National most trusted to guide New Zealand through recession - Newshub-Reid Research poll

  • 31/01/2023

National is the party most trusted to guide New Zealand through a recession with the country's economy tipped to contract this year amid a cost of living crisis, according to a new poll.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows National was perceived by 42.8 percent of voters as the party most trusted for managing the predicted recession, compared with 37.8 percent who thought Labour was more trustworthy in that field.

It's a result that similarly aligned with September's Ipsos New Zealand Issues Monitor, which found National was most trusted to solve inflation and the cost of living. However, that poll was carried out before the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) admitted to deliberately engineering a recession to bring skyrocketing inflation out of control.  

According to the latest consumer price index, New Zealand's annual inflation was 7.2 percent - unchanged from the previous quarter despite consecutive aggressive interest rate hikes from the RBNZ. 

Stats NZ data showed food prices had grown year on year by a three-decade high of 11.3 percent. 

However, that hasn't prevented Labour from regaining ground on National in the polls. The Newshub-Reid Research polling found Labour yielded a dramatic rise of 5.7 points to 38 percent after Chris Hipkins took over as party leader and Prime Minister. 

The poll showed National slightly behind, sitting at 36.6 percent.

"I think it was probably inevitable that Chris Hipkins was going to get a bit of a bump there," Newshub political editor Jenna Lynch told AM on Tuesday.

"People tend to warm to new leaders pretty quickly - they get a little bit excited when there is a change and I think probably the people that had got a little bit bored or tired of Jacinda Ardern are looking at the fresh face and going, 'Oh, OK - we can consider Labour again.'"

The Greens (8.1 percent) and ACT parties (10.7 pct) wouldn't garner enough seats to get their fellow left and right bloc parties over the line, the poll found - meaning a hung Parliament and indicating how tight the race is for October's election.