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New Prime Minister Bill English must find a solution to New Zealand’s growing ‘Housing Crisis’ – the largest problem facing New Zealanders in late 2016

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,001 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in October 2016. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?”

In October 2016 Government/ Public Policy/ Housing issues are still clearly the most important problems facing New Zealand according to New Zealanders. Some 40% of respondents (down 5% since July 2016) mention these issues. Within this bundle of concerns Housing affordability/ Increasing house prices (17%) and Housing shortage/ Homelessness (10%) are the most prominent.

In contrast, these domestic issues barely register when considering the wider world with War & Terrorism/Security/Refugee Crisis 30% (down 1%) still considered the biggest problem facing the World according to the latest Roy Morgan New Zealand survey conducted in October 2016 with a representative cross-sample of 1,001 New Zealanders.


New Zealand views on Problems facing New Zealand

When asked about the most important problem facing New Zealand, 40% of New Zealanders mention some kind of Government/ Public Policy/ Housing issue. This is down 5% from July 2016, but is still ahead of Economic issues 31% (down 1%), Social issues 15% (up 2%) and Environmental issues only 4% (up 1%).

In terms of Government/ Public policy/ Housing issues a large number of New Zealanders (27%) mention Housing as a major problem – 17% (unchanged) mention Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability and a further 10% (down 2%) mention the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage. These issues are well ahead of other issues including Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending 6% (unchanged) and Immigration/ Refugees 4% (down 2%).

The most important Economic issue facing New Zealand is Poverty / The gap between the rich and poor 16% (down 1%) ahead of Unemployment/ Job security 5% (up 1%), Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession/ High dollar 4% (unchanged) and Cost of living/ Inflation/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 3% (up 1%).

New Zealand’s ‘Housing Crisis

Men (20%) regard House prices/ Housing affordability as a greater problem than Women (14%) while this is reversed for the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage: Women (11%) cf. Men (8%).

New Zealand’s largest city is clearly most heavily impacted by the Housing crisis with 37% of Auckland residents mentioning either Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability (25%) or the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage (12%) followed by capital city Wellington – a total of 24% (Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability (16%) or the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage (8%).

Although Increasing housing prices/ Housing affordability are a major problem of New Zealanders of all age groups – it is those in the prime age to buy a house aged 25-34yrs old (21%) and 35-49yrs old (18%) that clearly see this as the biggest problem facing New Zealand well ahead of all other issues.

Comments made by Aucklanders about New Zealand’s ‘Housing crisis’

“Housing affordability; people not being able to afford a house.”

“Financial problems with housing prices and the flow on from that.”

“The housing crisis, like the housing Auckland – the prices are going up drastically each year and it’s hard for people to buy houses.”

“Construction can’t keep up with demand for housing.”

“The housing market is crazy and traffic is crazy. Two crises for me personally which I think comes down to issues with land and travel.”

“The price of houses compared to your national income.”

 “Housing for first time owners.”

“Homelessness based on the economy.”

“Housing, too much demand for housing and we don’t have the necessary housing for these people especially at the rate the houses are selling.”

“Homeless people. It keeps increasing, everywhere in the world, I think. Maybe they have no work or the Government isn’t helping them.”

“Home ownership versus average income. One’s ability to own a home is diminishing.”

“Housing, and the shortage of housing. How are they going to accommodate people in the next 5 years.”

“Trying to avoid our housing crash with the bubble bursting.”

“Overpriced houses in Auckland, but it’ll be much the same in the whole of New Zealand soon. There’re too many people overly invested in property. The market might go down a big, and a lot of people won’t be able to maintain their lifestyle, and possibly minimum requirements for the debt they’ve built themselves.”


New Zealand views on Problems facing the World

The biggest World problems according to New Zealanders are still War & Terrorism/ Security issues / Refugee Crisis 30% (down 1% since July 2016). Within that group New Zealanders most frequently mention Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest 14% (up 7%) clearly impacted by the intensification in the Syrian Civil War in recent months followed by Terrorism 9% (down 7%) and Refugee/ Migrant Crisis 3% (unchanged).

