Survey suggests Kiwis haven't lost trust in each other since March 15 terrorist attack

A Victoria University of Wellington survey suggests that New Zealanders did not substantially lose trust in each other following the March 15 terrorist attack.

Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch. Source: 1 NEWS

In a release today, researchers explained they had just completed a survey asking New Zealanders how much they trusted each other when the terrorist attack took place.

"It occurred to us that if we had run the survey just after the attacks instead of just before, our results might have been significantly different, so we decided to find out what — if any — impact the tragedy had," explained academic Simon Chapple.

The results showed little change after the attack.

"On our measurement scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no trust at all and 10 is totally trust, our survey showed that interpersonal trust averaged a value of 6.3, both before and after the shootings," Mr Chapple said.

"If the goal of the shootings was to lower trust and sow suspicion across wider New Zealand, there is no evidence that it has succeeded in its goal."

However, the survey also didn't provide any evidence to suggest Kiwis had "come together" following the attack, in terms of trust, as has been the case in the United States and Norway following terrorist attacks there.

The survey also asked people which religious groups they trust the most and least.

Buddhist were the most trusted group, while Evangelical Christians were the least trusted.

Mr Chapple said that "there is no evidence in the trust data of a meaningful trust deficit displayed towards Muslims compared to mainstream Christian denominations".

"Nor, for that matter, is there a trust deficit for Jews.

"There is, however, some evidence of moderate disproportional social prejudice towards minority Evangelical Christians."

The survey also asked people whether or not they had a firearm in their home - 15 per cent of those who answered said yes.

"Overall, gun owners were more trusting of other gun owners, as well as the pro-gun lobby, than non-gun owners," Mr Chapple said.

"However, they also trust themselves far more than they trust the pro-gun lobby who claim to represent them."

You can view the full report here.