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Economic Issues down but still easily the most important problems facing New Zealand (42%) and facing the World (36%) according to New Zealanders

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 993 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in February 2014.

Economic issues are clearly the most important problems facing New Zealand and the World today according to the latest Roy Morgan Research conducted in February 2014.

New Zealand views on Problems facing New Zealand

When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand, 42% of New Zealanders mention some kind of Economic issue. This is down 3% since October 2013 but still well ahead of Social issues (21%, up 1%), Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues (19%, unchanged) and Environmental issues (9%, up 3%).

The most important Economic issues facing New Zealand include Poverty / The gap between the rich and the poor (16%, up 3%), Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (10%, down 1%), Unemployment/ Job security (7%, down 4%) and the Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (5%, down 1%).

Other important issues mentioned by New Zealanders are the Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government spending (8%, unchanged), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (5%, up 1%), Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving (4%, up 2%), Environmental Issues/ Degradation (4%, up 1%), Housing shortage/ Affordability (3%, down 3%) and Education (3%, up 1%).

New Zealand views on Problems facing the World

The biggest World problems are again Economic issues (mentioned by 36% of New Zealanders, down 8% since October 2013), in front of Terrorism/ Wars/ Security (22%, up 6%), Social Issues (16%, up 2%) and Environmental issues (12%, down 2%).

Among the  Economic issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders the most important are Poverty/ The gap between the rich and the poor/ Imbalance of wealth (18%, up 2%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession (8%, down 9%), Over-population (4%, up 1%) and Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (3%, unchanged).

Other important issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders include Wars and Conflicts/ Unrest (11%, up 1%), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance (9%, up 4%), Religion/ Religious conflict (7%, up 4%), Climate change/ Global warming (5%, down 2%) and Government/ Politicians/ Political unrest/ Instability/ Greedy and corrupt governments (4%, up 1%).

Michele Levine says, CEO Roy Morgan says:

“As New Zealand heads toward an election later this year Economic issues are once again the most important set of problems facing New Zealand (42%, down 3% since October 2013) and the World (36%, down 8%). Economic issues have been rated as the most important problem in every survey since surveying began in November 2010.

“The most important economic issues facing New Zealand are Poverty/ the gap between the rich and the poor/ Imbalance of wealth (16%, up 3%), Economy/ Financial crisis/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar (10%, down 1%) and Unemployment/ Job security (7%, down 4%). Although all three have dropped since October, all three have consistently rated as the most important problems facing New Zealand.

“The other important problems mentioned are the Government/ Public policy issues of Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government spending (8%, unchanged), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy toward others/ Intolerance (5%, up 1%), Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt (5%, down 1%).

“Over the last few surveys the economic problems have taken a different shape – or at least are being articulated differently. Since July 2013 more New Zealanders are concerned with the ‘imbalance of wealth’ / ‘the gap between the rich and the poor’ than are concerned about the more ‘economic’ metrics like recession, inflation, exchange rates and the value of the dollar.

“In the latest research only 7% mentioned unemployment as the biggest problem facing New Zealand. This is substantially lower than was recorded in May 2013 (15%), October 2012 (19%) or January 2012 (12%) – just after the last New Zealand election.

“With Consumer Confidence at 133.0 (109.0 in November 2011 at the last election); unemployment at 8.5% (10.8% at the last election) and John Key’s National support at 48% (increasing from 47.3% at the last election), these indicators taken together suggest John Key is well placed to be re-elected. However concern about softer issues – social issues and Government and human rights, together are mentioned by 40% (this is substantially higher than at the last election - 22% mentioned these issues in October 2011).”

 

These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 993 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in February 2014. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).


For further information:

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Michele Levine:

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Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand - February 2014

Most Important Problem Facing the World - February 2014

 

Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand

New Zealand

 

Oct
2012

Jan
2013

May
2013

July
2013

Oct
2013

Feb
2014

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth

13

11

9

15

13

16

Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange Rate/ High Dollar

16

18

13

13

11

10

Unemployment/ Job Security

19

13

15

13

11

7

Cost of Living/ Increasing Prices/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt

