Two thirds of New Zealanders favour border ‘safety first’, says Herald poll

NZ Herald 270921
The New Zealand Herald ... high support for "safety first" at the border. Image: NZH screenshot APR

Pacific Media Watch newsdesk

A new poll shows nearly two out of three New Zealanders want the border to remain closed until at least 90 percent of the country is vaccinated.

The poll, in partnership with the country’s leading daily newspaper The New Zealand Herald, which is also running a 90% Project in support of high vaccination, showed growing support for vaccination, according to the paper in a front age report.

The Herald said the Talbot Mills Research poll indicated that 89 percent of those polled planned to get vaccinated or had already done so.

“The results contrast with a public appeal yesterday from former prime minister Sir John Key for New Zealand to break out of its ‘smug hermit kingdom’ by opening the border as soon as possible,” the Herald said.

The newspaper said that support for 90 percent was much higher than for the “option of opening the borders after everybody had been given a reasonable chance to get vaccinated, regardless of the overall rate – an option favoured by 26 percent of people.”

Political editor Claire Trevett wrote that support for the 90 percent plus threshold was “particularly high among Labour and Green supporters (70–72 percent support) – but about 60 percent of National and Act supporters also favoured it”.

The government had so far refused to set a specific threshold or date at which it would ease border restrictions, Trevett wrote. However, it had committed to trialling measures such as home isolation this year, as part of its road map.

“The poll of 1050 people aged 18 and over was taken from August 31 to September 6 – the third week of the lockdowns sparked by the delta outbreak. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent,” wrote Trevett.

“The NZ Herald has joined with Talbot Mills Research for polling on vaccinations as part of the 90% Project, to help track public sentiment over the coming months.”

12 new covid community cases
The Health Ministry reported 12 new community cases of covid-19 in New Zealand today, with all but two epidemiologically linked to previous cases.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said there were now a total of 1177 community cases associated with the latest outbreak of the delta variant of the virus, RNZ News reports.

All of the latest cases were identified in Auckland.

The ministry said one of today’s community cases had previously been under investigation and was now confirmed and linked to the current outbreak.

“The case has now recovered. The case spent 14 days in a quarantine facility along with household members who also tested positive for covid-19,” the statement said.

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