Horizon Research says poll shows strong majority of public backs government's strategy of eliminating community transmission of COVID-19, and believes doing this will be better for the economy in the long-term

Horizon Research says poll shows strong majority of public backs government's strategy of eliminating community transmission of COVID-19, and believes doing this will be better for the economy in the long-term

A Horizon Research poll suggests New Zealanders strongly support the Government's policy of trying to eliminate community transmission of COVID-19, and believe doing this will be better for the economy in the long run.

Horizon says its nationwide online survey was conducted between August 20 and 25 - during Auckland's current level 3 lockdown - and had 1,300 respondents aged 18 and over.

Horizon says 76% of respondents want to continue imposing varying levels of restrictions to manage and eliminate outbreaks of infections in the community, and borrow and spend to reduce economic impacts and help with economic recovery. Meanwhile, 23% of respondents would prefer the Government to take a less restrictive approach, like Sweden, and allow COVID-19 transmission within the community to reduce economic costs and harm to the economy.

"Respondents were given information about the approaches taken in Sweden and New Zealand, comparing levels of restrictions on people, economic impacts and forecasts, infection and death rates, and the cost of the elimination policy in New Zealand projected in the 2020 Budget," Horizon says.

"The survey also asked overall, which approach people believed would be better for the New Zealand economy long term, and found: 16% thought allowing COVID-19 to transmit within New Zealand was best, 73% thought eliminating COVID-19 transmission within New Zealand was best, while 12% were really not sure."

Horizon says there was majority support across all age and gender groups for the current policy of imposing restrictions and borrowing and spending to reduce the economic impacts, with a majority of people currently employed in all industry sectors supporting the current policy.

"Every occupation group, including business proprietors and the self-employed, showed majority support for eliminating COVID-19 transmission in the community.  A majority of those currently employed in all industry sectors support the elimination of COVID-19 community transmission. This includes 55% employed in tourism, 83% in the accommodation sector (including hotels and motels), 87% in cafes and restaurants and 76% in retail," says Horizon.

And among people who voted in the 2017 Election for parties currently in Parliament there was majority support for retaining the current policy, except among ACT voters.

Horizon says its sample is weighted on age, gender, highest qualification, personal income, employment status and party vote at the 2017 election. And at a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is ± 2.7%.

More detail on the Stringency Index below can be found here.

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The exceptionalism of ACT voters, in a nutshell.

I bet act and winston first look at the numbers and wish thier polling figures matched...

National appear to mirror pretty close to where they'll end up.

Surpassed only by the willingness of labour supporters to swallow what they are fed.

Who would've thought that supporters of a party that wants government to be more involved in the economy and every day life generally, would want the government to be taking a direct and strong charge against COVID.

Small typo above

"the government to be taking a direct and strong charge against COVID"

should be

"the government to be TALKING a direct and strong charge against COVID"

Oh, so you don't think our lockdowns have been strict enough?

If someone tries to remove a rotten tooth with a baseball bat and after the mess someone points out that amongst the broken teeth there's still a bit of the rotten one left, they're not necessarily saying that the batter should have swung harder...
The government talked hard and fast but wasn't able to make the execution stick on multiple counts (testing, tracing). That doesn't mean they should have been stricter on everyone, that means they should have actually carried out certain parts (actually testing those working the border for example).

Saying they took a direct and strong charge against COVID-19, which is what I said, isn't talking about getting caught up in the minutia of whether things were implemented properly or not.

We were one of the first countries to block travel from China, while the education sector and National were whinging about how it was an overreaction. We went into one of the strictest nationwide lockdowns out of any country and went into it sooner after our first case was diagnosed than any other country had up until that point (23rd March, 3 weeks from first case on 28th Feb).

With our recent outbreak we went into level 3 after less than 24 hours, whereas Melbourne took 5 weeks to get to the same level of lockdown that we did after their outbreak was first detected.

So yes, they did take direct and strong charge against COVID-19, both in absolute terms and when compared to other countries.

Stand by what I said.. said they would take a strong stance on COVID-19... but never made sure border staff adhered to the strict controls or indeed never made sure ppl were tested in quarantine.

