South Auckland Māori and Pasifika oppose both referendums, poll shows

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A new survey reveals that Pasifika and Māori South Auckland voters oppose the two referendums in the upcoming general election.

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Photo: RNZ/ Michelle Cooke

My Truth Movement: General Election 2020 survey was conducted by The Cause Collective; a social change organisation focused on the wellbeing of Pacific people and South Auckland communities.

Most of the respondents believed that legalising recreational cannabis will have a negative impact on vulnerable communities such as Māori and Pacific people in South Auckland.

  • 72% (say it would have a negative impact) from a child and youth wellbeing viewpoint.
  • 53% from a crime viewpoint.
  • 46% from a health viewpoint.
  • 44% from an economic viewpoint.

However, only 11 percent say that it will have a positive impact on the wellbeing of child and youth should recreational cannabis become legal.

The recent Horizon Poll NZ survey of nearly 1,500 New Zealanders showed that there was a 52 percent majority of support for the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, while 47 percent did not support it.

“Our survey shows that the influences and voting preferences of Pasifika and Māori South Aucklanders is different to mainstream New Zealand,” chief executive Rachel Enosa said.

Seventy-four percent of all Pacific and Māori South Auckland voters surveyed do not support the End of Life Choice Act referendum compared to 30 percent who said they will support it and 24 percent still undecided.

Human rights and faith-based viewpoints were the main influential factors for opposition to the End of Life Choice Act referendum.

However, when the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in parliament in November 2019, the general New Zealand population supported the bill with a high 70 percent, and those against the bill at 30 percent.

The purpose of the My Truth Movement survey was to understand the influences and preferences of South Auckland voters for the New Zealand General Election 2020 including the two referendums.

“The results of the survey and our youth talanoa affirm what we see and hear when working in the community,” Enosa said.

CEO of The Cause Collective, Rachel Enosa

CEO of The Cause Collective, Rachel Enosa Photo: Supplied / The Cause Collective

“In terms of the referendum, yes, we know our community is relatively ‘conservative’ in some respects, but what was surprising was that our young people were more concerned about the End of Life Choice Bill being introduced than the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and control bill,” she said.

“We have already shared the information from our survey with local and central government politicians, particularly those who have strong association with South Auckland.

“Our insight reports and videos from our youth focus group talanoa (discussion) will also be shared. This is real-time data and lived experiences of South Auckland young people – it’s their truth.”

There was a total of 406 South Auckland voters in the survey, majority being of Pasifika and Māori descent, and it took place from Thursday 1 October to Thursday 8 October.

“We were after a snapshot in real time, that’s why we ran the survey for one week.

“It’s about getting demand-side data supported by lived experiences and insights from a South Auckland viewpoint as close to what people are thinking and feeling in the week leading up to the election.

“There are limited data and/or insights about Māori and Pacific South Auckland voters and particularly their views on the upcoming election and the two referendums,” Enosa shared.

The Mangere markets.

The Mangere markets. Photo: RNZ / Sela Jane Aholelei

“We think putting this new information out in the last week of voting is key to helping those who are still undecided about whether they should vote, or about what they are voting for.

“It’s about ensuring that the viewpoints of our community are heard at every step of the election campaign without being diluted by mainstream narratives, which typically occurs in national polling and surveys particularly in the lead-up to elections.

“Having Pacific leaders speak up is critically important, especially for articulating a view for the mainstream. What the My Truth Movement has done is inject the voice of voters living in South Auckland into the conversation, which can only strengthen the debate all round.”

The survey results also found that housing, poverty, and employment are the key issues that matter most for South Aucklanders leading up to the general election.

“Māori and Pasifika believed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic would continue to have a ripple effect across South Auckland.

“Large numbers of voters are concerned about housing, the increasing level of poverty and job security in this uncertain economic climate,” she said.

Pacific peoples do the most unpaid work and volunteering in New Zealand.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Other Information from the My Truth Movement: General Election 2020 Survey

  • Approximately 93% of respondents have registered to vote in the upcoming election
  • Approximately 97% of respondents intend to vote in the upcoming election
  • 90% of the respondents are aged between 18 and 55 years old.

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