Sense of neighbourhood

Why is this important?

High levels of social connectedness are thought to promote better health and psychological wellbeing, as well as higher living standards. People can also have more positive views about diversity, identity, and government and community systems.

Key points

  • Results from the 2017 Canterbury Wellbeing Survey show that just under half (47%) of those living in Greater Christchurch agree (strongly agree or agree) that they feel a ‘sense of community with others in my neighbourhood’, while just under one fifth (19%) do not.


Note this is an interactive chart and you can click on the legend items to change what is shown on the graph.


Residents living in Selwyn District (56%) continue to feel the strongest sense of community with others in their neighbourhood, while residents of Christchurch City (45%) continue to feel the weakest sense of community. The sense of community among Waimakariri District residents (52%) has declined since September 2016.

Those more likely to agree they feel a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood (47%) are:

  • Aged 65 to 74 years (64%) or 75 years or over (59%)
  • From a household with an income of more than $100,000 (53%)

Those more likely to disagree that they feel a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood 19%) are:

  • Those who rate their quality of life as poor or extremely poor (53%)
  • Those planning to move to another district in or outside Christchurch (36%)
  • Renting the dwelling they usually live in (32%)
  • Those who feel lonely or isolated always or most of the time (48%) or sometimes (30%)
  • Those who describe their health as fair or poor (28%)
  • Aged 18 to 24 years old (33%) or 25 to 34 years old (26%)
  • Living with a health condition or disability (25%)

Note: this commentary is adapted from the Canterbury Health and Wellbeing survey 2017. Reproduced with permission.

Data notes

  • The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, formerly known as the CERA Wellbeing Survey, was developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) together with a multiagency working group in 2012.
  • The survey’s purpose was to inform the monitoring of earthquake recovery by collecting data from greater Christchurch residents on self-reported wellbeing, impacts of the earthquakes, and perceptions of the recovery.
  • With the disestablishment of CERA in April 2016, the Ministry of Health inherited responsibility for this work, which was subsequently delegated to the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB).
  • As time has passed since the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the emphasis of the survey has shifted to also incorporate a broader focus on wellbeing and factors that influence wellbeing.
  • The June 2017 survey is the tenth Wellbeing Survey undertaken. The initial survey was conducted in September 2012 with six monthly surveys since then. From June 2017 onwards the survey will be conducted annually.
  • To see detailed breakdowns and changes with statistical significance, download the excel spreadsheet with additional tables.

Data information and downloads

Data Source

Canterbury Wellbeing Survey (external link)

Data Access

All tables/charts show Greater Christchurch and TA level data.

Tables for variable breakdowns (age, gender etc) supplied on request

Date updated

Next survey June 2018

Comparative Data

No comparative data in other regions at this stage

Data Download

Download the tables here [XLS, 1.3 MB]

Data breakdowns available

Geographic  Area

Greater Christchurch (3 Territorial Authorities combined)


Territorial Authority level - Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council

Other variables

Respondents who felt a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood by Age, Ethnicity, Household Status, Household Income, Home Ownership

Links to other information and reports

Information about the Canterbury wellbeing survey(external link) and accompanying index

Information about the quality of life project(external link) that surveys residents in New Zealand’s largest cities

Information about the New Zealand General Social Survey(external link) that asks questions about wellbeing

Statistics NZ findings about connections to neighbourhoods (external link)