Health, Food Prices And Affordable Housing Top Priorities For Kiwis

Published: Fri 15 Mar 2024 12:19 PM
Kiwis are telling the government to focus most on improving health, rising food prices and affordable housing.
Horizon Research presented a list of 42 issues and asked adults nationwide which were the most important for the current government to take action on in 2024.
Each respondent selected on average 14 issues from the list. This is lower than the average of 20 issues selected in a similar July 2023 survey asking which issues were important in deciding their party vote in that year's general election.
The chart below shows the top 10 issues chosen. The top five issues were:
· Improve the health system - chosen by 66% - this is the equivalent of 2,667,000 adults,
· 63% rising food prices – 2,538,000 adults,
· Affordable housing 54% – 2,185,000 adults,
· Reduce crime 49% - 1,990,000 adults, and
· Youth crime and fuel prices each 47% - 1,913,000 adults.
The issues to focus on are similar to vote-influencing ones asked in 2023, with the top 4 issues being the same. In July 2023, education was the 5th ranked issue people said would influence their vote. In February 2024, improving primary and secondary education ranks 12th.
Across age groups there are differences in which issues are important.
People under 35 years chose on average 12 issues. Rising food prices (62%), affordable housing (58%0 and fuel prices (51%) were the top three issues for this group.
People aged 35-54 years chose on average 13 issues. Rising food prices (69%), improve the health system (66%) and affordable housing (54%) were the top three issues for this group.
People aged 55+ years chose on average 15 issues. Improve the health system (82%), law and order (64%) reduce crime (64%) were the top three issues for this group.
Respondents were asked which political party they voted for in 2023. Across the main political party voters the top 10 issues are in the tables below.
On average people who voted for Te Pāti Māori chose the most issues (16 on average).
Below are rankings for all issues surveyed.
Some environmental issues rank in the top 20, including the quality of water in rivers, streams and lakes (10th), ocean fisheries (13th) and climate change (16th).
Ti Tiriti o Waitangi related issues are also a priority for large numbers of adults.RankingWhich of the following do you think are the most important for the current government to take action on in 2024?ALLNZ Population aged 18+1Improve the health system66% 2,667,4402Rising food prices63% 2,537,7163Affordable housing54% 2,185,0314Reduce crime49% 1,990,4455Youth crime47% 1,913,4226Fuel prices47% 1,905,3147Child poverty44% 1,795,8608Law and order43% 1,747,2149Quality of roads43% 1,747,21410Water quality in rivers, streams and lakes42% 1,718,83711Housing supply41% 1,666,13612Improve primary and secondary education40% 1,605,32913Ocean fisheries reform to build sustainable fish stocks39% 1,568,84414Overall quality of life38% 1,520,19815Rent control37% 1,516,14416Climate change37% 1,487,76717Tackle environmental pollution36% 1,439,12018Improve Oceans quality35% 1,410,74319Social housing supply34% 1,370,20520Economic development33% 1,325,61221Economic management32% 1,301,28922Public Transport31% 1,244,53523Honouring Treaty of Waitangi commitments30% 1,208,05024Taxation29% 1,191,83525Mortgage interest rates29% 1,183,72726Racial harmony29% 1,159,40427Stop co-governance policies26% 1,045,89628Reduce unemployment26% 1,041,84229Welfare25% 1,017,51930Increasing my income25% 1,013,46531Create new jobs25% 1,001,30332Immigration23% 948,60333Keep laws implementing the Treaty of Waitangi/ Te Tiriti o Waitangi using treaty principles23% 932,38834Firearms control22% 891,84935New Zealand Superannuation21% 863,47236Regional investment20% 794,55737Cultural diversity16% 656,72538Repeal laws implementing the Treaty of Waitangi/ Te Tiriti o Waitangi using treaty principles16% 644,56439KiwiSaver15% 608,07940COVID-19 pandemic management12% 494,57141Continue with co-governance policies12% 478,355N (unweighted)1,033Research method
An online survey of adults living in New Zealand aged 18 and older.Sample sources
Members of two nationwide Horizon Research panels and a third-party panel (used for source diversity).Fieldwork dates
2 to 8 February 2024.Sample size
1,035 adults.Weighting
The total sample is weighted on age, education, ethnicity, personal income, region and Party Vote 2023 to match the NZ adult population.Maximum predicted margin of error
±3% at the 95% confidence level.

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