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Money isn’t everything, New Zealanders say
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  13 August 2013

New Zealand General Social Survey: 2012  –  Media Release

Enough money is just one of the things people need for a good life, Statistics New Zealand said today.

Having good health, relationships, housing, and enough money strongly influence New Zealanders’ satisfaction with their lives overall. The more good outcomes people have in these aspects of their lives, the greater the likelihood they will be satisfied with their lives overall. 

In 2012, one-fifth of New Zealanders said they had good health, enough money, good housing, and didn’t feel lonely. Nearly all those people (98 percent) were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

On the other hand, 1 in 20 (just over 5 percent) New Zealanders said they had neither good health, nor enough money, nor good housing, and said they had felt lonely in the past four weeks. Yet just over half (55 percent) of these people were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

These findings come from the New Zealand General Social Survey (NZGSS) 2012, for which we interviewed 8,500 people over the 12 months from April 2012.

Go to Social well-being in New Zealand: Interactive tool to see the effect different combinations of good outcomes have on New Zealanders satisfaction with their lives overall, and to interact with the data.

“Most New Zealanders appear to be content with their lives, with 87 percent of the population reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall. This is above the OECD average, and similar to Australia, the United States, and Canada,” NZGSS manager Philip Walker said.

Survey results also show that New Zealanders are better prepared for emergencies than they used to be. In 2012, 52 percent of people living in households had emergency water for three days, compared with 40 percent in 2008. 

“The increase in the Canterbury and Wellington regions is even starker, with Canterbury increasing from 34 percent to 69 percent and Wellington from 51 percent to 68 percent,” Mr Walker said. 

The NZGSS provides official statistics on social well-being that extend beyond traditional economic measures such as GDP. The survey aligns with the OECD well-being framework, so we can see how New Zealanders fare compared with other countries and over time.

NZGSS 2012 is the third survey in the series. This gives an opportunity to measure social change over time. The first survey was carried out in 2008 and the second in 2010. See more results at www.stats.govt.nz/nzgss.

Ends

 
For media enquiries contact: Authorised by:

Colin Marshall 
Wellington 04 931 4600
Email: info@stats.govt.nz

Dallas Welch
Acting Government Statistician
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