Positive mood on rebuild fades

The latest Canterbury wellbeing survey shows Christchurch residents' lives have improved little in the past six months.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's fourth survey showed only 75 per cent of Cantabrians rated their lives as good or extremely good - just 2 per cent up on late 2013.

One in five residents reported dealing with high levels of stress, and one in three was still mired in the household insurance process.

The report, compiled by AC Nielsen, noted resident happiness improved dramatically when the rebuild seemed to be under way in April 2013.

However, positive aspects of the rebuild were dissipating over time, and people living in North Canterbury and Selwyn were still happier than those living in the city.

About 2500 residents were surveyed.

Disruptions from widespread rebuild work were "testing the patience of residents", and more people felt the rebuild negatively affected their day-to-day lives.

Transport headaches and a lack of recreation and community infrastructure were also having a strong impact on quality of life.

Affordable and available housing remained a major problem.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said the transport recovery programme was half-completed and the Government was addressing housing concerns.

The Government had included $13.5 million in the 2014 Budget to continue mental health support for a further four years.

However, the proportion of residents who did not have confidence in the decisions being made for Christchurch had gone up to 41 per cent.

Almost 40 per cent were unhappy with the level of influence the public had over rebuild decisions, and 30 per cent were not happy with the information they received.

The report recommended more focus on understanding how and where residents wanted to be involved in decision-making. 

The Press