Wellbeing Survey

The CERA Wellbeing Survey is an opportunity for residents of greater Christchurch to say how they're going and what they think about the earthquake recovery.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey is conducted every six months by CERA and partner agencies with the participation of a random selection of around 2500 greater Christchurch residents. The feedback given by residents helps identify what's causing people stress, impacts on their quality of life and social connectedness, barriers they're facing and opportunities they've encountered, what satisfies them about the recovery and any positive impacts they're experiencing as a result of the earthquakes.

This feedback helps measure earthquake recovery progress and gives social and other agencies an idea of emerging trends in community wellbeing, allowing them to make better decisions about how to target funds and resources to support greater Christchurch residents and communities.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey April 2014 Report

The Survey was conducted for the fourth time between March and May 2014, receiving a total of 2511 responses.

There are some positive and encouraging results in the CERA Wellbeing Survey, but we know that recovery is occurring differently for different people. A number of initiatives and programmes undertaken by CERA and partner agencies are designed to address the issues raised in the CERA Wellbeing Survey.

Key findings

The proportion of respondents reporting a high quality of life has increased to 75 per cent compared with 73 per cent in the September 2013 CERA Wellbeing Survey and those reporting high levels of stress remain stable at 22 per cent. However, the CERA Wellbeing Survey indicates that for some there are frustrations with the on-going disruption to their daily lives:

  • the greatest stressor is 'living in a damaged environment and/or being surrounded by construction work';
  • 'transport-related pressure' is the second greatest stressor; and
  • 'dealing with EQC/insurance' is now the third greatest stressor.

For the first time the CERA Wellbeing Survey breaks down responses by insurance status. The wellbeing of those with unresolved claims is more negatively impacted.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey included the WHO-5 questionnaire, an internationally recognised self-rated scale of emotional wellbeing. Those more likely to have WHO-5 scores below the mean (indicating lower emotional wellbeing) include:

  • those with a physical health condition or disability;
  • those living in temporary accommodation;
  • those on low incomes;
  • those waiting to have an insurance assessment or have had an assessment but no offer.

There is a decline in indicators relating to confidence in overall recovery decision-making (28 per cent compared with 30 per cent in September 2013) and satisfaction with opportunities to influence decision-making (24 per cent compared with 26 per cent in September 2013).

Some of the ways we're addressing these issues

Emotional wellbeing
In partnership with multiple agencies and organisations as well as community groups, CERA led development of the Community in Mind psychosocial strategy and the associated Programme of Action. The Strategy guides agencies and community groups to develop, target and coordinate their work programmes and activities for the psychosocial recovery of greater Christchurch communities. The Programme of Action will develop actions in the Strategy's three key priority action areas: community-led recovery, innovative service provision and engagement and communication.

The wellbeing of young people in greater Christchurch was recently surveyed through the CERA-led Youth Wellbeing Survey. As a result of its finding showing that the loss of spaces and places is having a negative impact on young people, the Winter Chill series of events has been established with a fund of up to $150,000 (including up to $100,000 from the Ministry of Youth Development’s Canterbury Youth Initiatives Fund, and a grant of $50,000 from Fletcher Building).

In Budget 2014 the Government announced $13.5 million funding to continue the Earthquake Support Coordination Service, the 0800 Canterbury Support Line and free counselling over four years. The funding will enable coordination support for up to 5000 households, support 240 new people a month through counselling services and ensure the 0800 Canterbury Support Line can respond to almost 13,000 calls.

Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has increased provision of outpatient services and altered referral pathways to enable right services at the right time. Plans are under way to increase community-based acute care to prevent acute admissions. GP consultations have been extended and brief intervention counselling sessions for people with mild to moderate mental health issues have been bolstered. Despite these initiatives, CDHB report that capacity is stretched.

CDHB, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health have implemented a school-based mental health programme in May 2013 under the Youth Mental Health Action Plan which is part of the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project. The programme is being delivered in 24 schools and supports young people to deal with post-earthquake mental health issues.

Red Cross has announced a $2.3 million fund for additional youth workers and social workers in earthquake-affected schools until 2016.

In addition to these targeted services, the All Right? campaign provides whole of population messaging and provides strategies to help improve mental health and wellbeing.

