How are we going as a sub-region now?

Information about our current state, COVID-19 impact on Greater Christchurch, and what you’ve already told us is important to you.

  • People like the lifestyle they have in Greater Christchurch, with 86.4 percent of people rating their quality of life as good or higher – above the national average of 84 percent.
  • People are also generally well, with 85 percent of people rating their health as good or very good.
  • Most people are managing to make ends meet, with 83 percent of people in Greater Christchurch saying they have at least enough money to cover their financial needs, 4 percent above the national average.
  • However, there are groups who live in Greater Christchurch who are not doing as well as others:
    • Those with lower incomes
    • People with a disability or long-term health condition
    • Those who identify as Māori or Pasifika
    • Young adults 

Greater Christchurch performs relatively better than the country overall, Auckland and Greater Wellington in terms of housing quality and affordability, congestion, and the perceptions of safety.  We have a relatively smaller proportion of our people living in low deprivation areas.  However, we still have 8 percent of our people living in highly deprived areas. 

Our average incomes are generally lower and, overall, our adult population does not have the same level of qualifications as the populations of Auckland and Wellington.

People in Greater Christchurch value their access to the natural environment, but, like the rest of New Zealand, we have some significant challenges protecting our natural environment from pollution. 

COVID-19 has been recognised as a once in 100-year global event, which is having immediate impact on the economic and wider wellbeing of people in our community.   

The ongoing impact of COVID-19 both here and internationally, and the New Zealand government response are expected to result in higher unemployment, lower incomes and higher levels of financial stress.   The long-term consequences of COVID-19 are still unclear.  For many, it has raised questions about what’s important in our own lives, our community and our place in the world.

What else we know

  • The number of job seeker support recipients in Canterbury increased 36 percent from 13,256, in first week of January 2020 to 17,994 in the week ending 14 August 2020.
  • Canterbury’s economic activity for July 2020 returned to a similar level as the same month last year. Regional economic activity was 0.7 percent higher than in July 2019.
  • Total spending in Canterbury reached $693m in July 2020, up 9 percent on the same month last year. Some sectors have experienced large drops, while others have experienced increases in spending compared with the same time last year.
  • Stress, sense of purpose and overall mental wellbeing are all being affected by both the direct impact on people’s lives, and the wider sense of global uncertainty. 
  • The impact will be different across our communities.  The most vulnerable are those on low incomes, young people and people working in the tourism and hospitality sectors.  
  • Some people may undertake further learning as paid work opportunities become limited. 

People in Greater Christchurch are frequently asked about how they feel about their lives and their community, and what’s important to them. 

There are some clear themes in this previous consultation. 

Greater Christchurch residents generally enjoy living here.  People particularly value: 

  • The ease of getting around the city
  • Feeling safe
  • Quiet and peaceful living
  • Access to green spaces
  • Arts, culture & heritage

However, satisfaction varies widely across the area – financial situation, poor health and housing are key reason for poor quality of life. 

The natural environment is highly valued by residents and is considered an integral part of the area’s identity - people are increasingly saying it needs to be protected.  Water pollution and the quality of drinking water is a main environmental concern. 

The majority of Greater Christchurch residents believe climate change is an extremely important issue, one that is likely to have a big impact on them and about which more needs to be done. 

Economically, around half of residents have enough or more than enough money to meet everyday needs, think their current housing costs are affordable and are satisfied with their balance between work and other aspects of life. 

There is a strong desire for better collective leadership, with strong community involvement.  People also feel disengaged from local decision-making and don’t feel they can make a difference. 

People want a Christchurch central city which provides a vibrant range of leisure activities for all, green spaces, is accessible, a hub for the arts and reflects our shared heritage and identity.  Self-sufficiency has been identified as important for some towns. 



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