People's Online Panel New Zealand




Vice Chancellor's Strategic Development Fund


Barry Milne, Lara Greaves, Cinnamon Lindsay Latimer, Martin von Randow


University of Auckland: Jennifer Curtin, Catherine Frethey Bentham, Pauline Gulliver, Danny Osborne, Thomas Lumley, Marama Muru-Lanning


Online panels are samples of individuals on whom different online surveys are conducted over time. Currently all online panels in New Zealand are commercially run, and are ‘non-probabilistic’ (opt-in) panels, populated by individuals who volunteer their services. The statistical validity of findings from non-probabilistic panels has been questioned.

‘Probabilistic’ online panels overcome these statistical shortcomings by randomly sampling from the population of interest. Probabilistic panels have been shown to produce robust and reliable findings that can be generalised to the greater population.

We have been awarded a University of Auckland Vice Chancellor’s strategic development fund (VCSDF) grant to establish a probabilistic online panel: People’s Online Panel New Zealand (POPNZ). POPNZ will enable researchers across different disciplines and organisations to answer key research questions without incurring the time and effort to recruit a sample.

We are currently establishing the panel. Key components of POPNZ will include:

  • A stratified random sample of 3,000–4,000 sampled from 18–74 year olds from the electoral roll. Stratification is by
        age, ethnicity and gender.
  • Offline as well as online panel members to ensure representation of those without an internet connection and of the
  • An initial frequency of 8 surveys per year, with at least four on the full sample, and up to four on a sample subgroup
        (e.g. by age, gender, ethnicity, Auckland region).
  • Surveys on public good research topics (i.e. not for commercial gain) on health, social, public opinion, and
        political topics.
  • Privacy and confidentiality for panel members, and ethics approval for all surveys.
  • Single topic surveys as well as ‘omnibus’ surveys (several researchers contribute questions to the same survey),
        and capacity for longitudinal surveys.
  • Surveys of 15–20 minute duration.


Greaves L (2018). An investigation into the feasibility of an online national probability panel study in New Zealand.