The Quality of Life Survey is a biennial national survey which looks at residents' perceptions on a broad range of quality of life issues in New Zealand’s largest cities. Those issues include the built environment, perceptions of safety, transport, democracy and governance, leisure time, health and social connectedness.
The survey was first carried out in September and October 2002 and has collected trend data over five survey cycles. It is well regarded as one of New Zealand’s most robust social surveys and its results are used by policy decision-makers in local and central government, and by academics and researchers.
The Quality of Life Survey is one of two key outcomes generated by the wider Quality of Life Project (the other being the Quality of Life Report – see below).
The Quality of Life Project was initiated in 1999 by the Chief Executives from New Zealand’s six largest cities (Auckland, Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore, Christchurch and Wellington) in response to growing pressures on urban communities, concern about the impacts of urbanisation and the effects of this on the well being of residents. The project expanded in 2002 to include Hamilton and Dunedin and in 2003 to include Rodney District, Tauranga, Porirua and Hutt cities which brought the total number of cities involved in the project to 12.
Quality of Life
93% of Dunedin residents felt that they had a positive overall quality of life, compared with 92% of 8 cities’ residents. Down 1% from 2008.
28% of Dunedin residents say their Quality of Life has increased in the last twelve months compared to 12% who say it has declined.
Health and Well-being
90% of Dunedin residents rated their overall health positively, compared to 89% of 8 cities’ residents. Up 3% from 2008.
89% of people living in Dunedin rated their ‘satisfaction with life in general’ positively, compared to the overall 8 cities result of 87%. Up 4% from 2008.
Of the 8 cities surveyed, Dunedin residents were the most likely to feel safe or very safe in their homes after dark (97%) and the second most likely to feel safe or very safe in their local neighbourhoods after dark (76%). Up 1% and 5% respectively from 2008.
61% of Dunedin people indicated that they felt safe in the city centre after dark, compared to the 8 cities average of 54%. Up 2% from 2008.
Dunedin residents were significantly more likely to feel their local neighbourhood is safe for children under 14 years to play unsupervised (86%). This compares with the 8 cities’ average of 76%.
Community, Culture and Social Networks
61% of Dunedin residents felt a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood compared to 60% of residents in the 8 cities. Up 7% from 2008.
66% of Dunedin residents thought that a sense of community with others in their neighbourhood was important compared to 71% of residents in the 8 cities. Up 5% from 2008.
60% of Dunedin residents perceived greater cultural diversity positively compared to 62% of residents in the 8 cities. Down 4% from 2008.
The majority of Dunedin residents (85%) rarely felt lonely or isolated in the last 12 months. This compares well with the national average across the 8 cities (82%). Up 2% from 2008.
77% of Dunedin residents thought that the city had a culturally rich and diverse arts scene compared to 75% in the 8 cities. Down 1% from 2008.
47% of Dunedin residents expressed a desire to have more of a say in what their Council does compared to 46% in the 8 cities. Up 4% from 2008.
44% of Dunedin residents stated that they had confidence that their Council made decisions in the best interest of their city compared to 53% of residents in the 8 cities. Down 3% from 2008.
42% of Dunedin residents agreed with the statement “Overall, I understand how my Council makes decisions”. This compares with an average of 40% for the other 8 cities. Up 3% from 2008.
64% felt a sense of pride in the way Dunedin looked and felt. Down 7% from 2008.
95% of Dunedin residents find it easy to get to a local park or green space compared to 94% in the 8 cities. Up 5% from 2008
47% of Dunedin residents stated that rubbish or litter lying about on the streets had not been a problem, compared to 55% of 8 cities residents. Up 3% from 2008.
56% of Dunedin residents stated that graffiti or tagging had not been a problem, compared to 31% of 8 cities residents. Up 10% from 2008
85% of Dunedin residents stated that air pollution had not been a problem over the last 12 months, compared to 75% of 8 cities’ residents. Up 7% from 2008.
78% of Dunedin residents agreed that they would change their lifestyle to help prevent global warming if they knew it would make a difference, slightly above the 8 city average (76%).
One in eight (13%) of Dunedin residents regularly use public transport (twice weekly or more).This compares with nearly one in five (19%) residents in the 8 cities.
57% of the Dunedin residents who do not use public transport regularly, state that they prefer to use private transport. This compares with 52% for the other 8 cities.
39% of residents agreed that public transport in Dunedin was affordable down 15% from 2008. 83% of residents thought that was safe, 73% that it was easy to get to, 56% that it was reliable and 50% that it was frequent. These scores compared favourably with the 8 city average except in the areas of affordability and frequency.
54% of Dunedin residents said they had ‘more than enough’ or ‘enough’ money to meet their everyday needs, 35% said they had ‘just enough money’ and 10% that they did not have enough. These results were better than the 8 city average but down since 2008.
At the time of the survey 47% of Dunedin residents were employed fulltime (work 30 hrs/week or more) and 26% were in part time work. 22% of residents were not in paid employment and are not looking for work while 5% were not in paid employment and are looking for work.
85% of the residents in paid employment were happy with their work/life balance. This compares with 79% in the 8 cities.