Research Outputs (non-confidential) & Media Release
|Posted on 2 October, 2017 at 7:25|
Bugger the pollsters? Not this time
Mark Jennings is co-editor of Newsroom. He writes about the media industry, business, and tertiary education.
Newshub’s political editor Paddy Gower has been quick to brag about the accuracy of his network’s political polling in the wake of the election result. The Newshub-Reid Research poll published two days out from the election got very close to the actual result.
It is likely to prove even more accurate if most commentators' predictions of a slight decrease for National and a slight increase for Labour and Greens prove correct when all the special votes are counted.
Gower’s delight over the result is partly revenge, because TV3 copped it after the 2014 election when it had one of the least accurate final polls.
The winner in 2014 was the rival 1 News Colmar Brunton poll. This time, Colmar was off the pace and in sporting terms “had a shocker” with its second-to-last poll before the election.
The Colmar poll had Labour on 43 percent and National on 41.
At the time, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern commented that she was “surprised”, a clear indication that it didn’t match the party’s internal polling.
Former pollster, Dr Andrew Robertson, says the poll was almost definitely a rogue result.
“Looking back at it, I suspect the Colmar Brunton poll was an outlier, it is what happens when you are dealing with statistics – it is the random nature of sampling. It was bad luck for Colmar and 1 News that it happened so close to the election.”
However, the strong criticism international polling companies got after failing to pick up trends in the US and British elections is unlikely to be echoed here.
According to Robertson there is no “polling crisis” in New Zealand and “the established polls have done well, once again”
What does worry him is the decline in the number of polls.
“This is a big problem, there are now only two polls (Newshub and 1News) using bespoke methodology. Roy Morgan does one but they don’t follow the Research Association’s political polling code of practice.”
The two big newspaper groups, Fairfax and NZME did not run polls this election, instead doing forecasts based on the other polls.
“I think it is to do with cost and the Herald’s polling company Digi Poll closed down. Losing these polls is a problem - the forecasts and the polls of polls don’t have much data to inform their models and calculations.”
The way our pollsters gather their data is also changing.
This year Reid Research used an online panel to reach its quota of 18 to 35 year olds – 25 percent of the total sample. The remaining 75 percent were polled by the traditional method of calling landlines.
Dr Andrew Zhu who supervises the online sampling for Reid Research says the case for “online polling” is getting stronger.
“Twenty-five percent of people don’t even have a landline anymore and my research estimates that this will rise to 33 percent by the end of 2017. The reliability of the online panel we are using is getting better and better; therefore we have chosen to adopt online panels as a way to contact this hard-to-reach population.”
Andrew Robertson agrees that future polls will adopt a multi-method approach.
“Calling cell phones is not the answer so yes, I see a move to online as well as landlines and maybe even some door-to-door sampling.”
Both Robertson and Zhu feel criticism of the polls is largely unwarranted.
“I think unprofessional journalism is a bigger problem. Some media were reporting that National is making a comeback, whereas (apart from the one Colmar poll) National were remarkable steady in the polling. And it is often not made clear enough that the polls are taken at least a week earlier than when they are reported,” said Zhu.
Robertson’s view is that the polls provide a vital public service despite what some politicians think.
Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger once famously said “Bugger the pollsters” on the eve of the 1993 election and Winston Peters consistently rubbishes the established polls.
Robertson has some sympathy for Peters. “I think that 10 years ago he had a point, when the polls regularly underestimated NZ First support but voters have no other bellwether to measure politicians against – particularly when they say they are leading an electorate and it turns out they are not. There is no other way to get a view of what the public really think."
Full story: https/www.newsroom.co.nz/2017/09/25/49900/bugger-the-pollsters-not-this-time
|Posted on 2 October, 2017 at 7:20|
Should we trust the polls?
By Meriana Johnsen | September 22, 2017
The recent election upsets of Brexit and Trump have placed doubt over polling reliability. Whilst New Zealand has a good track record for accuracy, this campaign has seen huge discrepancies between polling results. The most striking was between the recent Colmar-Brunton poll which put Labour 4 per cent ahead of National whilst Reid-Research had National 10 per cent ahead.
To work out how the pollsters could produce such starkly different outcomes, we spoke to the polling companies about their methodologies and what factors would likely cause an election upset.
Is landline surveying to blame?
With the exception of Newshub-Reid research, all the polling companies use landline surveying. The common misconception is that landline surveying skews the results towards older voters. Polling companies have quotas they must fulfill for age, gender and region, based on the latest census data.