Its very easy to take a tough stance on things and accept the plaudits... but when you see the words were not followed up by actions it looks pretty hollow.

Was the level 3 lockdown necessary? You are keen to point out Victoria which has been a shambles, but overlook NSW who had similar breakout and have contained the cluster in similar numbers to NZ whilst keeping restaurants/bars and gyms open and just tightened regulations.

Personally, I think folk much of the response and execution of the borders would have been the same regardless of which major party had been in charge. Based on the fact that the parties were all in agreement in following the advice of the expert advisors. The management at borders etc. would have had to ramp up the same regardless of who at the top was saying "this needs to happen, now, and swiftly, yada yada yada". The same ministry, same funding, the same people on the ground trying to cope with new scenarios.

People get easily frothed up by various talking points or talking heads - e.g. Hosking, but his peripatetic perspectives are contrarian without worry of consequence, as he holds no responsibility for action.

IF the leaders at the top had been equally willing to listen to expert advisers, the lockdowns and their errors would most likely differ only slightly if at all. The bigger consequences would be from more macro decisions, such as opening the border to international students without really having the resources to manage incoming volumes effectively, or not stopping travel from China under pressure from their consulate.

Where was the question asking if you support:

a party that wants government to be more involved in the economy and every day life generally

Surpassed only by the willingness of labour supporters to swallow what they are fed.

It's sad to see something the polls show is so uncontroversial, so politicized. If this was a few years ago, the previous JK National govt would be taking a similar approach, and getting similar support and credit, rightly so. Most of the advice, implementation, and mistakes would have been done by the same people. MoH doesn't change as soon as a new party is elected (think of a tanker ship), and Mr. Bloomfield is not an elected official. The current National party are doing their job of an opposition party and trying to highlight the cracks, but if they were in power they'd be ensuring they tracked popular opinion as well, for better or worse.

Make your arguments against the approach or it's implementation, but try and leave the petty red vs blue arguments alone.

Except National wouldn't have banned travellers from China like Jacinda did, so it is likely we would have had more cases sooner, and probably be on a trajectory like most countries in the world where containment was the goal rather than elimination.

Will be interesting to see if they repeat the poll in a few months after the wage subsidy has ended and we start to feel the effects of how the policy was implemented.

From what I see the broad support for the strategy is waning a bit as folks question the implementation tactics. For example from Monday we have masks mandatory on public transport but we didnt need this during level 4 in supermarkets or when we were out and about.

For my money this latest L3 lockdown we had in Auckland will likely be the last that stops businesses from operating but we will get more requirements regarding masks and tracking app usage. We need to find a way that doesnt kill the economy whilst limiting the spread of Covid. This would seem a more practical and workable strategy.

Good questions.
As much as I agree with your second paragraph I am not convinced that the govt won't revert to the level 3 lockdown again.

I think that's mostly right, unless things go Melbourne-shaped.

I'm not convinced we've done enough to prevent going back to L3 in Auckland either.

to be fare, we are doing more this time around , we are now wearing masks, especially on public transport, just come back from a walk to my town centre and only a couple of young people not wearing, , we are socially distancing, well some of us are, there are plenty of test places around my way, walked past two but both were pretty empty, not many being tested.
all my shops now have the code up
would still like to see a bluetooth app or for me personally the covid card, easier to wear that

Yup.. which would suggest the L3 lockdown was overdone and a NSW style lockdown would have been sufficient.

Then again, NSW is doing a bloody good job with contact tracing..... perhaps less so in NZ

Australia policy eh?
Prior to their recent outbreak, their lowest live active case count was 453.
In NZ, it was NIL
Now Australia still has 4500 ACTIVE (ie up 1000%)
NZ has 115

Only a problem in Victoria, every other state is fine. So why do we keep talking about Victoria and not the other ones that are doing well?

QR codes and CovidCard don't stop transmission though. Social distancing and wearing masks does, so I'm glad to hear of widespread mask wearing in Auckland - it's not happening in Christchurch.