Insurance and rebuild stress
The Residential Advisory Service continues to provide free, independent help to residential property owners repairing or rebuilding their homes. The service provides impartial qualified legal advice to assist home owners who may be confused, or feeling overwhelmed or in a disagreement over their repair or rebuild issues.

In The Know (launched immediately before the Survey period) provides answers to Canterbury residents about the residential repair and rebuild process.

Transport stress
Construction has begun on the new Bus Interchange, a high-quality facility that promises to be the most comfortable, safe and accessible public transport hub that our city has ever seen. Operational from winter 2015, it has been designed as a place for people and will use state-of-the-art technology to make buses as efficient as possible.

  • Will provide easy links with other modes of transport and is easy walking distance to central city destinations.
  • Sustainable and future-proofed design will cater for 70,000 passengers per day by 2041.
  • The central anchor point of Christchurch's public transport network.

Intensity of rebuild work on central Christchurch roads and underground pipes is expected to drop off from July, with 90 per cent of work complete by the end of 2014. 47 per cent of the entire Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT) programme is complete.

An Accessible City focuses on the way people travel into and around the city, and how the streets will look as the central area redevelops. It envisions a transport system that is affordable, resilient, environmentally sustainable and practical.

Questions and answers

Who is the information for?
The information in the CERA Wellbeing Survey helps measure earthquake recovery progress and gives CERA and partner agencies up-to-date information about people's perception of the progress towards recovery, allowing them to make better decisions about how to target funds and resources to support greater Christchurch residents and communities.

Why does the CERA Wellbeing Survey need to be run again?
The Survey conducted every six months to measure earthquake recovery progress. As community wellbeing trends and the needs of greater Christchurch people change over time we need to keep abreast of developments to ensure recovery partners have timely and accurate information.

Who was involved in creating the CERA Wellbeing Survey?
CERA developed the Survey in partnership with the Christchurch City Council, the Waimakariri District Council, the Selwyn District Council, Canterbury District Health Board, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the Natural Hazards Research Platform.

How is the CERA Wellbeing Survey conducted?
The Survey is a representative survey carried out using a sequential mixed-method. A random selection of residents of greater Christchurch is taken from the Electoral Roll and respondents either complete the survey online or via a hard copy questionnaire posted to them.

In addition to the input of Survey partners the content was developed with input from a number of academic and public sector research experts. The questionnaire was then pre-tested with a sample of greater Christchurch residents. The questionnaires have undergone minor updates each time the Survey has been conducted.

What will CERA do with the CERA Wellbeing Survey findings?
Data from the Survey is used to inform a number of operational policy decisions across CERA, including development of the Community in Mind Programme of Action.

Who else will use the CERA Wellbeing Survey findings?
The CDHB will use the information in its development and delivery of psychosocial messaging and service delivery responses. The Councils and Ngāi Tahu will use the information plan and prioritise. The Natural Hazards Research Platform will use the information to inform Canterbury earthquake research priorities.

How is this different to the Canterbury Wellbeing Index?
The CERA Wellbeing Survey findings are incorporated into the Canterbury Wellbeing Index.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey features self-reported data from greater Christchurch residents about how they're feeling, their experiences and their perceptions of the recovery. The Canterbury Wellbeing Index incorporates a broader range of administrative and survey data from multiple agencies.

Each is valuable as reference to identify and respond to emerging social trends and issues.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey September 2013 Report

The CERA Wellbeing Survey April 2013 Report

In April 2013, 2,438 residents completed questionnaires. 1,210 were from Christchurch, 621 from the Selwyn district and 607 from the Waimakariri district.

The CERA Wellbeing Survey 2012 Report

In 2012, 2,381 residents completed questionnaires. 1,156 were from Christchurch, 618 from the Selwyn district and 607 from the Waimakariri district.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index (the Index) tracks the progress of the social recovery using indicators to provide information on the impacts of the earthquakes on wellbeing and to identify emerging social trends and issues. The Index is a collaborative project across local and central government agencies and is updated and revised twice yearly.

Read the Canterbury Wellbeing Index

Related information

Wellbeing Survey reveals positive outlook - 20 February 2013 media release from the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee.