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Kiwis view Economic issues (40%) as the biggest problems facing NZ; Housing shortage/ Housing affordability up 4% to 10% in March

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 1,002 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in March 2015. 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?”

In March 2015, Economic issues 40% (down 1% since December 2014) are still clearly the most important problems facing New Zealand and the biggest problems facing the World today are War/ Terrorism & Security Issues 41% (up 12%) according to the latest Roy Morgan Research conducted in March 2015.

New Zealand views on Problems facing New Zealand

When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand, 40% of New Zealanders mention some kind of Economic issue. This is down 1% from December 2014 but still well ahead of Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues 26% (up 5%), Social issues 15% (down 5%) and Environmental issues 7% (up 1%).

The most important Economic issues facing New Zealand include Poverty / The gap between the rich and the poor 18% (down 2%), Unemployment/ Job security 8% (up 2%), Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 5% (unchanged) and Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar 5% (down 1%).

There has been a significant increase in New Zealanders mentioning Housing shortage/ Housing affordability 10% (up 4%) as a problem facing New Zealand, while other important issues include the Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government spending 9% (up 1%), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy/ Intolerance 3% (down 1%) and Child abuse/ Lack of care for children 3% (up 1%).

New Zealand views on Problems facing the World

The biggest World problems are now War & Terrorism/ Security (41%, up a large 12% since December 2014) followed by Economic issues 25% (down 5%), Social Issues 13% (down 1%) and Environmental issues 9% (down 3%).

Among the War & Terrorism/ Security issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders are Terrorism 23% (up a very large15%), Wars and Conflicts/ Unrest 12% (unchanged), and Religion/ Religious Conflict 3% (down 4%).

Of the Economic issues facing the World mentioned by New Zealanders the most important are Poverty/ The gap between the rich and poor/ Imbalance of wealth 14% (down 2%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession 3% (down 3%), Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 3% (unchanged), Unemployment/ Job security 2% (up 1%) and Over-population 2% (down 1%).

Other important issues are Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance 5% (down 1%), Climate change/ Global warming/ Ozone layer/ Greenhouse effect 5% (down 1%), Government/ Politicians/ Political unrest/ Instability/ Corrupt Governments 3% (up 1%) and Greed 3% (down 1%).

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan says:

“Economic issues continue to dominate in New Zealand – 40% (down 1%) of New Zealanders say the biggest problems facing New Zealand, and Prime Minister John Key as he settles into his third term in office, are Economic. These include Poverty/ The gap between the rich and the poor/ Imbalance of wealth 18% (down 2%), Unemployment/ Job security 8% (up 2%) – clearly lower than across the Tasman in Australia (13%), Cost of living/ Increasing prices/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 5% (unchanged) and the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ Inflation/ Exchange rate/ High dollar 5% (down 1%).

“There has been a large increase in New Zealanders nominating Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues 26% (up 5%) as the biggest problems facing New Zealand – the highest this indicator has ever been. What should worry the Key Government is the significant increase in New Zealanders mentioning Housing shortage/ Housing affordability 10% (up 4%) – Housing affordability is a huge problem in Auckland. Over the 12 months to March 2015, house prices in Auckland have soared 13.9% according to the QV Residential Price Movement Index – and over 45.8% since 2007. Over the same time periods housing prices in New Zealand as a whole have increased by around half this rate – by 7.7% over the past year and by 21.3% since 2007.

“The biggest problem facing the World according to New Zealanders is War/ Terrorism & Security issues – now at 41% (up 12%). This is clearly the highest these issues have been since Roy Morgan began surveying on these questions in New Zealand more than four years ago in November 2010.

“Despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Conference in Paris later this year – the follow-up to the Copenhagen Conference in 2009, Environmental issues are not regarded as an important problem facing the World 9% (down 3%) or New Zealand 7% (up 1%) by the vast majority of New Zealanders. These low figures may make it difficult for Prime Minister John Key to advocate for any ‘tough action’ on Climate change that arises out of the talks.”

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 1,002 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in March 2015. 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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Gary Morgan:

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Michele Levine:

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Roy Morgan New Zealand Electorate Profiles

Roy Morgan New Zealand provides the most in-depth analysis of each New Zealand electorate with our New Zealand Electorate profiles. Each electorate profile answers the key questions about the electorate. Who are the electors? What are they thinking? What media do they use? Who are they voting for? What are they doing? View a sample Roy Morgan New Zealand Electorate Profile here.

