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Public attitudes to daylight saving

The 2008 survey found that 82% of New Zealanders approved of the 2007 extension to the period of daylight saving time.

The rationale for changing the time over the summer months is that more sunlight hours will fall in the early morning if standard time is applied year round. In summer, these early morning sunlight hours are seen as being wasted as many people are asleep at that time. If the sunlight hours are shifted to the evening, by way of daylight saving time, they are more useful.

Public attitude survey results

Research New Zealand surveyed 1006 members of the public and 494 dairy farmers. The survey was conducted between 8 and 29 April 2008 after daylight saving ended. The survey was designed to measure the impact of the extended period of daylight saving on New Zealanders.

Results from the general public

  • The extension to daylight saving was approved of by 82% of respondents, with 57% strongly approving. In contrast, 5% disapproved and 6% strongly disapproved.
  • Just over half of respondents (52%) believed the extension to daylight saving had a personal impact on them, with 47% believing it had no impact on them.
  • Respondents who believed the daylight saving extension had had a personal impact on them were more likely to say that these impacts were positive. Expressed as a proportion of the total sample, 31% of respondents claimed that the impacts on them were all positive, 5% claimed they were all negative, and 14% claimed the impacts were both positive and negative. About half (49%) believed the extension had neither a positive nor negative impact (including the 47% noted above who reported no personal impact at all).
  • Daylight saving in general was approved of by 90% of all respondents, with 72% strongly approving. In contrast, 6% disapproved.

These results have a margin of error of ±3.6% at the 95% level of confidence.

Results from dairy farmers

  • Just over one-half (54%) of dairy farmers approved of the extension to daylight saving. In contrast, 41% disapproved.
  • Just under one-half of dairy farmers (49%) believed the extension to daylight saving had a personal impact on them, although the same proportion (50%) believed it had no impact on them.
  • Dairy farmers who believed the daylight saving extension had had a personal impact on them were more likely to say that these impacts were negative. One-fifth (20%) of the dairy farmers interviewed claimed that the impacts were all negative, 10% claimed that the impacts on them were all positive, and 18% claimed the impacts were both positive and negative. About half (52%) believed the extension had neither a positive nor negative impact (including the 50% noted above who reported no personal impact at all).
  • Daylight saving in general was approved of by 82% of all dairy farmers, with 45% strongly approving. In contrast, 15% disapproved.

These results have a margin of error of ±4.5% at the 95% level of confidence.

Complete survey report

The full survey report includes breakdowns of significant differences between social groups, of the reported impacts of the extension and the reasons given for approving or disapproving of the extension to daylight saving.

Contact us to get a copy of the full report.

Email: daylightsaving@dia.govt.nz

Tourism and hospitality industry opinions

Members of the Tourism Industry Association and the Hospitality Association were also asked to carry out a survey about the impact of the extension to daylight saving time in 2008. Of those that responded, 73% said the extension to daylight saving was beneficial for their business.

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