The issue is that one case in the wrong place can create a cluster, such as the church mini-cluster that still hasn't been epidemiologically linked back to the main cluster. With bad luck, this virus can spread very quickly and I think it's clear that the L3 lockdown in Auckland really stopped it from exponentiating, and I'm not convinced that L2 has the same power.

I doubt Christchurch would voluntarily wear masks..too many Blue bloods extolling their god given rights and probably just the vibe of the place. Oh and what happend to The Man?


The government has changed and adapted policy quite a lot since the start of the pandemic, so there is no reason to assume they won't continue to. As new data comes in, hopefully they use that to inform policy.

Also, I wouldn't underestimate what the government and central banks will do to "support" the economy. Unfortunately, unlike vaccines that have to undergo rigorous randomised controlled clinical trials, monetary policy is highly speculative and fiscal policy is highly polictised so not really very evidence based.

I'm way more confident about sciences and science informed policy to help deal with the virus, than governments and central bankers ability to effectively manage the economy and financial system.

I agree. Instead of constantly questioning the government over its virus response, we should focus on our efforts as a nation on preparing and implementing an economic plan around the chosen virus response; or else we risk 'letting a good crisis go to waste'.
We need more strategic investment into a post-Covid future. The government's vocational funding, agri-tech transformation plan as well as 3-water infrastructure and shovel-ready investments are good starts to help build a more resilient economy than what we had pre-Covid.

'Strategic investment'? 'Planning'? There words do not exist within a modern NZ government's vocabulary.
We've been talking ad nauseum for years about transforming things, I don't think even a once in a lifetime crisis is enough to change the government's mentality, unfortunately.
If we are lucky we might get a couple of meaningful shifts in the right direction.

For example from Monday we have masks mandatory on public transport but we didnt need this during level 4 in supermarkets or when we were out and about.

Because at the time, evidence didn't support the efficacy of such a measure. We now have evidence that masks are effective against the spread of COVID-19, crucially this includes home-made masks, for which there was 0 scientific evidence to support back in March / April.

Furthermore, there's the matter of supplies and distribution. We're clearly much better prepared now, 6 months later, than we were during the start of everything, not to mention that Wuhan in China is one of the world's main manufacturers of face masks and they weren't open for business at the time.

Comparing any alternative with Sweden is pretty unfair at this point. Treatment has much improved in Europe, death rates are plummeting, and patients spend 4 days less in hospital. Looking at case numbers is irrelevant right now.

The only reason it would be "unfair" to compare NZ to Sweden is if you were trying to make lame excuses for NZs complete failure of an approach. Sweden has won! they're either at or close to herd immunity! Their economy is functional and they have no restrictions.

The only thing this poll proves is how the media and government can scare / brain wash an entire population into committing collective economic suicide.

“...Sweden has won...” what a load of nonsense
But what I find extremely interesting is, the right leaning Swedes are absolutely condemning the lax rules of the their left leaning government. While right leaning New Zealanders are screaming how successful Sweden’s lax approach is.... who says Covid19 isn’t political?


It's no coincidence that some of the most community minded nations have had fewer restrictions - Sweden, Taiwan and Japan among them.

Sweden? Community minded? Lol!
They don't care if the old and weakest in society kark it... and the body count continues .. they've even stopped testing ...
Simply put, you are just plain wrong Fritz... But with a name like 'Fritz' I think I see where you are coming from.

Couldn't help yourself hey. Almost stayed on topic.

Sweden also socially distances well anyway. Summed up in a Swede I saw quoted recently: "I can't wait for these conditions to end so I can go back to my usual social distancing of 4 metres instead of the current 2 metres."


Gosh, the government, backed by the mainstream media have seemingly got the majority of the people swayed to lockdowns. Never before have I seen such a propaganda machine in operation. Slamming down independent thinking and real science without providing a single reason. If it's not what they tell you, it's a conspiracy. We will all be serious casualties (though not of a virus).

I concur, blind faith that effective medicine and the well presented statements of intent by government will come to pass have enthralled the herd. The mere mention that it may not go as planned would have you shrilly berated as if you were a Trump supporting anti-vaxxer.