Most Important Problems Facing New Zealand - March 2015

Most Important Problems Facing the World - March 2015

Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand

New Zealand

Oct
2013

Feb
2014

May
2014

Aug
2014

Dec
2014

Mar
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

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

13

16

18

18

20

18

Unemployment/ Job Security

11

7

8

6

6

8

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

6

5

5

4

5

5

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

11

10

8

9

6

5

Low Wages

1

2

2

2

2

3

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

*

1

1

*

1

Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets

3

2

1

1

1

1

Need to Increase Exports

1

*

2

1

2

1

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

45

42

44

41

41

40

Housing shortage/ Housing affordability

6

3

5

4

6

10

Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending

8

8

6

7

8

9

Education

2

3

3

4

1

2

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

1

1

1

1

1

2

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

1

1

1

1

1

1

Health System/ Shortage of Doctors/ Health Services

*

1

1

1

*

1

Immigration/ Refugees

1

2

2

2

2

1

Not enough people/ People leaving New Zealand

1

1

1

1

1

*

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

19

19

18

19

21

26

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

2

2

2

3

2

3

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

4

5

4

5

4

3

Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence

2

2

2

2

2

2

Crime/ Law & Order

3

2

2

3

2

2

Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

2

4

5

2

1

1

Greed/ Materialism

1

1

1

1

1

1

Racism/ Racial Tension

2

2

2

2

2

1

Social Welfare System

2

1

1

2

3

1

Violence/ Gangs

2

1

1

2

3

1

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

1

1

1

3

1

*

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

20

21

21

24

20

15

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

*

1

1

*

1

Christchurch Earthquake & Damage

-

*

*

-

-

*

TOTAL CHRISTCHURCH ISSUES

1

1

2

1

*

1

Climate Change/ Global Warming

1

2

1

2

2

2

Environmental Issues/ Degradation

3

4

2

2

3

2

Environmental Pollution/ Water Pollution

1

1

2

1

1

2

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

1

2

1

1

*

1

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (INCLUDING CHRISTCHURCH)

6

9

8

6

6

7

Other

*

*

*

-

*

1

Can’t say

10

8

10

10

12

11

TOTAL

100

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
2013

Feb
2014

May
2014

Aug
2014

Dec
2014

Mar
2015

%

%

%

%

%

%

Terrorism

2

2

2

4

8

23

Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest

10

11

12

23

12

12

Religion/ Religious Conflict

3

7

4

5

7

3

Peace/ Lack of World Peace

1

3

2

3

2

2

TOTAL WAR & TERRORISM/ SECURITY ISSUES

16

22

20

35

29

41

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

16

18

16

17

16

14

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

3

3

4

3

3

3

Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession

17

8

7

4

6

3

Over-population

3

4

3

3

3

2

Unemployment/ Job Security

3

1

1

1

1

2

Food Shortages/ Feeding the People

2

2

3

2

1

1

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

44

36

34

29

30

25

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

5

9

7

8

6

5

Greed

4

2

3

2

4

3

Violence

1

2

1

2

2

2

Crime/ Law & Order

1

1

1

1

1

1

Drug/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

1

1

1

1

1

1

Lack of Religious or Spiritual Values

2

1

1

*

*

1

Racism/ Racial Tension

1

2

1

1

1

1

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

14

16

15

14

14

13

Climate Change/ Global Warming/ Ozone Layer/ Greenhouse Effect

7

5

6

5

6

5

Environmental Issues/ Changes/ Degradation

2

1

1

1

3

2

Famine/ Hunger/ Starvation

4

2

3

2

2

2

Environmental Pollution

1

2

3

2

1

1

Natural Disasters – Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions

1

1

2

1

*

-

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

14

12

14

11

12

9

Government/ Politicians/ Political Unrest/ Instability/

Greedy & Corrupt Governments

3

4

4

3

2

3

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

1

1

2

*

7

2

Education

1

1

2

2

*

1

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

5

5

7

4

9

5

Energy Crisis/ Fuel Shortage/ Need Renewable Energy Sources

1

1

1

1

1

1

Shortage of Resources/ Consumption of Resources

1

1

1

1

*

1

Water Shortage/ Clean Water

1

*

*

1

*

1

TOTAL ENERGY/ RESOURCE ISSUES

2

2

2

2

1

2

Other

1

*

1

*

*

1

Can’t say

4

7

7

5

5

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

*Less than 1%.


Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4

1,500

±2.6

±2.2

±1.5

±1.1