One Question Quiz
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (Photo: Mark Mitchell/Getty Images)
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (Photo: Mark Mitchell/Getty Images)

MoneyAugust 26, 2020

We asked New Zealanders: Are you complying with the Covid alert level rules?

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (Photo: Mark Mitchell/Getty Images)
Prime minister Jacinda Ardern (Photo: Mark Mitchell/Getty Images)

Compliance has dropped compared with the last time New Zealand was in a lockdown, a new Stickybeak poll for The Spinoff shows. Plus: how many people have taken a financial hit?

Around the world, regions or nations that have exited then returned to lockdown have faced what has been called “lockdown fatigue”. It was certainly a risk in New Zealand, noted Ashley Bloomfield, the director general of health, earlier this week. But, he told media, “I think the data suggests that there’s still a high level of engagement and willingness this time.”

But what do New Zealanders themselves say about sticking to the requirements, and how does that differ from last time around?

Back in April, in the second week of the alert level four lockdown, we asked people how they were complying with the rules. Then, 79% said they were “entirely” meeting the requirements. In the Stickybeak poll conducted last week, with Auckland in level three and the rest of the country in level two, the corresponding figure was 65%, a drop of 14 percentage points.

When you combine those who answered “entirely” and those who said “mostly”, the drop was less dramatic. In April, it was 86%. Now it is 80%.

There was almost total uniformity in our latest poll between Auckland and the rest of the country as far as compliance is concerned.

Face coverings have now become an important shield against the novel coronavirus, and as of next week masks will be mandatory in all levels from two upwards on public transport, aeroplanes, taxis and Uber.

When we asked last week we found a substantially greater number of people, 78%, in locked down Auckland were wearing masks than elsewhere in the country; only 28% were doing so in alert level two.

The restrictions bring very serious financial impacts. In previous polls we’ve asked whether people believe they will be personally negatively impacted financially by Covid-19. This time we’ve tweaked the question so it reads, “Has your personal financial situation been negatively affected by Covid-19?”

In the June Stickybeak poll, 47% of people expected their personal financial situation to be negatively affected. Today, 47% of people say their personal financial situation has been negatively affected.

In Auckland, just over half of those polled said they’d experienced a negative financial effect.

The survey, as reported earlier this week, also showed that support for the government measures remains solid, while 78% support the “elimination strategy”.

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 217 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 Sunday August 16 and was completed on Friday August 21.

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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