Wellington the Best Place to Live, Survey Reveals

6 April 2009

Wellingtonians have the best quality of life in New Zealand, according to a national survey released today.

The biennial Quality of Life survey of New Zealand's 12 biggest cities undertaken by research company Nielsen in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development, rates Wellington City highest for quality of life (95 percent), with 98 percent saying they feel safe in their homes at night and 99 percent during the day.

Almost all Wellingtonians surveyed also felt safe in the central city during the day (98 percent) and more people felt safe in the city at night (69 percent) than in the last survey two years ago (67 percent).

Wellingtonians also felt they had some or a large influence on Council decisions (69 percent) and 92 percent said they had easy access to a park or open space. Most were happy (90 percent) and satisfied with their life (89 percent).

Mayor Kerry Prendergast says the survey results are fantastic news. "This confirms what Wellingtonians already know – we live in the best little Capital in the world.

"We've had months of bad economic news but it is clear Wellingtonians are remaining positive about their city and all it has to offer."

In the survey, residents rated the city's diversity highly, with 75 percent saying an increasing number of people with different lifestyles made it a better place to live. More people in Wellington – 91 percent – also rated their city as being culturally rich and having a diverse arts scene.

Of the 12 cities surveyed, Wellington had the lowest proportion of residents who felt they didn't have enough money to meet everyday needs, although it is stressed that the survey was done before the full impact of the global economic downturn hit New Zealand.

Areas where Wellington fared less well were in residents feeling they had achieved a work/life balance and in physical activity.

"We are never going to get things exactly right for all residents and it's clear that we still have work to do in some areas, but this survey shows Wellingtonians are generally happy with and proud of their city and that's a fantastic result," says Mayor Prendergast.