The West Coast is the happiest region in the country according to a poll by UMR research.
On the Coast 34.5 per cent of people surveyed claimed they were nine or 10 on the happiness scale. That was up from 30.2 per cent last year.
Northland was next with 32 per cent and Taranaki, last year's happiest region, had 31.1 per cent.
Marlborough was the least happy region this year.
The poll also showed happiness had fluctuated over the past year with happiness highest in September and lowest in May.
Females were happier than males but according to the most recent surveys, the happiness gap between men and women was closing.
People aged over 65 proved to be the happiest, and ethnically, Pacific Islanders and Maori were the happiest people.
Widows, widowers and married people were happier than divorced and single people, and those living without children were happier than those living with children.
New Zealanders in the top and bottom income brackets were happiest.
UMR research director Gavin White said the poll results came from an ongoing telephone survey and were usually released yearly.
Once a fortnight people around the country were asked a range of questions, said Mr White.
Participants ranked how happy and satisfied they were with how their life was going on a scale of zero to 10, he said.
The number of people contacted was proportional to the size of the region, so not many people would have been contacted on the Coast.
While he didn't think the West Coast had come out on top before, regions nearby usually ranked highly, said Mr White.
Buller mayor Pat McManus agrees with the survey putting his region on top.
The coast had been a pretty happy place right back throughout history, said Mr McManus.
He thought part of the reason might be its Irish heritage.
The coast was a non-stressful, quiet place where people were generally laid back and it had a "brilliant climate" which Coasters were experiencing at the moment.