Reid Research managing director Ngaire Reid said that in the past the company has struggled to find a 25 – 30-year-old male from the West Coast. The hardest demographic to meet was under 35s.
“It’s been very difficult to get young people, you just ring and ring and ring,” she said.
Newshub now solely uses online polling to survey 18 – 24 year olds and most 25 – 35 year olds. It’s all a matter of speed and responding to consumer research which says landline use is in decline, according to Dr Andrew Zhu, whose company conducts the internet polling for Newshub.
Landline polling has become hard to achieve as a third of New Zealanders no longer have a home phone. Dr Zhu said that online surveying wouldn’t change the result “too much”, but he would still be paying close attention on the 23rd of September to see if it was accurate.
Could a high youth voter put the polls out?
A high voter turnout in New Zealand makes the chance of a shock result unlikely. Both the U.S and the U.K have voter turnouts in the low 60s, whilst NZ’s voter turnout remains strong at 76 per cent.
UMR mitigates for voter turnout by excluding voters who answer that they are uncertain whether they will vote, whilst Colmar-Brunton is confident that high voter turnout is enough to avoid this issue.
Colmar-Brunton chief executive Jason Shoebridge said the polls would likely be thrown if older voters stayed home rather than a high young voter turnout.
Oftentimes when two polls appear outside the margin of error it is a case of when the polls were conducted. The starkly different Green party projections in August were largely influenced by when Green’s co-leader Metiria Turei resigned.
The Colmar-Brunton poll was conducted after her resignation which placed them on 4.3 per cent. Reid-Research placed them on 8%, their polling taking place just a day shy of the leadership fiasco.
Is a polling embargo necessary in New Zealand?
Many countries overseas have introduced bans on publishing polls prior to the election. A 2012 study by the University of Hong Kong found that 38 out of 83 countries surveyed had a blackout period for publishing pre-election opinion polls.
There have been unsuccessful attempts in NZ to do the same. Winston Peters introduced a bill to ban polling 28 days from the election in 1999. He believed that voters were simply voting for the party they thought would win or whoever was performing best.
UMR Executive Director Stephen Mills believes polls provide necessary information for voters to make strategic decisions.
“It is vital for MMP, voters need to know if their party will meet the five per cent threshold,” he said.
Voters also make strategic decisions in their electorate if they think a party needs extra seats or if the seat is needed to form a coalition, as in the case of the Ohariu electorate.
Victoria University professor Jack Vowles agreed that polls provided critical information for voters to make their decision.
“A polling embargo would be a restriction on free speech. Polls provide voters with information that can help them make a choice – for example whether or not a party is likely to cross the threshold to gain seats therefore indicating the risk of wasting their vote,” he said.
A polling embargo under MMP would also likely result in a rise of wasted votes. A 2015 Oxford study found the number of wasted votes increased in countries with highly fragmented party systems when pre-Election Day polls are restricted.
|Posted on 2 October, 2017 at 7:15|
Poll: National will be back in Government if Chinese voters had their way
By: Lincoln Tan
Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter.
National would easily be able to govern alone without the need of any support parties if Chinese voters in New Zealand had their way, a new poll has found.
The WTV-Trace Research Chinese Poll found 71.1 per cent of ethnic Chinese will vote for National if the election was held tomorrow, a 2.4 percentage point drop from its previous poll.
This is at odds with some other mainstream polls which are putting Labour ahead of National.
Labour was up 5.8 to 21.6 per cent, while both NZ First and Act were down to 2.4 and 2.0 per cent respectively.
|Posted on 6 September, 2017 at 0:00|
Image Source: Radio NZ,the University of Auckland, New Zealand Herald & Stuff, August 2016
For the Chinese community:
Special thanks go to the following organisations and individuals for their encouragements and supports in this opinion poll
Volunteers (Research Professionals)
Dr Andrew Zhu
|Posted on 21 August, 2017 at 7:45|
Fonterra's Chinese investment partner Beingmate has forecast a hefty loss of $70 million for the first six months of the year and announced a sell-off of dairy farm assets.
The company had earlier forecast a profit. Its shares have fallen 10 per cent and been indefinitely suspended from trading, and charges have been made the company has been involved in insider trading.
In 2015 Fonterra invested $700 million for an 18.8 per cent stake in Beingmate, which it said would give access to the lucrative Chinese market for its infant formula and other products.
Dr Andrew Zhu of Trace, a consumer research company based in Auckland, said he believed the investment was questionable.
