26 May 2015

New Zealanders 'satisfied' - survey

5:58 pm on 26 May 2015

Most New Zealanders are highly satisfied with their lives, a national survey suggests.

Statistics New Zealand surveyed nearly 9000 people last year to gauge their well being, including housing conditions, health and acceptance of diversity.

Overall, 83 percent of people were very satisfied with their lives, and 87 percent rated their sense of purpose highly.

The department's social statistics manager Phillip Walker said older people rated highly in both areas.

"Overall we can say older people are more likely to be satisfied with their lives and to rate their sense of purpose highly.

"Maybe this is because they are tend to be more financially secure, or have managed to achieve a good balance between work and play."

Mr Walker said the survey showed sole parents and unqualified people had lower levels of life satisfaction and sense of purpose.

"We also know that money makes a difference, but only to a point, If you're not earning much, you are less likely to be satisfied with life."

Mr Walker said Māori were also less likely to be satisfied with their lives, but they rated their sense of purpose higher.

He said this could be because the Māori population was significantly younger than the European and usually self-rated well being increases with age.

"The survey found that while New Zealanders are very accepting of diversity, in terms of who they're happy to have as neighbours - many have clear concerns about people with mental health issues," he said.