4

3

4

7

6

5

Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets

2

2

3

1

3

2

Low Wages

1

1

2

1

1

2

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

1

*

1

1

*

Need to Increase Exports

1

1

*

1

1

*

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

57

49

46

51

45

42

Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance

4

4

3

4

4

5

Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

2

2

2

2

2

4

Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence

*

1

1

1

2

2

Child Abuse/ Lack of Care of Children/ Bringing up Children Wrongly

1

3

2

2

2

2

Crime/ Law & Order

2

4

3

1

3

2

Racism/ Racial Tension

1

1

2

3

2

2

Greed/ Materialism

*

2

1

1

1

1

Social Welfare System

1

1

2

2

2

1

Violence/ Gangs

1

2

1

1

2

1

Youth Issues such as Behaviour/ Pregnancies/ Crime/
Drinking/ Drugs/ Lack of Discipline

1

2

1

2

1

1

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

13

20

18

18

20

21

Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending

6

5

9

7

8

8

Education

3

2

1

1

2

3

Housing shortage/ Housing affordability

*

1

2

3

6

3

Immigration/ Refugees

1

1

1

2

1

2

Benefits Given to the Maori/ Inequality Between Maori and Other Ethnic Groups

2

*

2

1

1

1

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

2

1

1

1

1

1

Health System/ Shortage of Doctors/ Health Services

*

*

1

1

*

1

Not enough people/ People leaving New Zealand

1

1

1

*

1

1

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

14

10

17

15

19

19

Christchurch Earthquake & Damage

*

*

*

*

-

*

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

1

*

1

1

*

TOTAL CHRISTCHURCH ISSUES

2

1

1

1

1

1

Environmental Issues/ Degradation

1

2

2

1

3

4

Climate Change/ Global Warming

*

1

2

1

1

2

(Other) Natural Disasters/ Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions

*

1

1

3

1

2

Environmental Pollution/ Water Pollution

1

1

1

*

1

1

Rena Oil Spill

*

-

-

-

-

-

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (INCLUDING CHRISTCHURCH)

4

7

6

7

6

9

Other

2

3

2

1

*

*

Can’t say

8

11

10

8

10

8

TOTAL

 

100

100

100

100

100

*Less than 1%. ^ (Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding included in both Economic & Environmental Issues). 

Most Important Problem Facing the World

The World

 

Oct
2012

Jan
2013

May
2013

July
2013

Oct
2013

Feb
2014

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth

17

16

10

17

16

18

Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession

20

19

11

15

17

8

Over-population

2

3

4

4

3

4

Cost of Living/ Increasing Prices/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt

2

1

4

3

3

3

Food Shortages/ Feeding the People

3

2

3

3

2

2

Unemployment/ Job Security

4

3

4

4

3

1

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

48

43

35

45

44

36

Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest

9

6

10

7

10

11

Religion/ Religious Conflict

5

4

4

4

3

7

Peace/ Lack of World Peace

1

1

1

2

1

3

Terrorism

1

2

6

2

2

2

TOTAL TERRORISM/ WARS/ SECURITY ISSUES

16

13

20

14

16

22

Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance

5

5

6

7

5

9

Greed

3

4

2

2

4

2

Crime/ Law & Order

1

2

2

2

1

1

Drug/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

3

1

1

1

1

1

Lack of Religious or Spiritual Values

*

1

1

1

2

1

Racism/ Racial Tension

1

*

1

*

1

2

Violence

1

3

2

2

1

2

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

12

17

15

16

14

16

Climate Change/ Global Warming/ Ozone Layer/ Greenhouse Effect

4

6

6

6

7

5

Environmental Pollution

1

2

1

1

1

2

Famine/ Hunger/ Starvation

3

3

4

3

4

2

Environmental Issues/ Changes/ Degradation

1

2

2

2

2

1

Natural Disasters – Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions

1

2

1

2

1

1

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

10

15

14

13

14

12

Government/ Politicians/ Political Unrest/ Instability/

Greedy & Corrupt Governments

3

3

3

4

3

4

Education

*

*

*

1

1

1

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

2

1

1

1

1

1

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

5

4

4

6

5

5

Energy Crisis/ Fuel Shortage/ Need Renewable Energy Sources

*

1

1

*

1

1

Shortage of Resources/ Consumption of Resources

1

1

1

1

1

1

Water Shortage/ Clean Water

*

1

1

1

1

*

TOTAL ENERGY/ RESOURCE ISSUES

2

2

2

2

2

2

Other

1

1

1

1

1

*

Can’t say

6

5

9

3

4

7

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

*Less than 1%.