The next biggest World problems are Economic issues 25% (down 2% since July 2016). The Economic issues facing the World mentioned most often by New Zealanders are Poverty/ The gap between rich & poor/ Imbalance of wealth 13% (down 1%), the Economy/ Financial crisis/ Recession 4% (down 1%), Cost of living/ Inflation/ Financial hardship/ Household debt 4% (up 1%) and Over-population 3% (up 1%).

Other important World problems mentioned are Government/ Politicians/ Political Unrest 8% (unchanged)  Climate change/ Global warming/ Ozone layer/ Greenhouse effect 7% (up 1%), Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy towards others/ Intolerance 7% (up 1%), and Greed 3% (unchanged).

Comments made by New Zealanders about the problems of War & Terrorism the world faces

”These civil wars like they have going on in Syria and the other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“The war in Syria. They finish one and they start another. It’s big business.”

“War. It’s the Russians and the Yanks. I think they’re going to rev each other up and go to war.”

“Little boys with guns, the world has become a violent place. Being pressured by American, Russian arms industry I think that is the start of it. Stop dropping bombs and the world would be a better place.”

“Wars that are going on around us. These countries fighting at the moment. Thirty or forty years ago they were so safe and so why do they fight amongst themselves? The problem of refugees is a very difficult one and it creates a lot of problems.”

“Terrorism. People going around bombing everything, taking lives, full of destruction.”

“Wars and famine. There’s a station of war and the whole misery of that situation then spreads to everyone. There’s a knock-on effect and in a humanitarian way.”

“Stop these unnecessary wars. It’s a waste of innocent civilians caught up in it. Particularly in Syria.”

“War in Syria. People being displaced from their homes. Millions are being displaced because of war.”

“Terrorism. The ISIS threat and religious based terrorism.”

“Terrorism, probably all over, like ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban, and all those groups. It comes under war.”

“War, probably just to do with the number of countries that have unrest – to do with terrorists.”

“I’m watching the news and these countries fighting and they’re putting the children in the middle.”


Michele Levine, Chief Executive Officer, Roy Morgan says:

“Incoming Prime Minister Bill English must get to work finding a solution to New Zealand’s worsening ‘Housing crisis’ according to a cross-sample of 1,001 New Zealanders asked what the most important problems facing New Zealand, and the World, are just over a month ago.

“A staggering 27% of New Zealanders named Housing related issues as the most important problem facing New Zealand in late October – including Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability 17% (unchanged from July 2016) and a further 10% (down 2%) named the closely related issue of the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage.

“Unsurprisingly, this problem is particularly acute in New Zealand’s biggest city of Auckland – 37% of respondents in Auckland mentioned a Housing related issue as the biggest issue facing New Zealand – 25% mentioning Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability and a further 12% mentioning the Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage. This was far higher even than in the capital Wellington – 24% mentioned a Housing related issue, second only to the results in Auckland.

“The increasing problem of Housing related issues means the category of Government/ Public Policy/ Housing/ Human rights issues 40% (down 5%) is clearly on top ahead of more narrowly defined Economic issues 31% (down 1%) – however it is arguable the ‘Housing crisis’ could easily fit in either of these two categories. Both are well ahead of Social issues 15% (up 2%) and even further ahead of Environmental issues 4% (up 1%) – which have barely rated a mention in New Zealand for over 5 years.

“Once again – for the fifth straight survey stretching back to mid-2015 - Kiwis mention War/ Terrorism/ Security/ Refugee crisis 30% (down 1%) as the biggest problem facing the World, ahead of Economic issues 25% (down 2%). Well behind these two large groups of issues are Social issues 17% (up 1%), Environmental Issues 12% (up 3%) and Government/ Public policy/ Human rights issues 10% (up 1%).

“The biggest War/Terrorism/Security/Refugee crisis issue is now Wars and Conflicts 14% (up 7%), ahead of Terrorism 9% (down 7%) as focus shifted from the terrorists that are part of the Syrian civil war to the national armies at war in the country including the Syria Arab Army and the Russian Federation.

