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Quality of life survey 2020. Technical report

Publication date:  


1.1 Introduction

The Quality of Life 2020 survey is a collaborative local government research project. The primary objective of the survey is to measure residents’ perceptions across a range of measures that impact on New Zealanders’ quality of life. The Quality of Life survey was originally established in response to growing pressures on urban communities, concern about the impacts of urbanisation and the effect of this on the wellbeing of residents. The results from the survey are used by participating councils to help inform their policy and planning responses to population growth and change.

The survey measures residents’ perceptions across several domains, including:

  • Overall quality of life
  • Environment (built and natural)
  • Housing
  • Public transport
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Crime, safety and local issues
  • Community, culture and social networks
  • Climate change
  • Employment and economic wellbeing
  • Council decision making processes, and
  • Impact of Covid-19

This report outlines the technical details of the Quality of Life Survey 2020, including the methodology, sampling, weighting and data analysis.

1.2 Council involvement

The Quality of Life survey was first conducted in 2003, repeated in 2004, and has been undertaken every two years since. The number of participating councils has varied each time.

A total of nine councils participated in the 2020 Quality of Life survey project, as follows:

  • Auckland Council
  • Hamilton City Council
  • Tauranga City Council
  • Hutt City Council
  • Porirua City Council
  • Wellington City Council
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Dunedin City Council
  • Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The target population was New Zealanders aged 18 years and over, living within the areas governed by the participating councils.

It should be noted that there is an overlap between the boundaries of the Greater Wellington Regional Council area and Hutt City Council, Porirua City Council and Wellington City Council areas.

The Greater Wellington Regional Council area also includes smaller towns as well as rural and semi-rural areas such as Kapiti Coast District, Upper Hutt City and the Wairarapa.
The results for 2020 are provided in the Quality of Life Survey 2020 Topline Report. Throughout that report, the result for all nine council areas are reported on separately and, in addition, the aggregated result for the eight city councils are provided (referred to throughout as the ‘8 city total’). In light of the original reason for establishing the Quality of Life survey (discussed above), the focus of the text in that report is on the eight cities, as these are substantially urban areas.

Quality of Life survey results from 2003 onwards are available on the Quality of Life website:

Nielsen March 2021

See also

Quality of life survey 2020. Topline report