Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Most Kiwis content with life (+poll)

Most Kiwis are content with life - survey. Photo / Thinkstock
Most Kiwis are content with life - survey. Photo / Thinkstock

Most New Zealanders say they live a contented life despite barely half of them saying they have enough or more than enough money to pay the bills, according to a new survey.

Findings from Statistics New Zealand's General Social Survey showed having good health, relationships, housing, and enough money strongly influenced how satisfied respondents were with their lives.

Last year, one-in-five of the 8500 respondents said they had good health, enough money, good housing and didn't feel lonely. Nearly all those people (98 per cent) were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

On the other hand, 1 in 20 New Zealanders said they had neither good health nor enough money nor good housing, and said they had felt lonely in the past four weeks.

Yet just over half (55 per cent) of those people were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

The survey found 52 per cent had enough money to pay for everyday items such as accommodation, food, clothing and other necessities.

Aucklanders were the least likely to say they had more than enough or enough money. About 47 per cent of people living in the Auckland region said they had more than enough or enough money, compared with 58 per cent living in Wellington or Canterbury.

The survey's manager Philip Walker said despite that, the majority of respondents felt satisfied with their lives.

"There's more to life than just money," he said.

"Most New Zealanders appear to be content with their lives, with 87 percent of the population reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall. This is above the OECD average, and similar to Australia, the United States, and Canada."

Three in five New Zealanders rated their health as excellent or very good, the survey found.

Respondents who were most likely to rate their health as top-notch were aged between 15 and 24.

Health satisfaction increased with a high household income - with people in households earning more than $100,000 more likely to report their health as excellent or very good (69 per cent) compared to those in households with an annual income of $30,000 or less (45 per cent).

Maori and Pacific Islanders were less likely to rate their health as excellent or very good (54 and 55 per cent respectively) than Europeans (62 per cent) and Asians (60 per cent).

The survey also found 67 per cent of respondents had no major housing problems.

This was a significant increase from the 2008 survey (63 per cent) and the 2010 survey (64 per cent).

Home owners were more likely than renters to report no problems, the survey said.

It also found the older generation were most content, with 91 per cent of those aged over 65-years-old reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.

"This pattern may reflect the pressure from work and family responsibilities that people face as they move through life,'' the survey said.

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Those living the good life were more likely to:

* be aged over 45-years-old;

* be European;

* have been born in New Zealand;

* have tertiary qualifications;

* have an annual household income of more than $100,000;

* be employed; and

* be a childless couple.

- APNZ

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