Finance minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Getty Images/Photo illustration: Tina Tiller)
Finance minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Getty Images/Photo illustration: Tina Tiller)

BusinessFebruary 23, 2021

Exclusive poll: Do New Zealanders back the tough border rules?

Finance minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Getty Images/Photo illustration: Tina Tiller)
Finance minister Grant Robertson (Photo: Getty Images/Photo illustration: Tina Tiller)

Plus, how we feel about housing affordability and the state of the NZ economy compared to the world, in results from a new Stickybeak poll for The Spinoff.

This week marks a year since New Zealand’s first confirmed case of Covid-19, and the support for the measures imposed at the border to throttle the inward flow of people, and so the virus, remains overwhelmingly popular.

Closed border

A new survey by Stickybeak for The Spinoff, the eighth since the pandemic emerged, finds 82% support the ongoing “closed border” policy. Only 11% professed to oppose the decision to all but close the border to non-citizens.

State of the economy

When it comes to the performance of the economy as a whole, 57% say it seems in better shape than the rest of the world, much of which remains hobbled by the pandemic. Only 7% reckoned that the New Zealand economy was in worse shape than the rest of the world. 

Personal financial position 

Those results are influenced, or course, by direct experience; 42% of respondents said their own personal financial situation had been negatively affected by Covid-19.  

That marks an improvement in circumstances from the last time we asked this question, in August 2020. Then, 47% said their personal financial situation had been negatively affected.  

Across three surveys conducted last year between April and June, the average number of people that “expected” to experience a negative impact on their personal financial position was just over 46%.


If there is a shadow that looms over brighter-than-expected economic news, however, it is unquestionably the housing market, where prices continue their vertiginous rise. Fifty-six per cent of people said they were very concerned about housing affordability, while only 13% said they were not at all concerned about the issue.

About the study

Respondents were self-selecting participants, recruited via Facebook and Instagram.

A total of n=601 sample was achieved of adults in New Zealand, with 208 of those in Auckland.

Results in this report are weighted by age, gender and region to statistics from the 2018 Census.

For a random sample of this size and after accounting for weighting the maximum sampling error (using 95% confidence) is approximately ±4%.

The study went into the field on Tuesday February 16 and was completed on Wednesday February 17.

Numbers are rounded, so will not always add to 100%.

About Stickybeak

Stickybeak is a New Zealand startup launched globally last June, that uses chatbots to make quantitative market research more conversational and therefore less boring and even fun for respondents. Unlike conventional research which uses panels of professional paid responders, Stickybeak recruits unique respondents fresh for each survey via social media.

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Mad Chapman, Editor
The Spinoff has covered the news that matters in 2021, most recently the delta outbreak. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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