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Most important issues for Kiwis: Health and affordable housing

13 Feb 20

Credit: NewstalkZB
Most important issues for Kiwis: Health and affordable housing
Health the biggest vote-influencing issue for 2020

Health and affordable housing are the two main issues New Zealanders think are most important when it comes to deciding how they will cast their Party Vote in the September 19 general election.

Of 27 issues, the 5 top-ranked in a nationwide Horizon Research survey in January, 2020, are:

  • Health 57%
  • Affordable housing 49%
  • Overall quality of life 40%
  • Environment 40%
  • Education 39%

Respondents were asked: Which of the following issues do you think are the most important in helping you decide which party to vote for in this year's general election?

Here's how they ranked:


The top ranking issue, Health, is highly important to older New Zealanders when they decide how to cast their party vote.

It peaks at 70% with 65-74 year-olds and 69% among those aged 75+.

There is less than average concern among those aged 35 or under.

Party vote on health:

Health is highly important to voting decisions to be made by those who voted in 2017 for National (64%) and Labour (62%).

It is also important to eight out of every 10 who voted for the Maori Party. At 51% it is important to each of New Zealand First and Green voters, but below the overall average of 57%.

Affordable housing


Affordable housing is the most important issue, in helping decide party Vote in 2020, to those aged 45-54 years: 57%.

It is above average overall importance to those aged 75+ (53%), 25-34 years (50%).

It is below the overall average among those aged 55 to 74 and 18-24 years.

Household income:

Affordable housing is of above average importance to those on lower incomes and those households with national average incomes of $70,000 to $100,000 a year (52%).

Party voted for in 2017:

Among those who voted for a party at the 2017 general election, affordable housing will have an above average influence on their 2020 party vote among those who voted for Labour (62%), Green (55%) and smaller parties (69%).  It has below average influence among National and NZ First voters (43%).

Will Budget priorities reflect New Zealanders' concerns?

Finance Minister Grant Robertson on February 13, 2020, announced the priorities for the Government's May 14 Budget would be:

The future of work, lifting Māori and Pacific incomes, child wellbeing, mental and physical wellbeing, and just transitions to a climate-resilient sustainable and low-emissions economy.

The Horizon survey indicates policy will need to focus on Health and Affordable Housing, as well as lifting overall quality of life, if it is to achieve maximum influence on how New Zealanders cast their party votes.

The results are from a Horizon Research nationwide survey of 1,076 respondents 18+, representing the adult population at the 2018 census. The survey was conducted between January 24-28, 2020. At a 95% confidence level, maximum margin of error +/- 3.1%

For further information please contact Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research, email, telephone +64 21 848 576.

You are welcome to comment on these results at Horizon's Facebook page.

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