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Regional Comparison

The Big Cities Project



Purpose of the social report

The social report has four key aims:

  • to provide and monitor over time measures of wellbeing and quality of life that complement existing economic and environmental indicators
  • to assess how New Zealand¬†compares with other countries on measures of wellbeing
  • to provide greater transparency in government and to contribute to better informed public debate
  • to help identify key issues and areas where we need to take action, which can in turn help with planning and decision making.

The report enables us to examine the current level of wellbeing in New Zealand, how this has changed over time, and how different groups in the population are faring. The social report helps us to identify adverse trends in social outcomes at an early stage. The report itself cannot illuminate what is driving these trends but it can point to the need for further research to better understand what is happening and to what actions need to be undertaken to address them.

Government policy, as well as individual decisions, families, communities, businesses and international factors, influence the outcomes we report on. The cross-cutting nature of many social issues means that the social report is not a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of any one particular government policy.