Trust in government increased during the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia and New Zealand

Shaun Goldfinch, Ross Taplin, Robin Gauld

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using an online panel, we surveyed a representative sample of 500 each in Australia and New Zealand during July 2020, in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We find trust in government has increased dramatically, with around 80% of respondents agreeing government was generally trustworthy. Around three quarters agreed management of the pandemic had increased their trust in government. Over 85% of respondents have confidence that public health scientists work in the public interest. Testing four hypotheses, we find that income and education predict trust in government and confidence in public health scientists, as does voting for the political party in government. Trust in government and confidence in public health scientists strongly predict Covid-19 phone application use, largely through convincing people the App is beneficial. Trust in government then is both an outcome and antecedent of government effectiveness. Building trust is important for governments implementing difficult policy responses during a crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Australia
  • confidence
  • Covid-19
  • expertise
  • New Zealand
  • public health scientists
  • trust in government

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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