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One phone call you won’t want to miss -- Quality of Life Survey

10 August 2004

Christchurch City is among 12 councils across the country working with central Government over the next three months to ask 7800 New Zealanders what they think about their quality of life.

The telephone survey, managed by Gravitas Research, is being carried out jointly by the Ministry of Social Development and the councils of Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington, North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau, Rodney, Hamilton, Tauranga, Hutt and Porirua. 

People called by the surveyors will be asked about the issues facing their local areas, including public transport, their views on governance, cultural diversity and how they see health, well being and safety locally.

“If you are phoned in the next three months, we'd encourage you to take part in this survey,” says project sponsor Jim Harland, the chief executive of Dunedin City Council.

“Your participation will help inform central and local government policy-making that seeks to improve the quality of life for New Zealanders.”
The research, which will be part of ongoing surveys exploring quality of life issues in New Zealand, is an integral part of the councils’ Quality of Life project and the Ministry’s Social Report programme.

The first joint Quality of Life survey was carried out in 2002.  The surveying has now been expanded to include more cities and, for the first time, the Ministry of Social Development.

“By seeking good-quality information from our residents we will improve our understanding of well-being issues in our cities and towns,” says Mr Harland. 

The Quality of Life project was initiated as a result of local councils’ concern about the impacts of growth and a need for greater understanding of the effects of urbanisation.  The project now monitors indicators that reflect the level of social well-being in areas such as health, housing, education, safety and community connectedness.  It also measures issues in areas such as economic development, the natural environment and community governance.

The Ministry of Social Development’s annual Social Report provides information on the social health and well-being of New Zealand society. Indicators are used to measure levels of well-being, to monitor trends over time, and to make comparisons with other countries.  Regular social reporting on the nation’s social progress plays an important role in monitoring how the country is doing and in assessing what areas the Government needs to address.

Quality of life surveying plays an important role in promoting open and informed debate on issues of great importance to New Zealand.  It forms part of a picture that helps central and local government to understand the links and interrelationships between social, economic and environmental issues and policies and initiatives on a local and national level.  These policies and initiatives have a greater chance of success if they take into account all contributing factors.

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