For further information:

Quality of Life Website:

David Stuart
Team Leader
Research and Evaluation
Wellington City Council
Phone: (04) 803 8782

New Zealanders remain positive about quality of life

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The 2016 Quality of Life survey measures the perceptions of over 7000 residents in seven cities (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Hutt City, Porirua, Christchurch and Dunedin) and two regions of New Zealand (Waikato and Greater Wellington).

It asks about a range of topics including perceptions of safety, sense of community and the sense of pride they have in their local area.

This year, 81 per cent of respondents in the seven cities rated their quality of life positively; with just over a quarter (27 per cent) feeling that it had increased compared to 12 months earlier and 58 per cent responding that it had stayed the same.

However, the survey also showed that some residents are struggling to make ends meet with 19 per cent of respondents saying they didn’t have enough money to meet their daily needs (such as accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities). Aside from those struggling, 40 per cent of respondents felt they had enough while 35 per cent had ‘just enough’.

There has been a significant increase since 2014 in the proportion surveyed who felt a sense of pride in the look and feel of their local area. In 2016, 62 per cent agreed citing the provision of a good lifestyle (52 per cent), plenty of parks, open spaces or gardens (57 per cent), a beautiful natural environment (55 per cent), cleanliness (45 per cent) and a sense of community (40 per cent) as reasons for this.

Some of the other top level findings were:

  • While 77 per cent agreed it was important to feel a sense of community with people in their neighbourhood, 57 per cent agreed they actually feel a sense of community. Although almost all (97 per cent) had experienced positive interactions with their neighbours in the last 12 months.
  • Dangerous driving continues to be a big concern for residents with 67 per cent stating it had been a problem in their local area in the previous 12 months. Car theft and damage (61 per cent) and alcohol and drug problems (60 per cent) were also concerns of a large proportion of those surveyed.
  • The majority of New Zealanders felt that they were living in a suitable area (86 per cent) and that their home was suitable (82 per cent) however less than half (47 per cent) felt that their home was affordable.

A full set of these topline results and more information on the 2016 Quality of Life survey is available online at

The Quality of Life survey is carried out every two years in partnership with several councils throughout New Zealand.

The 2016 Quality of Life Survey is a partnership between Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Porirua, Hutt, Christchurch and Dunedin City Councils and Waikato and Wellington Regional Councils.

The survey was conducted by independent research company Colmar Brunton, and was jointly funded by the participating councils.  The information obtained from the survey will be used to help inform local government policy. 

Topics covered include:

  • Overall quality of life
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Crime and safety
  • Community, culture and social networks
  • Council decision-making processes
  • Environment (built and natural)
  • Public transport
  • Economic wellbeing, and
  • Housing

The survey was conducted between March and June 2016 and involved respondents answering the questions online or in hard copy.

A report outlining topline results for the nine council areas has been released and is available on the Quality of Life project website