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?
 Mixed result
FluctuatingTrend

A sense of community in people's neighbourhoods

52% of people agree there is a sense of community in their neighbourhood (2018). This is down from 58% in 2016. 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% undertaking childcare in another household, 9% caring for an ill or disabled person in another household, and 14% 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, 93% of people in 2018 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% of people are satisfied or very satisfied with the number of recreation, shopping or socialising activities in their local neighbourhood. An additional 20% are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Further information.

Sense of community in people's neighbourhoods

In the 2018 Quality of Life survey, 52% of people agreed or strongly agreed that there is a sense of community in their neighbourhood. This was equal to the national proportion who felt a sense of community in their local neighbourhood, but lower than the city's 2016 figure of 58%.

The proportion of Christchurch people who agree or strongly agree that there is a sense of community has fluctuated between a low of 49% in 2008 and a high of 58% in both 2004 and 2016. 

The proportion who did not feel a sense of community (disagreed or strongly disagreed) averages 19% over all the survey periods. The lowest proportion was in 2012 with 15% after the earthquakes, which has fluctuated since and was 21% in 2018 (19% nationally).

Vibrant and resilient community and volunteer groups

Statistics New Zealand's 2016 Well-being survey found 16% of Christchurch residents belonged to a voluntary organisation, compared with 18% nationally. Fifteen% 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%) 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% of residents undertook childcare in another household, 9% cared for an ill or disabled person in another household, and 14% 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 slightly since the earthquakes, from an average of 97% to an average of 93%. In 2018, the proportion was 93%.

Consequently the proportion of the population without anyone to turn to has increased from average of 2% pre-earthquakes to 3% in 2018.  Although 2 to 3% is small as a%age, this is potentially 7,500 and 11,500 people in the City who do not have anyone to turn to. People without adequate support networks may face difficulties in times of need, worsened by lack of emotional, physical or financial support, resulting in further isolation from their communities.

Satisfaction with recreation, shopping and socialising opportunities in local neighbourhoods

In 2017, 64% 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% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Only 15% of the respondents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (4%) with the opportunities in their local neighbourhood.