"There's a big mismatch between Fonterra and Beingmate. The key thing is the Chinese consumer doesn't have confidence in this brand."
"In May I went to China to do a study on infant formula and no-one mentioned it. For people in the first and second tier cities, it's not a brand they consider. It's aimed at the lower end of the market," Zhu said.
Fonterra acknowledged the difficulties of the Chinese infant formula market. A spokesman said the infant formula industry continued to operate "under challenging conditions" during the transition to infant formula registration, which had taken longer than indicated at first.
Beingmate was operating in a highly fragmented and uncertain infant formula market. Registrations for its five factories were "all on track".
"Our investment in Beingmate is part of a long-term, strategic plan to grow in the China infant formula market. We remain committed to the integrated China strategy and will continue to build on the success of our business in China," the spokesman said.
He said the partnership had created a direct line from Fonterra into the China infant formula market and given it access to an "extensive distribution and sales network".
"As a result our Anmum range is now in more than 170 cities in China, compared to around 60 in 2015."
Zhu said that just because the product was available in a greater range of cities, it was not necessarily value added.
Labour primary industries spokesman Damien O'Connor said senior Fonterra executive should be held responsible.
"The board approved a wasted investment of $700m of New Zealand farmer money. There's no excuse for not doing due diligence," he said.
Beingmate is not alone in experiencing difficulties in China. Last month Chinese authorities suspended the export licence of Australian dairy company Bellamys.
Fonterra manufactures Bellamy's organic baby powder range at its Darnum, Victoria plant under a five-year, multi-million deal, but the suspension does not impact the sale of these products.
Fonterra Australia also uses the Darnum plant to manufacture nutritional base powders for Beingmate, which are now being shipped to China.
Last week Beingmate told the Shenzhen Stock Exchange it would spin off a subsidiary that runs dairy farms in China's Heilongjiang province to improve earnings.
The subsidiary - Beingmate Anda Dairy Company - has lost money in the last year as global raw milk prices remained low, although they have since picked up.
The Caixin news website said Beingmate chairman Wang Zhentai had denied the claims of insider trading, but the Shenzhen Stock Exchange had ordered the company to disclose any stock transactions made by executives over the past three months.
In the last year the vice-chairman, chief financial officer and deputy general manager have resigned from Beingmate.
|Posted on 28 June, 2017 at 8:45|
19/06/2017 Reporter Isobel Ewing @ Newshub
The creators of the first Chinese-made anti-crime advertisement in New Zealand say they love the country, but it's becoming a "criminal paradise".
The video, made by Chinese production company Iconic New Zealand, is a plea to the Government to help Asian victims of crime. Director Tyler Luo hopes the anti-crime advertisement will highlight the issue and get the support of New Zealanders for finding a solution.
Mr Luo says he and producer Daniel Huang "love New Zealand and want it to be everyone's beautiful home".
"But in recent years, the continuous occurrence of crime, to Asians, especially Indian, Chinese, Korean and other groups has caused us great losses and painful experiences," he told Newshub.
In the video, victims of crime in New Zealand speak of their experiences, including an elderly woman whose arm was broken when she was thrown three to four metres, and a woman who was punched in the face, smashing her glasses.
One victim says, "New Zealand has never been a country like this," while another says they don't want it to become a "criminal paradise".
Mr Luo says these crimes aren't noticed by the mainstream media, and victims don't know how to get help and are disappointed by the police.
"We want to do something to help them... maybe the Government, the politician, the police officer can hear," he said.
He says members of the Asian and Indian community want to "jointly reduce crime and actively contribute to the community".
Director of Trace Research Dr Andrew Zhu told Newshub the company made the video "for the public good" to give New Zealanders a stronger awareness of the issue.
Dr Zhu says it's a call to action for the Government to implement stronger policies to help prevent crime against the ethnic community.
The video was launched on China's largest social media platform, WeChat, over the weekend.
Video Credit: Tyler Luo & Daniel Huang @ Iconic New Zealand
|Posted on 11 May, 2017 at 10:15|
Lincoln Tan is the New Zealand Herald’s diversity, ethnic affairs and immigration senior reporter
Three quarters of ethnic Chinese voters will cast their vote for National if an election was held tomorrow, a survey has found. But the party that is gaining the biggest rise in Chinese support is Winston Peter's New Zealand First, according to the World TV-Trace Chinese voter poll.
The study, backed by local Chinese media company World TV, claims to be the first in-depth study of New Zealand Chinese voting habits here.