Get a grip.

Watched Chipkins on TV yesterday saying wearing of masks on public transport is mandatory however optional when travelling in a taxi or Uber because the driver will be wearing the mask and the passengers are not travelling with strangers.

Err what about the potential contamination from the previous passenger who just got out of the taxi?

Then wear a mask then doh..classic example of please tell me what to do Government, I cannot make decisions for myself.

Never before have I seen such a propaganda machine in operation. Slamming down independent thinking and real science.

Yes and yes! It's particularly obvious from an overseas perspective.

I do agree (and don't) on the point regarding sceince. There seems to be fashionable behaviour of using "science" as the be-all and end-all of an argument; the Government, amoung others, constantly use the phrase "backed by good science". But that makes no sense - science is about asking questions, pushing the boundaries of understanding, and never discounting an idea until it is comprehensively proven wrong. Science is as much about questions as it is about answers. Anyone using the word "science" to back an argument as in "I am right because the science says so" means they don't really understand what science is. It's not something one can have a monopoly over, nor is it something so black and white. A theory is only a theory until it is proven wrong.

The government can hand pick scientists who agree with it's point of view. I'd say the majority of scientists in New Zealand would be extremely reluctant to openly criticise the government for fear of loosing their funding. That's why I regard the scientists at covidplanb.co.nz as being particularly courageous. from a philosophical point of view science is just trial and error. It not so much "never discounting an idea until it is comprehensively proven wrong", but more about adopting the model which best fits the data.

There's no doubt the Govt is only soliciting advice from those to support their narrative. Hendy's earlier models were so astonishing in their exaggeration that any layperson could see the input variables were utter bollocks. Remember the 80,000 dead scenario? They were used to sway the public then conveniently forgotten about. Wiles is the worst - if you ever read her Twitter you will see she's a partisan "scientist" and has her head so far up JAs ar*e, Clark gets a wad full of pink hair every time he kisses his spouse. But even the so-called experts have lost their way...Baker labeled Thornley a contrarian forgetting it was a contrarian that posited the world was not flat. Jackson labeled him a junior with no experience to undermine his view, forgetting that we don't live in a militaristic society and junior vs senior is irrelevant when discussing views of science.
Not one of these people have actually discussed the science in public forum and that's a sad indictment of the state of our Unis; I would never send my kids to an institution that doesn't welcome open discourse on topical issues. They prefer to undermine opposite opinion rather than understand it.

yep, I share your frustration. Someone posted me those twitter feeds you mentioned, and I thought the same thing. Partisan cringe-worthy stuff.

Echo .. echo.... Echo.... chamber.... Chamber.... Chamber.......

The problem the self-described "just questioning" folk face is having too much overlap with conspiracy theories. The folks I see "just questioning" are posting anti-vax, anti-5G, "Plandemic" posts, and when provided with contrapuntal sources seem completely uninterested. Talking points are posted, questions not asked, secret plans hinted at (including the timing of another lockdown so close to the election ("Coincidence? Maybe...but I can't help...")), estimated case and death numbers decried...But few questions asked of their talking points. So it doesn't make them look scientific, especially when they yell "Sheeple!" at passing New Zealanders.

Of course, it is a great strategy and will pay off. But the tactics are questionable somewhat, as per the Opposition, right ? At what cost is this being pursued. What is the time frame ? How is the Election playing into this ? Government doesn't seem to take the Parliament or the Opposition into confidence while drawing out plans & responses. This is kind of concerning, in my view.
Jacinda was more forthcoming in the pre 102 days hiatus. Now she is playing it differently.
Hope they get their ACT together and save the nation, good luck to all of us.

The priority for Labour right now getting back into power by keeping the voters onside at any cost then worry about the days, months and years after the election and that is quite frightening.

Here's my Nostradamus attempt:

- A Labour / Greens coalition government formed this election
- Economy is in big trouble by March 2021, with damage carrying on for a couple of years
- National will regroup and win the next election

lol, I like Mystic Meg on a Friday afternoon. Here's a slightly different prediction...

