Our general sense of wellbeing and quality of life often depends on having caring and supportive networks. Good relationships between people in the neighbourhood build a sense of belonging in the community, and promotes social cohesion.

What this means for our district

  • Citizens have a strong sense of belonging and are actively involved in the life of their city.
  • Communities are supported to undertake activities that activate their communities.
  • Vibrant and resilient community and volunteer groups provide support, encourage participation and mobilise resources.
  • People have strong social networks.
  • Appropriate services are available within local communities.

How we are contributing

We support a strong sense of community by providing facilities including libraries, recreation centres, and community centres across the city that can be used by the community. Community Boards have strong links to local communities and support community led initiatives. The council also provides and sponsors community events and festivals which allow opportunities for local communities to come together.

How you can help

Contact your local Community Board(external link) if you would like to discuss an initiative which you think would build a greater sense of community in your neighbourhood.

How we are doing

Status What do we want to achieve? What has happened?
Positive result
PositiveResult

A sense of community in people's neighbourhoods

58 percent of people agree there is a sense of community in their neighbourhood (2016). This is similar to the proportion pre-quake (57 percent in 2010) and equal to the previous high recorded in 2004. Further information.

 Positive result
PositiveResult

Levels of volunteering or unpaid work 

Levels of volunteering or unpaid work have remained the same since 2001, with 15 percent undertaking childcare in another household, 9 percent caring for an ill or disabled person in another household, and 14 percent doing other helping or voluntary work in 2013.

These levels are comparable to national proportions. Further information.

 Mixed result
FluctuatingTrend

Someone to turn to in times of need

Although the proportion of people who have someone to turn to in times of need has declined since the earthquakes, 92 percent of people in 2016 reported they had someone to turn to in times of need. Further information.
 Snapshot
SnapshotOnly
Opportunities for recreation, shopping and socialising in local neighbourhoods Sixty four percent of people are satisfied or very satisfied with the number of recreation, shopping or socialising activities in their local neighbourhood. An additional 20 percent are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Further information.

Sense of community in people's neighbourhoods

In the 2016 Quality of Life survey, 58 percent of people agreed or strongly agreed that there is a sense of community in their neighbourhood. This is consistent with pre-earthquake values of 57 percent in 2010. The proportion of people who agree or strongly agree that there is a sense of community has fluctuated between a low of 49 percent in 2008 and a high of 58 percent in both 2004 and 2016. 

The proportion who did not feel a sense of community (disagreed or strongly disagreed) averages 18 percent over all the survey periods. The lowest proportion was in 2012 with 15 percent, which increased to 21 percent in 2014 before decreasing to 17 percent in 2016.

Vibrant and resilient community and volunteer groups

Statistics New Zealand's 2016 Well-being survey found 16 percent of Christchurch residents belonged to a voluntary organisation, compared with 18 percent nationally. Fifteen percent had done voluntary work in the past month, with the highest proportion volunteering for recreation and sporting organisations, followed by religious or spiritual organisations, and arts or cultural organisations. 

Just over one third of residents (36 percent) had done voluntary work for other people who don't live with them.

The census provides a time series from 2001 which shows that levels of volunteering or unpaid work outside of the home have remained the same across the three census periods. In 2013, 15 percent of residents undertook childcare in another household, 9 percent cared for an ill or disabled person in another household, and 14 percent did other helping or voluntary work. These levels are similar to national proportions.

People have strong social networks

The Quality of Life survey found  that while the majority of people in the City have someone they can turn to in a time of need, the proportion has declined since the earthquakes, from an average of 97 percent to an average of 93 percent. In 2016, the proportion was 92 percent.

Consequently the proportion of the population without anyone to turn to has doubled from an average of 2 percent pre-earthquakes to 4 percent in 2016.  Although 2 to 4 percent is small as a percentage, if it is based on the City's 2017 estimated population, it could be between 7,500 and 15,000 people in the City who do not have anyone to turn to, and as many people again who don't know if they have someone to turn to.

Satisfaction with recreation, shopping and socialising opportunities in local neighbourhoods

In 2017, 64 percent of respondents in the Life in Christchurch survey were satisfied or very satisfied with the number of recreation, shopping or socialising activities in their local neighbourhood. Around 20 percent were neither satisfied or dissatisfied. Only 15 percent of the respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (4 percent) with the opportunities in their local neighbourhood.