Contrary to findings of the NZ General Social Survey, which found low voting rates among recent migrants, the poll found Chinese voter turnout in the 2014 General Elections was 78.5 per cent - higher than the national average of 76.8 per cent.
Dr Xin Chen, research fellow at the University of Auckland New Zealand Asia Institute, said the findings didn't surprise her.
Source: The New Zealand Herald Epaper
|Posted on 26 April, 2017 at 5:20|
More than 90,000 New Zealanders could quit their Sky subscriptions this year, according to new data that shows the country’s telecommunications and online video content industries are at a tipping point.
Exclusive research provided to Newsroom reveals nearly half of New Zealanders now watch video online, and predicts that skyrocketing demand for video content is beginning to drive demand for cheaper and faster internet here.
Trace Research Ltd’s Andrew Zhu said the data shows Asian consumers are leading the charge in demand for ultra high definition content. He said this content requires 4K televisions and predicted increasing sales of the high tech TVs.
The research puts weight behind recent manoeuvring of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) trying to position themselves as content providers, too.
Spark now gives customers free Netflix with their broadband despite already having its own on-demand viewing service; Trustpower is giving away free 4K televisions to new customers, and Vodafone and Sky haven’t yet given up on plans to merge despite getting the thumbs down from the Commerce Commission.
The data, compiled from an online survey of more than a thousand consumers in February, shows how rapidly consumer behaviour is changing - and how the traditional telco and media models need to adapt to catch up.
Some of the key findings included:
● Nearly half of people watch video online; led by millennials who watch nearly 80 percent of their video content online
● Only 6.8 percent of households have 4K capable TVs, but 15 percent of Asian families do
● A further 17 percent said they would likely buy a 4K TV in the next year
● Sky subscriptions are falling, with just 37.5 percent of households found to have the service.
● Of those Sky subscribers, 16 percent planned to cancel their subscriptions this year
● YouTube is the most accessed video streaming site, with 70.2 percent of viewers using it followed by Netflix at 32.4 percent
● 51.8 percent use TVNZ OnDemand, but only 26.2 use competitor ThreeNow
● Households have an average of eight video-capable devices, and people watch an average of three hours video each day
● Internet TV is the most popular way of viewing online content with 35.6 percent of viewers
● TV series are the most popular type of content, with 42 per cent of viewers choosing to watch them
Zhu said the implications of the survey’s findings were “huge”. It painted two industries on the cusp of “transformation” and vying for market share.
“Companies are trying to position themselves not only as ISPs but also as content providers."
“They are all trying to align themselves with media companies. The higher bandwidth video content means consumers need to download more data which means unlimited data consumption will be an issue."
“More people will consume more data and in the past looking at data allowance, that went to unlimited so what’s next? Speed. High definition content needs speed.”
Zhu said the data was gathered for a commercial client - but was primarily looking at the awareness of, and demand for, 4K.
Trace Research Ltd’s Andrew Zhu says the data shows Asian consumers are leading the charge in demand for ultra high definition content. Photo: Trace Research
“4K awareness is increasing,” he said. “Mainly with millennials, but it is the people aged 30- to 39 years old who have the highest adoption rate.” As survey respondents signalled intent to purchase the devices in the next year, up to 30,000 of the televisions could be sold in New Zealand. The devices were most popular with Asian demographics and new immigrants, said Zhu.
He expected demand for ultra high definition content to also increase, which would drive demand for faster internet and more bandwidth.
“The biggest barrier for many to adopt 4K TV is their bandwidth.” He said New Zealand had the infrastructure to supply faster internet, but unlimited data plans were not as affordable as international markets where 4K content was already widely adopted.
Trustpower was one company capitalising on this, he said. The company offered a promotion where customers received a free high quality 4K television to join the power and internet provider. The same could be said for Spark, which has recently offered free Netflix to internet customers - despite having its own on-demand viewing service Lightbox.
Lightbox was launched as “New Zealand’s version of Netflix” in 2014 before the actual Netflix and other international competitors became legally available here. It has failed to become a market-leading on-demand service, according to the Trace research. Only a quarter of Spark customers surveyed accessed Lightbox in the last year, despite receiving it free with their Spark services. Only 7.4 percent of Vodafone customers accessed it. However, Netflix was popular, independent of which ISP consumers signed up with.
Zhu said it was important to note that the Spark-Netflix partnership happened after the Trace research was conducted. However, Netflix was used by 70.1 percent of Vodafone customers and 68.4 percent of Spark customers questioned in the February survey. When it came to the competition between market leaders Spark and Vodafone, Zhu said survey results had some interesting implications for the two telcos.