~ JA gets a very slender majority. We get more achieved at the fringes, cameras on fishing boats, perhaps CGT on investment residential property etc
~ As you say by March next year the Ue starts to climb, RBNZ has OCR at max of 0% but we also see the start of the new paradigm ~ domestic tourism increases, CBD foot traffic doesnt return, the world economy continues its trajectory towards ecommerce and environmentally more aware purchasing
~ 2022/3 We start to see the shoots of a global recovery but National are still stuck up their own asses and havent managed to convince the marginal voter they are a better option
~ Next election Labour clings on but now the Greens have considerably more votes as the current school leavers reject two party politics.

Happy Friday :)

As oxymoronic as Shaw and Davidson, Glitzy.

e commerce is still buying stuff. Stuff is still processed parts of the planet. Doesn't matter a damn whether you virtue-signal with enviro this and greentech that, it's still consumption of processed parts of a finite planet. And it's a linear, exponentially-accelerating process.

Correction; was. Because we've seen the global peak and it's receding in the rearview mirror. You cannot have 'green shoots' (soooo post GFC) or ' growth' at this stage, unless they are displacing something else, somewhere else.

There is a growing discussion/division between Extinction Rebellion and Deep Adaption currently - logic tells us the latter have the inside running on the truth.

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas. Nothing will be done about the impending end to growth until it is walking in through the door; the knocks on the door (which aren't yet happening) will be ignored.

Also, Horizon found 53% of respondents saying they supported Lab policy re economy.
Which was 1% down on what they said to Horizon in June.
Judith making nil impact.
People, other than dyed in the wool Right wing National and Act nutters, do not want nasty and economic modelling decision making.
Election is over and we have to wait 7 weeks of tedium to find out full result.
My forecast is Labour 48%
Greens 5%
Act 3%
National 30%
NZF: 2%

Judith doesn't help herself by coming out and saying the freshwater rules will be gone by lunchtime. As a traditionally conservative voter who grew up on a dairy farm and has seen first hand the polluted waterways this was a silly tone deaf statement.

As for meal beaks gone by lunchtime, another tone deaf statement.

Just as Labour are led by the nose by the unions National are led by the nose by Federated Farmers. Both self serving archaic institutions out for themselves.

She's quire a tonedeaf person generally isn't she? Seems to lack empathy as well as smarts

She makes a mean cheesecake.

She should open a bakery, then

Probably will after the election..crusher biscuits and pies.

Flo Bjelke-Petersen was revered for her punkin' scones.

Similar in the empathy count, as I recall.

Elimination is great if it is feasibly achievable. It's the worst course of action if not.

Just shows what a good job the government has been scaring everyone into compliance. Does anyone remember the first SARS pandemic where 49 people died and 1100 hospitalised (119 into ICU) in NZ in 2009?
I didn't. https://www.hqsc.govt.nz/assets/PMMRC/Publications/PMMRC-Pandemic-influe...

And UK government strategies to make people more fearful detailed here:

Perceived threat: A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened; it could be that they are reassured by the low death rate in their demographic group (8), although levels of concern may be rising (9). Having a good understanding of the risk has been found to be positively associated with adoption of COVID-19 social distancing measures in Hong Kong (10). The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.


perhaps the answer would be different is people see these graphs -- at teh same time as many major EU countries are seeing a second wave France with highest daily infections ever - Sweden has virtually no new cases and no deaths - is fully reopen -- and no sings of any resurgence- so definitely no more lock downs or handbrakes on recovery - as many have said -- we will not know who got it right for another year - but Sweden is looking better and better every day compared with the countries around it


Sweden is still getting 2-300 cases a day according to the WHO and has a total of 83000 cases and 5500 deaths.
I think optimistically you could say that 10% of the Swedish population has had the virus.
Hardly enough for herd immunity.

and yet the death rate from COVID in Sweden has dropped to practically zero, along with excess Swedish deaths which similarly have gone to zero, if not negative.

When in doubt, see what the Greens are doing, then do the exact opposite and you'll probably come out better off more often than not.