Kiwis are feeling contented about life under Covid-19 and motivated by a sense of duty and a desire to "follow the rules", although large parts of the population could begin to feel disaffected with the Covid response if a more targeted approach is not taken, according to new research.
The Government commissioned research into "how New Zealanders are feeling in relation to Covid-19, and the associated behaviours required of them". It published the latest in this research today, showing Kiwis are continuing to feel benign overall.
An overwhelming majority of people - 90 per cent - do not expect life to return to normal after they are vaccinated.
Overall, it shows most people aren't too bothered with the Covid situation in New Zealand, with 44 per cent of the public feeling "neutral". A full 75 per cent of New Zealanders "feel like the country is heading in the right direction".
12 per cent of people do not think the country is going in the right direction and 13 per cent of people are unsure.
There is a high level of support for the current border regime. 53 per cent of people are worried about opening up the quarantine-free travel zone beyond Australia and the Cook Islands and 84 per cent of people are happy with stopping travel from very high-risk countries.
The economy is "top of mind" for New Zealanders with 51 per cent of people listing this as something they're thinking about. It's fallen down from 76 per cent the last time the survey was conducted.
This suggests people are overall quite happy with the Government's caution when it comes to opening up the border further. The survey was in the field between 12 and 27 May, meaning it missed the most recent outbreaks of Covid-19 in Victoria and New South Wales.
The survey was commissioned by the Covid-19 advisory group, a business unit of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC). It was carried out by TRA using a qualitative method, with a sample size of 1853 New Zealanders aged 16 years and over.
The research suggested targeting Covid-19 response communications at specific groups within the community, as some groups were more likely to feel disengaged than others. Māori, Pasifika, Indians, and men under 35 were singled out as needing a more targeted approach.
The research said Māori are "more likely to feel fear towards the Covid-19 situation", because Covid could impact their goals, particularly "financial betterment".
It said Pasifika had "lower levels of compliance either because they just won't comply, or they aren't aware of the rules". However, Pasifika were "motivated to protect their friends and family and want to travel overseas to see them".
Indians feel positive about life and feel New Zealand is handling Covid well, but are "more motivated for the borders to re-open further".
It suggested the Government might need to do more to proactively manage expectations "so that this group does not become disengaged.
Men under 25 also feel positive, but the are "less engaged" and less motivated to follow the rules.
The survey suggested making "communications and messaging feel more relevant" to men under 35 "to increase their engagement and overall compliance".