News & Updates

UMR - Latest Updates


The primary purpose of this 2017 study was to repeat the 2008 benchmark study that explored urban and
rural New Zealanders’ views of rural New Zealand and the primary sector.

In field 10 Feb 2017 to 17 Feb 2017

By Stephen Mills, Executive Director UMR research
A UMR nationwide survey undertaken earlier this year shows New Zealanders appear to be remarkably complacent about the threat from the advance of new technologies to many occupations in the near let alone the more distant future.
They do not appear, at least yet, to be overly concerned by the threat to current occupations from new technologies.

Downloads: PDF icon future_of_work_-_stephen_mills.pdf

In field 16 May 2017 to 21 May 2017

As part of our series of presentations for New Zealand Insight subscribers and clients, UMR Research ran a survey focusing on immigration which is looking to be a hot election year topic.

Downloads: PDF icon final_full_nz_insight_slides.pdf

The state of political polling
by Stephen Mills Executive Director UMR Research

The twin failures to predict David Cameron’s win in the 2015 UK election and now the Trump triumph have certainly damaged the reputation of political polling.

The world was expecting a Clinton presidency and , even so it seems, were the two candidates. Hillary Clinton barely campaigned in Michigan and Wisconsin two key states she lost, presumably on the back of public and private campaign polling showing those states were solidly in her camp.

In field 31 Mar 2016 to 6 Apr 2016

There has been some debate among New Zealand political commentators about whether a candidate like Donald Trump could emerge in New Zealand. The underlying circumstances are sufficiently different to make this unlikely, at least in the next few years. New Zealand has not been as badly scarred by the global financial crisis as the United States. A decisive majority of New Zealanders have believed the country is heading in the right direction for almost all of John Key's term as Prime Minister.

Downloads: PDF icon USA Presidential Candidates Apr-16

In field 25 Feb 2016 to 29 Mar 2016 and In field 10 Mar 2016 to 15 Mar 2016

There was no significant change in flag preference from the previous survey conducted in Late February.
Younger New Zealanders are the keenest to retain the flag.
Political polarisation is again very evident. A narrow majority of National voters now intend to vote for change but big majorities of other voters are voting for retention.

Downloads: PDF icon Flag referendum - March 2016, PDF icon Flag referendum - Feb / Early Mar 2016

In field 29 Jan 2016 to 15 Feb 2016

Two-thirds of New Zealanders are still planning to back the current flag in the upcoming referendum, according to a poll - and just as many say the whole process was a waste of money.

Figures from UMR Research's flag referendum update released on Monday have found of those polled, 65 per cent preferred the union-jack-emblazoned flag to its ferned alternative.

Downloads: PDF icon UMR - Flag Referendum Update - Feb 2016

In field 1 Jan 2015 to 31 Dec 2015

The annual Mood of the Nation report is a summary of a number of polls undertaken by UMR throughout 2015. Some of these polls have been tracked annually for up to 25 years.

It includes:

Downloads: PDF icon Mood of the Nation 2016


NZ appears largely immune from the rise of populism taking hold elsewhere. Or is it? Stephen Mills asks.

All sorts of weird and wonderful things are now happening in Western democracies. The success of new parties and extreme volatility is the order of the day.

New Zealand is almost alone in avoiding any equivalent excitement. Not that much has changed since John Key established his ascendancy in 2007.


Despite the Prime Minister's comments it is unlikely that Malcolm Turnbull would be satisfied with John Key's limited policy ambitions.

Malcolm Turnbull said his New Zealand counterpart John Key was a role model in his first press conference as Prime Minister. He described Key as "achieving very significant economic reforms in New Zealand … by taking on and explaining complex issues and then making the case for them".

Turnbull has got this completely wrong.