“Both of these issues are of course closely inter-related to the other issues mentioned in this category including Refugees/ Migrant crisis 3% (unchanged), Religion/ Religious conflict 2% (down 1%) and Peace/ Lack of World Peace 2% (up 1%).

“New Zealanders consider the World at large faces several key issues as it prepares to welcome US President-elect next month including the Economic issues of Poverty/ The gap between the rich and the poor/ Imbalance of wealth 13% (down 1%), Government/ Politicians/ Political unrest 8% (unchanged), Climate change/ Global warming/ Ozone layer/ Greenhouse effect 7% (up 1%) and Social apathy/ Lack of values/ Lack of empathy toward others/ Intolerance 7% (up 1%).”


These findings come from a special New Zealand Roy Morgan survey conducted with New Zealanders aged 14+ asked what are the most important issues facing New Zealand and the World today.

In New Zealand, a cross-section of 1,001 men and women aged 14 or over were interviewed by telephone in October 2016. Respondents were asked: “Firstly, what do you think is the most important problem facing the World today?” and “What do you think is the most important problem facing New Zealand today?” The research conducted was both qualitative (in that people were asked to use their own words) and quantitative (in that the ‘open-ended’ responses were analysed and ‘coded’ so that the results could be counted and reported as percentages).


For further information:

Contact

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Gary Morgan:

+61 3 9224 5213

+61 411 129 094

Michele Levine:

+61 3 9224 5215

+61 411 129 093


Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand - October 2016

Most Important Problem Facing the World - October 2016


Most Important Problem Facing New Zealand

New Zealand

Mar
2015

Jun
2015

Sep
2015

Jan
2016

Apr
2016

Jul
2016

Oct

2016

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Increasing house prices/ Housing affordability

7

11

10

7

7

17

17

Homeless/ Homelessness/ Housing shortage

3

3

*

3

2

12

10

SUB-TOTAL HOUSING RELATED

10

14

10

10

9

29

27

Government/ Politicians/ Leadership/ Government Spending

9

8

10

7

9

6

6

Immigration/ Refugees

1

2

5

4

3

6

4

Benefits Given to the Maori/
Inequality Between Maori and Other Ethnic Groups

1

1

*

*

1

*

1

Education

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Health System/ Shortage of Doctors/ Health Services

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

2

1

1

1

1

2

*

Not enough people/ People leaving New Zealand

*

1

1

-

*

*

*

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HOUSING/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

26

29

28

23

25

45

40

Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth

18

21

14

22

17

17

16

Unemployment/ Job Security

8

5

6

7

7

4

5

Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession/ Exchange Rate/ High Dollar

5

10

15

6

4

4

4

Cost of Living/ Inflation/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt

5

4

3

3

4

2

3

Low Wages

3

1

*

1

1

1

2

Foreign Ownership/ Selling our Assets

1

1

1

1

*

1

1

Need to Increase Exports

1

1

*

5

8

2

1

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

*

*

-

*

-

*

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

40

44

40

45

42

32

31

Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance

3

3

3

4

4

4

3

Child Abuse/ Lack of Care of Children/ Bringing up Children Wrongly

3

3

7

1

2

2

2

Crime/ Law & Order

2

1

1

1

3

1

2

Drugs/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

1

2

1

1

*

1

2

Social Welfare System

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

Breakdown of Family Unit/ Family Violence

2

1

1

*

1

1

1

Greed/ Materialism

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Racism/ Racial Tension

1

1

2

2

2

1

1

Violence/ Gangs

1

*

*

1

*

1

1

Youth Issues such as Behaviour/ Pregnancies/ Crime/
Drinking/ Drugs/ Lack of Discipline

*

1

1

1

1

*

1

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

15

13

17

14

16

13

15

^Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding

1

*

*

-

*

-

*

Christchurch Earthquake & Damage

*

-

*

*

-

-

-

TOTAL CHRISTCHURCH ISSUES

1

*

*

*

*

-

*

Environmental Issues/ Degradation

2

2

1

3

3

1

2

Climate Change/ Global Warming

2

2

1

3

2

2

1

Environmental Pollution/ Water Pollution

2

*

*

1

1

1

1

(Other) Natural Disasters/ Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions

1

1

-

*

1

*

-

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (INCLUDING CHRISTCHURCH)

7

5

3

7

7

3

4

Other

1

*

*

-

-

-

-

Can’t say

11

9

12

11

10

7

10

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*Less than 1%. ^ (Christchurch Recovery & Rebuilding included in both Economic & Environmental Issues).

