% won’t get it.
- Uptake appears stronger among males (86%) compared to females (79%) and stronger among Aucklanders (86%) and those over 65 years (91%).