The Omicron surge corresponds with a rapid increase in Kiwis’ appetite for a reopening of the border to international visitors.


Our latest results (February 2022) show that 78 percent of adult New Zealanders now support opening the border to international visitors (a significant increase from the 61 percent support recorded in January 2022).  Of those who want to see the border reopened, the majority (86 percent) support the border reopening with appropriate health measures in place (e.g. fully vaccinated or with a negative COVID-19 test).

The proportion of Kiwis who want the border to remain closed to all international visitors has halved since January 2022 (now 18 percent, down from 34 percent).  Just four percent of those interviewed in February were unsure about whether the border should be reopened.

There are no significant differences in sentiment by age, ethnicity, or household composition. An analysis of New Zealanders’ international travel intentions suggests however that those who are intending to travel internationally in the next 12 months are more likely to support a reopening of the border.

In Australia, where the border was recently reopened to fully vaccinated international visitors, support for an open border has also increased (from 65 percent in January to 72 percent in February 2022).  One-fifth of the adult population believed the border should remain closed to all international visitors (down three percent from January 2022).

Click here for a high res copy of the infographics for publication with this story. 

The total survey sample for the period covered in this release (1 March 2021 – 28 February 2022) is n=3,072 New Zealanders and n=2,433 Australians. Respondents in both countries are aged 18 years or more and the sample is representative of the general population by age, gender, and place of residence.

Note: all survey fieldwork was undertaken before the New Zealand Government announced on 28 February 2022 that New Zealand’s reopening plan would be sped up and the self-isolation requirement removed.



The Visitor Insights Programme is an ongoing study of travel attitudes and experiences and is undertaken in New Zealand and Australia. The programme has been running continuously for more than 10 years and captures information on the travel experiences and opinions of more than 5,000 people aged 18 years and over each year.



Angus & Associates is a Wellington-based strategy and research company established in 2002. The company provides independent research and professional advice for public and private sector organisations in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.



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