What does the Tairāwhiti Business Community Think About Climate Change?

With the support of Trust Tairāwhiti and the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, 103 people from the business community in Tairāwhiti responded to the Six New Zealand’s internet survey. Responses were captured over a two-month period from early July until early September 2021.

Introductory emails were sent by the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, and Survey Invitation emails were sent and managed by The 1point5 Project. The 103 responds spanned a wide range of roles, organisation types and size by both headcount and turnover. 

Respondents were categorised into six segments representing differing beliefs, concerns and motivations around climate change. These were Alarmed (18%), Concerned (31%), Cautious (7%), Disengaged (21%), Doubtful (13%) and Dismissive (10%). 

Respondents were more supportive of climate action than the New Zealand average (Dec 2019) though Dismissive and Doubtful were the same (23%) and Dismissive higher (10% vs 6%) than the national average. 

Generally Positive.

Alarmed (18%) expect a very strong (almost maximum) response from society, however their own behaviours lag their beliefs more than other segments. Concerned (31%) are weaker on all and show ambivalence middle of scale for Behaviours, similar to Cautious and Disengaged. 

Generally Ambivalent.

Average scores for Cautious and Disengaged are almost identical however the spreads are different. Disengaged (21%) actually have stronger Beliefs and Preferred Societal Response than Cautious (7%) but weaker behaviours and personal involvement. One might argue Disengaged are more concerned than Cautious, however they want someone else to drive the change. 

Generally Negative.

Doubtful (13%) Beliefs and Preferred Societal Response are dead centre of average, however their Behaviours and Personal involvement reflect a lower than average (50% on normalised scale) engagement. Dismissive (10%) are comfortably negative on all four groups of questions with their lowest scoring grouping being their Preferred Societal Response (i.e. they want a weak or no response from society to climate change). Though small this minority are vocal and nationally statistically are over-represented by older males who have higher propensity to actively oppose action.