“Spark has made a very smart move [partnering with Netflix]. Lightbox hasn’t proven to be successful which might suggest why they are offering Netflix.” The diminishing popularity of Sky, which used to have its services in about half of all New Zealand households, was also interesting, said Zhu.
“If I was Vodafone I would be relieved that the Commerce Commission declined their merger. This data shows Vodafone would be silly to partner with Sky. They would have to spend more money turning Sky’s digital media to a more online viewing platform.” The data showed that Sky was in 37.5 percent of the households of survey respondents, with 16.5 percent of those planning to cancel the service this year. If extrapolated to the New Zealand population, this could amount to 90,000 lost subscribers – a trend in line with Sky’s own reporting of customer losses of 45,000 subscribers in the six months to May 2016.
“Based on findings from this research, the proposed merger might not give Vodafone any advantage because video streaming has become the new trend and none of Sky’s video streaming service has a high penetration rate.” Developments in the ISP and online content sectors were rapid, which meant it was a critical time for companies to act, said Zhu. “The sectors are moving really fast, Netflix could have potentially secured Spark’s place in the online video space which could be very, very good for them.
“Vodafone is different, it needs to move to video streaming and having a partner that is going to facilitate that.” Some of the potential areas for expansion could be in partnerships with YouTube or on platforms that allowed viewers to interact with content more, for example by leaving comments and sharing on social media.
The research was based on an online survey distributed to New Zealand residents through a consumer research panel between February 12 and 17. It is based on a sample size of 1003 valid responses of adults aged 18 years or over, and made up of 48.7 percent males and 51.3 percent females. Demographic weightings were applied using 2013 census population and household distributions and the margin of error is +/-3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.
|Posted on 30 March, 2017 at 8:15|
A matter of trust: Patrick Gower on improving Newshub's political polling
By JIHEE JUNN | MARCH 28, 2017
"For the first time ever, Newshub and Reid Research will conduct 25 percent of its polling via the internet. The remaining 75 percent of polling will continue to be collected via landline phone calls, with its sampling size of 1000 respondents and its margin of error of 3.1 percent remaining unchanged. The addition of internet polling—aided by Trace Research and its director Andrew Zhu—will aim to enhance access to 18-35-year-olds, as well as better reflect the declining use of landlines in New Zealand."
|Posted on 16 January, 2017 at 7:40|
Drunk or drugged motorists drive the most fear into Kiwi hearts, a safety report has revealed.
The survey also found that more than one in three people in New Zealand feel the country is less safe than it was a year ago.
Drivers under the influence had the greatest impact on our perception of public safety, according to results from a national safety perception survey conducted by insurance group IAG New Zealand.
The survey asked more than 1300 people a series of questions to gauge how safe they feel in New Zealand. Driving under the influence came out on top of our perception of public safety.
This was followed by fear of assault, drug dealing and then burglary.
IAG spokesman Martin Hunter found the survey's top result "surprising".
He thought it reflected the important role of cars in the lives of New Zealanders, along with the amount of media attention devoted to road safety issues. He said Kiwis' fear of impaired driving can help to influence changes in driver behaviour.
"It is clear from the number of serious accidents and deaths on our roads that there are still many drivers who make bad choices and that these choices result in disastrous consequences.
"The impacts go deep, influencing our overall feeling of vulnerability, so this validates efforts by authorities and other organisations such as insurers to bring about change."
Those who took part in the questionnaire were given a list of 17 types of offences, including murder, burglary, and driving under the influence. They were to rate them out of five on how concerning the crime was.
Drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol were given an "impact weight" of 28 per cent, while assault, which came in second, had an impact weight of 19 per cent. Drug dealing, in third, had 16 per cent, and burglary had 14 per cent.
Another motoring offence - exceeding the speed limit - also featured highly, coming in at number seven.
According to the results, men gave driving under the influence a higher impact weight, 31 per cent, compared with women, who gave it 21 per cent.
The online survey was sent to people who live in New Zealand through a consumer research panel and social media sites including Facebook, LinkedIn, Neighbourly and and Wechat.
Some 1348 responses were received from the poll, which was created by Dr Andrew Zhu at Trace Research and conducted between October 14 and 23. To ensure the representativeness of the results, demographic weightings have been applied to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents using the 2013 NZ Census’ population distribution. The margin of error is +/-3% at the 95% confidence level.