Social Capital

Contact with family and friends

Family and friends are a source of social support and give people a sense of belonging. Staying in touch with family and friends who live elsewhere helps maintain social connections, which can contribute to wellbeing. A network of relatives, friends, colleagues, and other personal contacts can encourage healthy behaviours. People can call on their social networks for assistance in times of need [13].

This indicator presents the proportion of those aged 15 years and over who had face-to-face contact and non-face-to-face contact with family (top graph) and friends (bottom graph) living in another household in the last week (at least once a week) as reported in the New Zealand General Social Survey. Family included immediate family, such as parents, siblings, and other relatives (for example, uncles, aunts, and in-laws).

The figures show that most New Zealanders talk face-to-face with their family or friends regularly. In Canterbury in 2021, 58.5 percent of respondents had face-to-face contact with their family at least once a week; 75.7 percent reported face-to-face contact with friends at least once a week. Most Canterbury respondents also had regular non-face-to-face contact with family and friends. Approximately eight out of ten respondents in 2021 had non-face-to-face contact with family (84.1%) or friends (84.0%) in the last week. Contact with family and friends for Canterbury respondents appears relatively similar to that for New Zealanders overall.

Data Sources

Source: Statistics New Zealand.
Survey/data set: New Zealand General Social Survey to 2021. Access publicly available data from the Statistics New Zealand website
Source data frequency: Every two years.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 23/11/2023