Understanding New Zealanders’ attitudes to the environment
MfE commissioned research on what New Zealanders think about climate change, water and waste.
A sample of the main findings:
- Around one in three New Zealanders are worried about climate change.
- There is support (62 per cent) for a more ambitious emissions target.
- New Zealanders are optimistic that individuals can make a difference (62 per cent) and are responsible for doing so (75 per cent). However, many show a reluctance to ‘walk the talk’ by changing their behaviours.
- Of those surveyed, 82 per cent of New Zealanders feel that it is very or extremely important to improve the quality of our water.
- New Zealanders feel that improving water quality is the responsibility of the Government, businesses, and farmers. However, they do not consider that any of these groups are doing enough.
- New Zealanders have a lower sense of personal responsibility for water quality, and there is generally low awareness of household behaviours that can impact water quality.
- Of those surveyed, 50 per cent of New Zealanders are very or extremely worried about the impacts of waste.
- New Zealanders feel that the responsibility for waste reduction falls on everyone, but that the Government is not currently doing enough.
- Reducing waste was rated as the third most important challenge facing New Zealand over the next 20 years, behind fixing hospitals and providing affordable housing.