Key findings from the survey

The full report on the survey can be accessed here: Quantitative Survey Report PDF.

Some key findings from the analysis of the survey data:

  • Use of social media is high, and Facebook dominates with Twitter and Instagram also used.

  • Around a quarter of the sample used social media to engage with ‘political issues” or politicians.

  • Social media platforms are used for political activity by minority ethnic groups more than Pākehā. Indicating their potential use as a tool for engagement in formal democratic system.

  • Stated trust in news online may be low, but perceptions of information credibility are driven by trust in friends, family and organisations.

  • Most people still rely on mainstream media for information about a key political issue (decriminalisation of marijuana) but friends and family and online news feature strongly.

  • New Zealanders are relatively accurately informed about the opinions of others with regard to the decriminalisation of marijuana.

  • There is evidence that New Zealanders who believe their views are in the minority on decriminalisation of marijuana are less willing to share their views both offline and online. This suggests social media platforms replicate rather than overcome existing barriers to engaging in less formal processes of democracy (public discussion and discourse) for people who hold minority views.