Newshub-Reid Research poll: Two-thirds of Kiwis don't understand new COVID-19 'traffic light' system

Just a week out from Cabinet's call to flick on the new traffic light alert system, the public verdict is in: The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll found a large majority of Kiwis just don't get it. 

It also found that a good chunk of New Zealanders aren't so sure about Aucklanders spreading their Christmas cheer across the country, either. 

Aucklanders got locked down, but they got up again - to picnic in the park. But more freedom is just around the corner. When the new traffic light system comes in at the beginning of December, 'red' means go. 

Red is paradoxically the signal that will finally open up Auckland's bars, gyms, churches and most importantly, for many hairdressers.

Aucklanders are fizzing but also a bit flummoxed. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll asked: Do you fully understand the traffic light system? Only 31 percent said yes, they fully understood, while about two-thirds - 65 percent - said no, they don't get it. 

Here's a quick refresher.

At 'red', gyms, churches and hairdressers open, as well as bars and restaurants, but with capacity limits and only if they use vaccine passes, otherwise it becomes like alert level 3 lockdown.

At 'orange', vaccine passes will allow venues and events to operate without capacity limits, and the next level is 'green', but no region is starting at this level. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern doesn't agree it's confusing. 

"No, actually, because it very much mirrors what we've done in the past but with vaccination certificates," she told Newshub. 

Come December 15, Aucklanders will be properly unleashed - free to roam outside the boundaries. If they're fully vaccinated or return a negative test, Aotearoa is their oyster. But not everyone is comfortable.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll asked: Should Aucklanders be allowed to cross the border for Christmas? And while a majority 56.7 percent said yes, let them go, 32.2 percent said no, while 11.1 percent didn't know - meaning 43.3 percent are feeling JAFFA-hesitant. 

Switching systems and strategies was always going to be messy but with just a week to go until it's lights on, two-thirds of us still don't get it, meaning Ardern - once the master of messaging - has missed the mark with this one. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 10-17 November with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.