No surprises which city is unhappiest

ASHLEIGH STEWART
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013
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People living in the Burwood-Pegasus ward are Christchurch's unhappiest residents, according to a biennial survey.

The ward, comprised of the Burwood, Parklands, Shirley, Dallington, Avondale, Aranui, Bexley and New Brighton suburbs, had the most unhappy respondents in the 2012 quality of life survey.

The survey, run every two years since 2002 by Nielsen and co-sponsored by the Christchurch City Council, gauges perceptions and issues across New Zealand's largest urban centres: Auckland, Porirua, Hutt and Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The results of the survey reveal Christchurch as New Zealand's unhappiest city, with two-thirds of respondents saying they were happy or very happy, a 25 per cent decrease since 2010.

Respondents saying their quality of life had decreased over the past 12 months had more than doubled (35 per cent) over the past two years.

Eighty per cent of Banks Peninsula residents were happy or very happy, the highest in the area, while Burwood-Pegasus trailed with 60 per cent.

Respondents cited graffiti and dangerous driving as issues they found most distressing, followed closely by alcohol and drugs and vandalism.

Each of these problems, except air pollution, had shown an increase in the past two years.

Concerns about dangerous driving were more prevalent in Christchurch than any of the other centres.

The survey also supported findings of a 2012 wellbeing survey, that about half of respondents understood or had confidence in council decision-making.

Mayor Bob Parker put the results down to timing and said he believed there would be an increase in positivity in the city.

"Given everything Christchurch people have been through, and the timing of this survey at the end of a hard winter, it's understandable residents feel their quality of life isn't what it was," he said.

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- The Press

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