Harkanwal Singh

Harkanwal Singh is the data editor for the New Zealand Herald.

Where are NZ's most deprived areas? (+interactive)

An indepth analysis of data from the 2013 census shows where New Zealand's most deprived areas are.
An indepth analysis of data from the 2013 census shows where New Zealand's most deprived areas are.

Changing the geography of poverty within New Zealand will take generations, according to health policy researcher Peter Crampton.

The New Zealand Deprivation index released last Friday provides an in-depth analysis from the 2013 census data. One noteworthy change in the index was the inclusion of 'lack of access to the Internet at home for those less than 65' variable.

This interactive map gives readers the ability to see the deprivation index score at suburb level.

The index shows the deprivation picture has remain unchanged for Maori 20 years since the first index was produced.

Professor Crampton said most Maori and Pacific people still live in socially deprived areas.

"I am struck and still taken aback by how ethnic patterns have remained stable.

"New Zealand is on a positive journey, but the underlying patterns remain. It will be a multi-generational process for things to change. We've to stay in the game and continue working through the process."

The different variables used for calculating the deprivation index include - communication, income, employment, qualifications, owned home, support, living space and transport.

These variables are used to describe the underlying concept of deprivation. All the variables in the index reflect 'a lack of something'.


The inclusion of 'internet access' variable is meant to reflect the ever-increasing importance of the Internet for various social activities.

Professor Crampton said the inclusion increased the overall explanatory power of the index compared to the 2006 one.

"The Internet is now a fundamental aspect of our structures of opportunity, both socially and in the market."

The Internet variable is currently restricted to those aged less than 65 because of the strong age-related cohort effect, which will diminish rapidly over coming years.

A value of 10 on the index of deprivation indicates that the area is in the most deprived 10 percent of areas in New Zealand.

The scale reflects a continuum from 'least deprivation' to 'most deprivation', rather than from 'affluence' to 'deprivation', according to the accompanying research report.

The latest index also shows that smoking is strongly correlated with the socioeconomic status.

The deprivation index is widely used in social service planning in central and local government. Its primary uses include resource allocation, research and community advocacy.

Professor Crampton emphasised the importance of remembering why the index was created in the first place.

"It is easy to see it as a labelling process which isn't helpful.'

Read the full report here:

NZ Deprivation Index FAQs:

- NZ Herald

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