Well, here’s one piece of news that is encouraging: NZers' distrust in government is growing:
A new study commissioned by Victoria University of Wellington’s Institute for Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) has found that New Zealanders have little trust in government, and that trust has decreased over the last three years.
The study, instigated by IGPS director Associate Professor Michael Macaulay and conducted by Colmar Brunton, surveyed 1,000 people across the country on how much they trust key civic groups such as government ministers, police, medical practitioners, churches, charities, small businesses, the media and bloggers.
Only 8% of respondents reported having "complete or lots of trust" in Members of Parliament and the media. Other government groups also rated poorly, with government ministers trusted by 10% of participants, and local government trusted by 12%.
At the other end of the scale, medical practitioners and police rated as the most trusted groups with 56% and 53% of New Zealanders respectively trusting them "lots" or "completely."
Well, 56% and 53% of the 1,000 NZers questioned. Still, that’s only just over half – hardly a glowing endorsement.
Nonetheless, just over two-thirds of those questioned said they trusted their neighbours (a good sign), and small businesses have increased in trust with a net gain of 16% since the survey was last carried out.
Macaulay says that the research findings are significantly different to previous studies, such as the OECD’s 2013 study, that find New Zealanders typically have a high-level of trust in their government.
“’Our report suggests that there may be a crisis of distrust in the country….’ Associate Professor Macaulay says the rankings offer a snapshot of the current political climate, which is typified by low voter turn out and a public largely disengaged with politics.
Mind you, bear in mind you’re reading about this on a blog, based on a media report, both of which are generally trusted even less than are government ministers.
So there’s that.
Here are the key findings of the report: