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Gerry Brownlee

20 February, 2013

Wellbeing Survey reveals positive outlook

Cantabrians’ positivity and resilience has shone through in the results of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority’s 2012 Wellbeing Survey, Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says, with three quarters of residents saying life is good or extremely good.

Conducted for CERA by Nielsen Research between August and October 2012, the Wellbeing Survey garnered responses from 2381 residents selected randomly from the electoral roll in Christchurch city, the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts.

“While most respondents reported experiencing stress that had a negative effect on them, 74 per cent rated their overall quality of life as good or extremely good, with only 7 per cent rating it poor or extremely poor,” Mr Brownlee says.

Asked about positive outcomes arising from the earthquakes:

  • 76 per cent had experienced pride in the ability to cope under difficult circumstances;
  • 69 per cent experienced increased resilience as a family;
  • 68 per cent had a renewed appreciation of life;
  • and 67 per cent experienced a heightened sense of community.

“What this shows is that despite the enormous challenges people have faced across greater Christchurch, they have battled on and continue to find positives,” Mr Brownlee says.

The Wellbeing Survey reveals many challenges thrown up by the earthquakes continue to impact on the lives of the respondents.

Of the issues still facing people in greater Christchurch, 69 per cent of respondents noted the loss of recreational, cultural and leisure time facilities, 66 per cent had experienced distress or anxiety associated with ongoing aftershocks, and 54 per cent had to make decisions about house damage, repairs and relocation.

“There is still a long way to go in the recovery, both in terms of the physical rebuild and in supporting people to recover from the effects of the earthquakes,” Mr Brownlee says.

“Rebuilding greater Christchurch is one of the Government’s four priorities for this term.”

Asked about their overall confidence in earthquake recovery decisions, 60 per cent of respondents were very confident, confident or neutral about the decision-making. When asked about their confidence in CERA’s decision-making, 68 per cent of respondents were very confident, confident or neutral.

Findings from the second part of the Wellbeing Survey – an online component open to all residents on the CERA website – are due to be released later in the year. The intention is to conduct further surveys at six-monthly intervals until the end of 2014 to monitor progress.

The Wellbeing Survey was commissioned to help guide the ongoing work of CERA and its partners, including local councils, the Canterbury District Health Board, the Natural Hazards Research Platform and Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.

Full survey results can be viewed at www.cera.govt.nz