The first trans-Tasman bubble flight from Australia to Wellington lands at Wellington Airport on April 19. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/Wellington International Airport via Getty Images)

Exclusive poll: Only one in four wants trans-Tasman bubble reopened this year

Plus: the sentiment on New Zealand’s vaccination roll-out and contact tracing, in the latest in a series of nationally representative polls by Stickybeak for The Spinoff.

A month ago today, the trans-Tasman welcome mat was rolled up and thrown into storage, with quarantine travel suspended for eight weeks. Today, as the delta variant wreaks havoc in New South Wales and leaves a number of Australian territories as well as all of New Zealand in lockdown, nobody would seriously entertain the idea it might be restored within four weeks.

And based on the latest Stickybeak poll for The Spinoff, there is strong public disquiet about it returning any time this year.

Asked whether they’d like to see the Australia-New-Zealand bubble reopened before 2022, only 26% answered yes. Almost half of respondents, or 47%, said nope, not this year.

Views on vaccination

With the relatively low vaccination rate in New Zealand – ranking near the bottom of the OECD table – adding to the urgency in locking down amid the leakage of delta into the community, you might expect the mood on the roll-out to be sour. Not so. With the government this week trumpeting a million people now fully vaccinated, an acceleration in the programme that has seen more than 70% of people over 40 having had one dose or more or booked for a jab, and, perhaps, boosted by the rallying around that we've seen in the immediate aftermath of lockdown decisions, approval of the vaccination programme has jumped.

In our last poll, just 32% were feeling positive about the vaccination programme; a month on, the same figure is 54%. Then, 30% responded negatively; today, that's just 19%.

Contact tracing

It's a similar story on contact tracing. As the system is pushed to its limits, New Zealanders have expressed broad confidence in its efficacy.

Fifty-three percent said they were confident in the system a month ago. Today, that's risen to 68%. Only 14% are broadly lacking in confidence in the systems today, down from 23% last month.


We also asked people for their views on sticking with the elimination strategy and "opening up". We’ll have those numbers tomorrow.

About the study

Respondents were self-selecting participants, recruited via Facebook and Instagram. A total of n=629 sample was achieved of adults in New Zealand. 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 ±3.9%.

The study went into the field on Wednesday August 18 and was completed on Sunday August 22.

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

About Stickybeak

Stickybeak is a New Zealand startup that uses chatbots to make quantitative market research more conversational and therefore less boring for respondents. Unlike conventional research which uses panels of professional paid responders, Stickybeak recruits unique respondents fresh for each survey via social media.  Its nationally representative poll questions people in 34 representative demographics. It operates globally and has run thousands of polls in every region of the world (to be fair, not Antarctica yet).


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