Why you received an unsolicited questionnaire from the University of Auckland

One of our readers was concerned to receive a questionnaire from the University of Auckland for their New Zealand Attitudes and Values study. They were concerned for two reasons.

1. They did not agree to take part in any questionnaire.
2. They wanted to know where the University of Auckland got their address details from.

If you too have received one of these in the mail then you are one of the one-in-ten people all over New Zealand who has been sent one (unsolicited).

Your address and details were obtained from the electoral roll according to the letter that goes with the survey. However, the reader who contacted us received one that was addressed to her son at her address even though he lives in another part of the country and is on the electoral roll for that area.

The questions are very detailed and some might say have a very political slant to them. It is called attitudes and values and, at first glance, it looks like they are trying to get answers to fit a predetermined outcome, much like the survey that told us the majority of Aucklanders?actually want bike lanes.

To take part in this survey requires a great deal of effort and it then has to be posted by snail mail. Immediately this will cut out a large proportion of people and it will only be politically?motivated activists or people who are retired and want to get their more traditional values recorded who are going to take part in this survey of 325,000 New Zealanders.

Just look at the types of questions they are asking. The survey is peppered with questions related to political policies.

Since when has the government’s attitude towards public transport had anything to do with values and attitudes? Is public transport a moral issue like abortion?

Is this really a value and attitudes survey or a political survey to find out which policies will be vote winners?

Some questions are far too general and answers can be interpreted to mean whatever the person collating the answers want them to mean. For example, question nine: Greater investment in reducing domestic violence.

If I select 1. ‘strongly oppose’ what does that say about my values? Does it say that I don’t think it can be solved with money? Does it mean that I don’t care about domestic violence? I wasn’t even told what they meant by investment. Do they mean more police? Do they mean education in prisons? It is far too vague. Shouldn’t it simply ask my views on whether or?not?I think domestic violence is wrong? Such as a statement like ‘It is never okay to hit my wife’ and a selection of choices ranged between ‘strongly agree’ and ‘strongly disagree’.

Photo supplied to Whaleoil

Have you received the survey?

Will you fill it out and post it in?

What did you think of it?