Lying is sometimes justified and therefore okay, according to
young people, many of whom admit they have cheated in exams
or stolen from shops.
In a survey of 500 people aged 18 to 30 years old, 89 per
cent said they believed lying was sometimes necessary. A
total of 92 per cent admitted cheating in one form or another
in their lives - more than half of those surveyed admitted
they had cheated in a high school exam, and one in five said
they had cheated on their partner.
Just over half said it was "sometimes okay" to lie about
being sick to take the day off work, and 55 per cent said it
was okay to lie to avoid hurting someone's feelings.
On Queen St, most teenagers spoken to said they had never and
would never lie, cheat or steal.
Claudia Dorr, 19, said she had never cheated or stolen
anything as it simply was the wrong thing to do.
"I'm not a religious person, but I've always been taught to
do the right thing and to be honest. Cheating won't get you
anywhere. Look at Valerie Adams and that Belarusian lady -
you'll always get caught."
Miss Dorr admitted she did tell the odd white lie now and
again, but only to protect someone.
Student Kusitafu Tu'uta, 17, said he had never cheated in
anything, but admitted that if a shop owner were to give him
extra change, he wouldn't own up to it.
"I'd keep walking. It's not my mistake, it's his."
Another student, George Samau, 18, said a white lie was
"Sometimes I'll lie because I don't want to hurt someone else
- it's just a white lie and I'm doing it for the right
Mr Samau said there was a time he cheated in a test as an
intermediate student, but never in high school.
As for cheating on a girlfriend, he was adamant: "Straight
up, I've never cheated on a girl. Karma will get you later on
and it will happen to you."
Shannon-Lee Wawer , 16, admitted she had cheated once in a
test at high school, but hardly ever told a lie simply
because she was terrible at it.
The SayWhat study, carried out by Colmar Brunton between July
and August, also indicated that 87 per cent of people were
satisfied with their personal ethics and character.
Survey spokesman Spencer Willis said: "The most worrying
thing is that it is deemed acceptable - 87 per cent of
participants say they are satisfied with their ethics and
He said one participant summed up why dishonesty was so high:
"Every person is constantly pressured by the media and
society to bend the rules. The image of a person who is
successful is due not to playing by the book is extremely
popular, so everyone gives in to it at some point."
89% believe lying is sometimes justified.
92% of young people have cheated in one form or another.
53% do not consider receiving too much change and not owning
up as stealing.
48% have stolen from a shop.
52% have cheated in an exam or homework at high school.
21% have cheated in a relationship.
Source: Colmar Brunton Sayit poll of 500 people aged 18-30.
Margin of error 4.4%