Infographic: Seven deadly sins of New Zealand

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How sinful is New Zealand? Photo / Thinkstock
How sinful is New Zealand? Photo / Thinkstock

Ever wondered just how depraved your city is?

Well, a tongue-in-cheek appraisal of New Zealand's vices has revealed Auckland as the country's centre of sin.

With data sourced from the New Zealand Transport Agency, Statistics New Zealand, other government departments and Zenbu, the Herald has plotted the 'Seven Deadly Sins' across each region.

The data shows Aucklanders have higher rates of sinful activity on a per capita basis than anywhere else in the country scooping top spot in a crude sin count - ranked the most sinful in our interpretation of four of the seven cardinal sins.

Gisborne and the surrounding East Cape area finished second, suffering the nation's worst rate of murders and assaults (wrath), and the greatest prevalence of inactivity in adults aged 16 plus (sloth).

LUST

Rotorua teens and young adults have the highest rates of chlamydia in the country, but a clinician says this doesn't mean the place is a den of iniquity with relaxed sexual attitudes.

The Lakes District Health Board reported 691 cases between July and December last year for its 103,100 population - making it the country's chlamydia capital.

But Dr Tania Pinfold, clinical leader (youth health), said it was difficult to know whether the issue was under-reported or even over-reported.

"It's very difficult to draw any sweeping conclusions, which is kind of frustrating, but in a backwards way we kind of celebrate getting high rates because we are getting lots of people in," she said.

"When you have a service where a bunch of young men come in and say, 'I think we should have a check, miss', that's a really good reflection of the quality of that service and the perception the young people have of it."

Dr Pinfold said sexually active teens from the age of 15 and young people to the age of about 25 were the most at risk.

"They are becoming sexually active and not settling down in relationships so they are sort of going through that very social phase without the long-term relationships."

GLUTTONY

Jondalah-Deamon Murdoch goes big when he gets his fast-food fix.

The Hamilton signwriter, 22, is spoiled for choice - Hamilton has the second highest number of fast-food outlets per 100,000 people in New Zealand after, you guessed it, Auckland.

JD says New Zealanders, in general, "eat too much crap" and he barely bats an eyelid when told obesity rates have nearly tripled in recent decades. In 1977, only 9 per cent of New Zealand males and 11 per cent of females were obese.

He has been on a healthy diet for the past two years although he admitted to looking forward to a new Wendy's burger store opening in Hamilton shortly.

"If you eat too much it just gets you down. New Zealanders just have to eat less and do more."

Healthy Food Guide nutritionist Claire Turnbull said environmental factors including the prevalence of fast-food joints in every suburb in Auckland weighed heavily.

She said one of the biggest problems relating to obesity was the fact that people these days have a lack of time coupled with little cooking skill.

"And if you combine it with being surrounded by fast-food places, it is just making it easier for people to become overweight."

PRIDE

Given its population, it's probably no surprise that Aucklanders are more likely to see top-line Ferraris, Maseratis, Hummers, Porsches and other luxury cars as they inch their way through traffic jams.

Auckland takes first place in the pride stakes with 111.9 luxury cars sold for every 100,000 people.

But the South Island town of Nelson (83.7) comes in ahead of the likes of Christchurch (75.7) and Wellington (73.9).

A Nelson car dealer, who asked not to be named, said the anomaly could be caused by a large amount of wealth in the area over a relatively small population of about 46,000 people.

"There's a lot of money in the hills here and some of these people aren't afraid to spend it either."

SLOTH

You'd think that having relatively uncrowded world-class surfbreaks, access to excellent hunting, fishing and consistently good weather meaning more time outside would mean a community of fitness freaks.

Not necessarily in the Gisborne/Tairawhiti region, which according to a 2007-08 Active New Zealand survey has the highest number of adults who are physically inactive.

The survey shows that walking and gardening are rated the region's two most popular sport and recreation activities.

Brent Sheldrake, the new chief executive at Sport Gisborne, questioned the validity of the survey size, in which just 141 people were interviewed.

But he admitted that his organisation was working harder with children to embed "life-long habits".

He said surfing, fishing and hunting were hugely popular and many of those doing them were not affiliated with any clubs.

Mr Sheldrake said numbers of people helping with sports in the community were limited. There were also people working more than one job, which was a challenge.

"Then there's the issues of parents just carting their kids around to sport and that eats into their own sporting time."

WRATH

Statistics New Zealand and police figures show the total number of recorded murders and assaults per 100,000 residents for the fiscal year 2011-12 are highest in the Eastern police district, which stretches from the East Cape through to southern Hawkes Bay.

Police could not provide any specific reasons for the high rates nor could they shed any light on what may have caused a spike in the figures.

"Our focus is on prevention first, which means we are working to improve our targeting of priority and prolific offenders, crime hotspots and vulnerable victims," said spokeswoman Kris McGehan.

"Violence is usually random and cannot be predicted, but we do know that much of it stems from family violence."

Ms McGehan said police had a comprehensive multi-agency plan in place that targets known and recidivist family violence offenders.

GREED

An insatiable demand for real estate in Auckland is helping to grow a widening gap between the rich and poor.

