Aucklanders Are Less Concerned With Covid – Auckland University of Technology

In reaction to commentary that Aucklanders are at breaking point after more than 100 days in lockdown and that compliance with the rules is under threat, AUT Emeritus Professor of Sociology Charles Crothers says:

“Systematic research of feelings and attitudes to Covid and how they have varied over the course of the pandemic suggests that Aucklanders are not at breaking point.

“In surveys every fortnight or so, across the Delta period, market research firm Perceptive has asked large samples of about 1000 New Zealanders about a battery of emotions, including their level of concern with Covid, their satisfaction with government and media information, and with government performance.

“The results show that New Zealanders as a whole have not much changed their feelings about life.

“However, their concern with Covid, but also their evaluation of information provision and government performance, has declined.

“Amongst Aucklanders, the level of concern remains low at about 40 per cent, compared to 44 per cent at the beginning of the Covid lockdown period. In comparison, New Zealanders as a whole have been fairly steady on around 40 per cent across several types of feeling. Concern was slightly elevated in October but has now fallen again.

“From the end of August to a week ago, the number of people who said that they often or very often had positive emotions such as feeling loving, happy, positive or content over the past week have fallen a few per cent, to levels just above 40 per cent.

“Some feelings, such as feeling negative or scared, have risen about 5 per cent – but less than one-in-five people are reporting such feelings, and feelings of anger haven’t shifted.

“People are presumably feeling more relaxed now that an expanded range of activities has been possible and also they may feel happier about the longer-term, seeing some light at the end of the tunnel with more policy certainty.”

Click here for a table showing the Perceptive results.

Emeritus Professor Charles Crothers has been compiling survey data on attitudes to New Zealand’s and New Zealanders’ COVID-19 response.

The table linked to above is from his paper published in the Aotearoa New Zealand Journal of Social Issues.
The resource will be useful for researchers and journalists looking into people’s attitudes towards social distancing, mask wearing, lockdowns and their boundaries, as well towards New Zealand’s overall approach.