Wellington / Pōneke, 10 October 2023 – The latest Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor reveals that the primary concern for New Zealanders remains inflation / cost of living, with 62% of New Zealanders identifying it as a key issue.
Crime / law & order remains the second highest issue New Zealanders are concerned about at 37%. Healthcare / hospitals related concerns, whilst steady with August 2023, have now surpassed housing / price of housing to become the number three issue, relegating housing / price of housing to fourth position. The economy remains the fifth highest issue identified by New Zealanders but now shares this position with petrol prices / fuel, which last appeared in the top five in May 2022.
In 2018, Ipsos New Zealand started tracking the key issues facing New Zealand. In this wave of the Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor, we asked 1,000 New Zealanders to select from a list of 20, the three most important issues facing the country and to rate the ability of the country’s political parties to best manage these issues.
Key findings include:
- The top five issues currently concerning New Zealanders in September 2023 are inflation / cost of living (62%), followed by crime / law & order (37%), healthcare / hospitals (32%), housing / price of housing (31%), the economy (24%) and petrol prices / fuel (24%) as fifth equal.
- Inflation / cost of living, at 62%, has remained in the top spot since February 2022. The National Party continues to be seen by more New Zealanders (35%) as being the most capable of handling this issue, compared to any other political parties.
- Stable with August 2023, crime / law & order remains the second highest issue, with 37% of New Zealanders identifying it as a key concern.
- Concern for healthcare / hospitals is steady at 31% but has overtaken housing / price of housing to become the number three issue by a small margin.
- Housing / price of housing also remains steady, with 31% of New Zealanders identifying it as one of the key issues they are facing today.
- The economy, stable at 24%, now shares the fifth spot with petrol prices / fuel, also at 24%. For the first time since May 2022, petrol prices / fuel has re-entered the nation’s top five issues, just 4-percentage points below what it was in May 2022.
- The Government’s performance rating has slightly increased from August 2023’s record low mean score of 4.5 to 4.7. This marks the first increase in the Government’s performance rating since July 2020.
- When asked which political party New Zealanders believe is most capable of managing these issues, National was seen as most capable of managing all five of the top-5 issues: inflation / price of housing, crime / law & order, housing / price of housing, healthcare / hospitals, the economy and petrol prices / fuel. Compared to August, National is perceived to be best placed to address 15 of the top 20 issues, up from 14 issues last wave.
Carin Hercock, Managing Director, Ipsos New Zealand, said: “As we countdown to the election it is interesting to see some subtle shifts in the views in New Zealanders, while inflation remains by far the dominate issue worrying New Zealanders, concerns about fuel prices are now at similar levels when the government introduced its Transport Relief Package in 2022. National continues to be the party more people think can deal with the top 5 issues, however the gap has closed with respondents who ‘don’t know’ reducing and the selection of Labour increasing.”
Amanda Dudding, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos New Zealand, added: “Crime is an interesting issue, after inflation, it’s the one New Zealanders are most likely to be concerned about and has been a hot election issue too. As an important issue facing New Zealanders, crime has risen dramatically over the last 18 months and now seems fairly settled as the second biggest issue. Interestingly Australia hasn’t seen this rise in their Issues Monitor, but the Ipsos Global What Worries the World Survey has crime and violence in third spot, so New Zealand is not alone with these concerns.”
About the Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor
The Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor provides all respondents with the opportunity to say what they think are the three most important issues facing New Zealand at the current time. Additionally, people are able to have their say about which political parties they think are most capable of managing the most significant issues facing our society. They are also asked to rate the government on its performance over the previous six months. This survey is run approximately 4 times per year.
The fourth survey of 2023 and 22nd overall was carried out between 25th September and 2nd October 2023 and was completed by 1,000 New Zealanders aged 18 and older.