Canterbury Wellbeing Survey shows progress

Christchurch Central Electorate
Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Minister supporting Greater Christchurch Regeneration Nicky Wagner say the 2016 Canterbury Wellbeing Survey and Index shows Cantabrians are making good progress.

“The survey of over 3,000 greater Christchurch residents shows that Cantabrians’ quality of life and wellbeing continues to improve, and fewer people are negatively impacted by earthquake stressors,” says Dr Coleman.

“In the latest Wellbeing Survey, 82 per cent of Cantabrians stated their quality of life is good or extremely good - that’s up from 77 per cent last year.

“But we know that many Cantabrians still face challenges and need support. The survey found an increased proportion of people reported anxiety about aftershocks, which is likely to reflect the impact of February’s aftershock.”

The 2016 Survey and Index is the first to be released since Canterbury DHB and the Ministry of Health inherited the psychosocial recovery monitoring from CERA in March this year.

“It’s encouraging to see significant reductions in the number of Cantabrians reporting living in a damaged environment, or that insurance issues are negatively impacting on their daily lives,” says Mrs Wagner.

“In 2012, 37 per cent of Cantabrians said insurance issues were having a strong negative impact on their lives. This is now at 10 per cent.

“Meanwhile, the Wellbeing Index, which includes a set of data from more than 20 local and national agencies, shows unemployment remains low and Christchurch rental prices have returned to below the national average.”

The latest Index highlights that mental health services in Canterbury are experiencing increased demand. Since the earthquakes the Government has given Canterbury DHB an extra $86 million to assist with earthquake-related pressures, including mental health services.

“In March, we also announced an additional $20 million package of initiatives to increase mental health support for Cantabrians over the next three years,” says Dr Coleman.

“International evidence tells us that psychosocial recovery can take around a decade. We’re at year six, so there’s still some way to go.”

Canterbury DHB will receive an extra $44 million in new money this year, taking its annual budget for 2016/17 to $1.4 billion – that’s an increase of $331 million over the past eight years.

The 2016 Canterbury Wellbeing Survey and Index are available at: http://www.cph.co.nz/your-health/wellbeing-survey/