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Research Results

Terrorist attack: 14% of adults fear personal, family harm

19 Jan 16

Terrorist attack: 14% of adults fear personal, family harm
Aftermath of the Paris attack ... 14% of New Zealanders think they might get hurt

Most New Zealanders generally feel a terrorist attack in the country is not likely.

On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is extremely likely and 10 extremely unlikely, the average rating is 5.1 – effectively neither likely nor unlikely.

However, 448,000 adults are “very concerned” that they or a member of their family might be hurt in an attack if it happened here.

5% of adults, equivalent to about 160,000 people, think an attack on New Zealand soil is “extremely likely”, while 8% (equivalent to about 320,000 people) say one is “extremely unlikely”.

When it comes to concern over whether they or a member of their family might be hurt if a terrorist attack were to occur in New Zealand, 14% (equivalent to about 448,000 adults) are “very concerned”. 12% are not concerned at all – and the effective average rating over all is 5.9.

The latest Gallup Poll in the United States, conducted in December, 2015, finds 19% are very concerned that they, or a member of their family, might be hurt in a terrorist attack.

The New Zealand Horizon Research poll of 2044 adults was conducted in December after November terrorist attacks in Paris has a maximum margin of error of 2.2%.

Horizon says it will continue tracking New Zealanders’ views on security risk as a public interest project.

Generally, New Zealanders feel safe in their country (average rating 7.1 on a scale where 1 means very unsafe and 10 very safe).

12% (384,000 people) completely disagree with a statement that New Zealand is less at risk of a terrorist attack than other countries, while 9% (287,000) completely agree it is less at risk. The overall rating on this question is 5.8, effectively neutral.

By ethnicity Maori and Indian adults are most concerned about a terrorist attack occurring in the country in which they or a member of their family might be hurt.

Research: Sample 2044 18+ nationwide December 2015. Maximum margin of error +/- 2.2%.

Full top line graphs and tables can be downloaded here.

For further information and to purchase research detail, please contact Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research e-mail:,nz; telephone +64 21 076 2040.