A comparison of the top 20 per cent of household incomes against the bottom 20 per cent by region shows the Auckland region again coming out on top.

The data, from Statistics New Zealand, shows that the higher the ratio, the greater the level of inequality.

Charles Waldegrave of the Anglican Family Centre Social Policy Research Centre said the blame can be put squarely on Auckland's housing market in which 13 suburbs all have average price ranges of over $1 million.

He said the lower-quartile rent for a three-bedroom house in Auckland was $438 a week. That's $163 more than the national average of $275.

"That is really confounding things in Auckland because successive governments have not addressed social housing and the whole issue around home ownership."

Mr Waldegrave said there needed to be a supply solution because local demand for real estate keeps pulling prices up.

"There needs to be a quantity of houses built and needs to be affordability and accessibility for lower income families."

ENVY

Highly valuable, portable and desirable items such as smartphones, iPads and laptops are helping to drive property crime in the Auckland City district.

Using theft as a measure of envy, Auckland comes first, with a rate of 1971 burglary and motor vehicle theft offences for every 100,000 people for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Superintendent Michael Clement, district commander of Auckland City, said locals weren't helping things by having lax security attitudes.

"The methods of offending and skills of offenders do not seem to change significantly over time," said Mr Clement.

"What has changed, though, is the value of small items that people carry around with them. Smartphones, laptops and digital cameras are all high-value, desirable and portable items that make an easy target for thieves. These commodities appear to be significant drivers of property crime offending."

Every week, at least 30 cars are stolen in the Auckland district. Mr Clement said there was a definite link between dishonesty offences and addiction to drugs, particularly methamphetamine.

Are we a nation of sinners? We'll let you decide. But if you're curious about how your region fared, scroll through the maps here.

Methodology

The information used to compile our map of The Seven Deadly Sins was drawn from the New Zealand Transport Agency, Statistics New Zealand, Zenbu, Sport New Zealand and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research.

LUST
To plot the sin of lust across New Zealand we used data from Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), which is contracted by the Ministry of Health to provide public health data. The period covered was January to June 2012.
Reported STI case counts, taken from participating family planning and sexual health clinics in each DHB, were divided by their corresponding population estimates, then multiplied by 100,000 to find a comparable ratio.
According to ESR, the STI case counts "underestimate the true burden of the disease" in New Zealand because a significant number of STIs are diagnosed through alternate health providers. Because there is no sexual health clinic in the Wairarapa DHB, for example, it is not represented.
Source: Institute of Environmental Science and Research

GLUTTONY
The data used to calculate gluttony, which was drawn from Zenbu - a collaboratively edited public directory - does not contain every single fast-food outlet in New Zealand. However, it contains 641 listings, by far the most comprehensive data source we could find.
In order to show the country's tendency to over-indulge on food, we totalled the number of fast food outlets listed in each regional council area ( 641 in total according to Zenbu), divided it by corresponding population estimates held by Statistics New Zealand at June 2012, then multiplied it by 100,000 to find the ratio.
Source: Zenbu

PRIDE
In order to show pride we grouped together 12 luxury car makes, including Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Hummer, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Range-Rover and Rolls-Royce. We then totalled the number of new registrations for the group in each council region, divided it by corresponding population estimates held by Statistics New Zealand at June 2012, and multiplied it by 100,000 to find the ratio.
Source: NZ Transport Agency

SLOTH
The results are taken from Sport New Zealand's Active New Zealand Survey 2007/08, which collected data from 4,443 adults aged 16 years and over through face-to-face interviews.
They were measured against the New Zealand Physical Activity Guidelines, which state that adults should participate in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.
Those that were categorised as inactive were adults who, over seven days, did less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in total.
The data is based on the geographical areas of New Zealand's 17 regional sports trusts.
Source: Sport New Zealand

WRATH
To show wrath, we combined recorded murders and assaults for the 2011/2012 fiscal year in each police district. The data for each district, provided by the New Zealand Police to Statistics New Zealand, was then divided by the corresponding district population estimates at December 31, 2011. We then multiplied the figures by 100,000 to find the corresponding ratio.
Source: Statistics New Zealand

GREED
To calculate greed, we worked with Statistics New Zealand to create an appropriate measure of income inequality from region to region. The ratio used is found by dividing the value of household income at the 80th percentile of the region in question, by the value of household income at the 20th percentile of the same region.
So a P80/20 ratio of 4.22, like that found in Auckland, indicates household incomes at the top of the 80th percentile are 4.22 x higher than those at the top of the 20th percentile.
The data was taken from the year ending June 2012.
Source: Statistics New Zealand

ENVY:
To show a discontented or resentful desire towards someone's traits, status or possessions, we combined the number of recorded burglaries and motor vehicle thefts for the 2011/2012 fiscal year in each police district.
The data for each district, provided by the New Zealand Police to Statistics New Zealand, was then divided by the corresponding district population estimates at December 31, 2011. We then multiplied the figures by 100,000 to find the corresponding ratio.
Source: Statistics New Zealand

This infographic was inspired by the work of Kansas State University on their American Vice map.

- NZ Herald

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