Most Important Problem Facing the World

The World

Mar
2015

Jun
2015

Sep
2015

Jan
2016

Apr
2016

Jul
2016

Oct

2016

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Wars & Conflicts/ Unrest

12

12

9

9

5

7

14

Terrorism

23

11

8

21

16

16

9

Refugee/ Migrant Crisis

n/a

n/a

15

3

4

3

3

Peace/ Lack of World Peace

2

2

1

2

1

1

2

Religion/ Religious Conflict

3

4

3

4

3

3

2

TOTAL WAR & TERRORISM/ SECURITY/ REFUGEE CRISIS ISSUES

41

29

36

38

29

31

30

Poverty/ The Gap Between Rich & Poor/ Imbalance of Wealth

14

19

15

15

14

14

13

Cost of Living/ Inflation/ Financial Hardship/ Household Debt

3

3

3

2

2

3

4

Economy/ Financial Crisis/ Recession

3

4

6

4

3

5

4

Over-population

2

3

4

3

4

2

3

Unemployment/ Job Security

2

1

1

1

2

*

2

Food Shortages/ Feeding the People

1

2

1

*

1

2

1

TOTAL ECONOMIC ISSUES

25

32

30

25

26

27

25

Social Apathy/ Lack of Values/ Lack of Empathy Toward Others/ Intolerance

5

5

4

6

7

6

7

Greed

3

4

3

3

4

3

3

Crime/ Law & Order

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

Drug/ Alcohol Issues/ Drink Driving

1

1

*

*

*

*

2

Lack of Religious or Spiritual Values

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Racism/ Racial Tension

1

*

1

1

1

1

1

Violence

2

*

*

2

1

3

1

TOTAL SOCIAL ISSUES

13

12

9

14

14

16

17

Climate Change/ Global Warming/ Ozone Layer/ Greenhouse Effect

5

8

7

8

11

6

7

Environmental Pollution

1

1

1

1

2

1

2

Environmental Issues/ Changes/ Degradation

2

2

1

1

2

1

1

Famine/ Hunger/ Starvation

2

3

2

2

2

1

1

Natural Disasters – Earthquakes/ Tsunamis/ Floods/ Volcanic Eruptions

-

1

*

*

*

-

*

TOTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

9

15

11

12

16

9

12

Government/ Politicians/ Political Unrest/ Instability/

Greedy & Corrupt Governments

3

2

3

3

5

8

8

Health Issues/ Disease/ Obesity/ Poor Health

2

1

1

1

2

1

1

Education

1

*

*

1

*

1

*

TOTAL GOVERNMENT/ PUBLIC POLICY/ HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

5

3

4

4

6

9

10

Shortage of Resources/ Consumption of Resources

1

2

1

*

1

1

1

Water Shortage/ Clean Water

1

1

1

*

1

1

1

Energy Crisis/ Fuel Shortage/ Need Renewable Energy Sources

1

1

*

*

-

*

*

TOTAL ENERGY/ RESOURCE ISSUES

2

3

2

1

1

2

2

Other

1

*

1

-

-

-

-

Can’t say

4

6

7

6

8

6

4

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

*Less than 1%.


Roy Morgan New Zealand Electorate Profiles

Roy Morgan New Zealand provides the most in-depth analysis of each New Zealand electorate with our New Zealand Electorate profiles. Each electorate profile answers the key questions about the electorate. Who are the electors? What are they thinking? What media do they use? Who are they voting for? What are they doing? View a sample Roy Morgan New Zealand Electorate Profile here.

 

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. The following table gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. The figures are approximate and for general guidance only, and assume a simple random sample. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.2

±2.7

±1.9

±1.4