A mysterious poll is asking New Zealanders whether they think the Government is doing a good enough job in responding to coronavirus.
Ask New Zealand Marketing Research, an Australian-owned market research firm, is running the poll but it is unknown who commissioned the research and for what purpose.
It comes as the Government's handling of the Covid-19 outbreak comes under increased scrutiny, particularly in an election year.
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Neither the Labour Party nor the Office of the Prime Minister is involved in the probe, it is understood.
The Herald also understands the poll was not commissioned by the National Party.
In fact, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has filed an application for the firm behind the polling to be liquidated.
But it is understood an automated robotic caller has been contacting people asking a number of questions about coronavirus.
These include: Whether the caller thinks the Government is doing a good enough job in its response to coronavirus; whether they're worried they're going to catch the virus and whether efforts at the border are strong enough.
The answering options were: "yes", "no" and "I don't know".
A few days ago Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that New Zealand has confirmed its first case of coronavirus.
The issue has been the topic of fierce debate in Parliament.
The Opposition has grilled the Government on its response to the virus outbreak and the Government has been outlining how its response has been measured and appropriate.
But both major political parties have nothing to do with the poll, it's understood.
Ask NZ Marketing Research is not a well-known polling company in New Zealand – marketing sources spoken to by the Herald were unaware of the firm.
It is not a member of the Research Association of New Zealand – the official body for research and polling companies.
According to Companies Office records, Ask NZ was incorporated as a New Zealand company in February 2018; its office is registered in Queen St, Auckland.
But the firm is owned by a company called Ask Australia whose director, Gerard Maguire, lives in Perth.
In December an application for liquidation was submitted by IRD and will be heard by the High Court.
An application for liquidation is usually an indication that all attempts by IRD to recover a debt have been unsuccessful.
The company does not have a website and a contact number for the firm does not work, meaning it could not be contacted for comment.