The Research Agency (TRA) was undertaken by the DPMC COVID-19 Group in May 2021 to provide an overview of how New Zealanders are feeling in relation to COVID-19, and the associated public health behaviours required of them.
Those surveyed say COVID-19 has not interrupted their progress in life. However, people indicated they are looking forward to feeling relaxed, less stressed, secure and content in the next 12 months.
The research showed public sentiment towards the COVID situation in NZ is quite passive with 44% of the public feeling ‘neutral’.
The research also shows people in New Zealand are realistic and recognise COVID-19 health behaviours will be required in the post-vaccination era. More than 90% (91%) do not expect life to return to normal after they are vaccinated.
“It’s good news the public recognise that New Zealand is entering a new phase and the vaccine will not be a silver bullet when it comes to moving on from the pandemic. We need to be thinking about layers of protection and the health behaviours that will play a role in our future.” says Deputy Chief Executive Cheryl Barnes.
“The public say they are willing to do their part, but we don’t necessarily see this in their everyday routines. Part of the government’s ongoing role, working with others, is to inspire, motivate and support the public to do the right thing."
According to the research, the public say they are motivated by following the rules (56%), their sense of duty (46%), avoiding another lockdown (48%), protecting family and friends (42%). Protecting friends and wh ānau is a key motivator for Māori and Pacific people.
“It is good to see that people feel the virus isn’t getting in the way of their progress and has not had a negative impact on how they feel about their future.”
Also of interest in the research is public attitudes towards the border. While most of those surveyed were fine with opening the bubble to a limited number of people, more than half (53%) were worried about opening quarantine free travel beyond Australia and the Cook Islands.
Meanwhile, a report released yesterday by COVID-19 Independent Continuous Review, Improvement and Advice Group looked at the way the February outbreak was managed and the current state of the Response System.
Several recommendations made in the review have already been adopted as the Government response continuously evolves.
“Due to the ever-evolving nature of COVID-19, we have constantly learned and adapted since the pandemic began last year and will continue to do so as we phase our reopening to the world.