By Tom Carnegie, Consultant
Australia and New Zealand are about to start relaxing COVID-19 measures. Being two nations who reacted early, with strict social distancing and championing pragmatism over ego, they are now experiencing a surge in national pride as they enter the “new normal”.
Newgate Australia has polled 1,000 Australians and found that the crisis has bred a unique “Team Australia” spirit. The research found that 81% of Australians (up 5% since last week and up 34% in the last month) believe the COVID-19 response has been appropriate, with only 12% believing it has not been serious enough (down 30% in a month), and only a small 7% characterising Australia’s response as an over-reaction.
Across the ditch in New Zealand, a new poll by the Company Colmar Brunton has found New Zealanders overwhelmingly back the Government’s strict lockdown measures, with 87% of New Zealanders, up from 84% two weeks ago, approving of how the Government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with only 8% disapproving.
This surge in national spirit, born from a belief “we are all in this together”, will play a fundamental role for both Governments moving forward. They will be hoping that this community consensus will bridge divides on more politically contentious issues that will arise in post Covid-19 economic revival strategies, including proposals for tax reform, deregulation, and industrial relations changes.
The challenge in messaging will be to balance complacency and hope, with the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison telling Australians the country was “on the way back” but would also need to embrace a “a COVID-19 safe economy.”