It’s official – people positively love living in Wellington

21 September 2016

The 2016 Quality of Life survey released today shows nine out of 10 Wellingtonians think the city is a great place to live.

Quality of life survey 2016
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Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said it was great to see that Wellingtonians’ enjoyment of the city’s rich arts and cultural scene, a strong sense of health and wellbeing and good work-life balance were among the things that make Wellington a great place to live.

“Wellington has a great arts and culture scene, residents value our diversity, have pride in the city, see it as safe and feel it is an affordable place to live; this all adds to Wellington’s high quality of life rating,” Mayor Wade-Brown said.

The survey showed 89% of Wellingtonians agree or strongly agree that Wellington is a great place to live, compared with a national average of 79%. This top ranking fits with international surveys showing Wellington as one of the world’s most liveable cities. 

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) Wellingtonians rate their quality of life as good or extremely good. 

The biennial Quality of Life Survey measures the perceptions of over 5900 residents living in seven of the country’s largest urban areas and regions. Conducted by research company Colmar Brunton the survey is jointly funded by the participating councils – Auckland Council and the Wellington, Hamilton, Hutt, Porirua, Christchurch and Dunedin city councils. In Wellington City there were 545 respondents. 

The survey showed that Wellington, while on par with the average across all city councils, had work to do in tackling perceptions around understanding and confidence in council decision-making processes.

Residents also expressed concern over the levels of begging in the city.

“We have already identified that people want to be more closely involved in council decision-making and in understanding how the Council works and we are working to improve our engagement processes,” Mayor Wade-Brown said.

“We take the issues of homelessness and begging seriously so we have put in place formal agreements with social services, other Government agencies and local providers to support people into homes and off the streets.”

The survey measures perceptions in several domains including: quality of life; health and wellbeing; crime and safety; community; culture and social networks; council decision making processes; built and natural environment; public transport; economic wellbeing, and housing.

Notable results for Wellington 

Some of the notable results include:

  • 89% agree or strongly agree that Wellington is a great place to live, compared with the national city average of 79%.
  • 87% of Wellingtonians rated their quality of life as “good” or “very good” – compared to the average of 81%. Some 30% perceive their quality of life has increased in the last year.
  • 85% of Wellingtonians report their overall health and wellbeing as “good”, “very good” or “excellent”.
  • 82% of Wellingtonians have pride in the city’s look and feel – against the 62% national average.
  • 86% report Wellington has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene.
  • 70% of Wellingtonians were satisfied with their work-life balance compared to the city average of 61%.
  • 52% of Wellingtonians described their income as being enough or more to cover their everyday needs (average 40%). And 57% said that their housing costs (taking in mortgage, rent, rates, insurance and house maintenance) were affordable.
  • 48% of Wellingtonians use public transport at least once a week – compared with the average of 25%.
  • Wellington gets good marks for safe (89%), easy to access (85%) and reliable (62%) public transport.
  • 96% of Wellingtonians see the city as fairly safe or better in the central city during the day.
  • 65% of Wellingtonians see the city as very safe or safe after dark.

Areas for improvement

Though the results are very positive for Wellington, there are still areas for improvement.

  • Though 96% of Wellingtonians perceived the city as safe during the day, compared with the national average of 88%, there were areas of concern.
  • 63% of Wellingtonians see graffiti as a problem, compared with the average of 55%.
  • 85% of Wellingtonians perceive begging on the street as problematic – compared with 45% average.
  • Only 32% of residents reported that they have an understanding of council decision-making – that is on par with the average across all city councils.
  • 40% of residents reported they have confidence in council decision-making, against the average of 39%.