The Canterbury Wellbeing Index is produced by the Community and Public Health division of the Canterbury District Health Board with the support of a number of contributing agencies.

It provides information about the wellbeing of the local population. For the most part, unless data sources preclude this, the Index is focused on the geographical boundary of greater Christchurch, which is made up of the Territorial Authorities of Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District.

History of the Canterbury Wellbeing Index

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index was initially developed by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) with the support of multiple agencies, to track the progress of the social recovery from the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010-2011 in greater Christchurch. In late 2011, CERA convened a series of meetings with representatives from 28 agencies to identify the social indicators that should be tracked through the recovery. Expert advice was received through the literature review of international best practice “Designing indicators for measuring recovery from disasters”, provided by Canterbury DHB. The Canterbury Wellbeing Index was published annually by CERA between 2013 and 2015. 

View or download past editions of the Index on the Community and Public Health website.

Social recovery monitoring was inherited by the Ministry of Health and delegated to the Canterbury DHB with the disestablishment of CERA in April 2016. The 2016 Index was produced by the Canterbury DHB largely using the same process and indicators as developed by CERA. In the 2016 release, Canterbury DHB indicated the future direction for the Index, including placing a greater emphasis on factors that shape or influence wellbeing and the distribution of these factors across different population groups.

At the time of transfer, a cross-agency Greater Christchurch Psychosocial Governance Group was formed to oversee the continued psychosocial recovery and monitoring work that the Canterbury DHB inherited from CERA. This group includes representation from:

  • Canterbury DHB;
  • Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet;
  • Ministry of Education;
  • Ministry of Health;
  • NZ Police;
  • Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu (the Whānau Ora commissioning agency for the South Island);
  • Ministry of Social Development;
  • Christchurch City Council;
  • Selwyn District Council; and
  • Waimakariri District Council.

The Psychosocial Governance Group approved a review of the Canterbury Wellbeing Index by the Canterbury DHB in 2017, with no Index being produced in 2017. The review included an analysis of international and national examples of wellbeing monitoring, including indicator selection, a survey of local users of health and wellbeing information, and stakeholder engagement including a well-attended workshop and specific engagement with Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu, local Councils, and other key agencies with an interest in providing data or involved in similar work locally.

A proposal to move the Index to an on-line format with a revised set of indicators, a broad wellbeing focus and a complementary set of indicators focused on Māori conceptualisations of wellbeing (the current online Index) was approved by the Psychosocial Governance Group in late 2017.

How the Canterbury Wellbeing Index was developed

Administrative and survey data from multiple agencies are used as source data for the indicators in the Canterbury Wellbeing Index. Some data are accessed via publicly available websites and others are requested as a custom data request directly from the agency.  Where possible, indicators are tailored to the greater Christchurch boundary comprised of Christchurch City, and the Selwyn and Waimakariri districts.

In addition, the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey, an annual representative survey of approximately 2,500 Christchurch City, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District residents is used as a source of local data. The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey was developed to provide recovery-focused data on the wellbeing of the residents of greater Christchurch after the earthquakes and has now evolved to also include questions that relate to wider aspects of wellbeing. The current survey partners are Canterbury DHB, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council, and the University of Canterbury.

More detailed information about the data sources for each indicator can be found with the metadata for each indicator in the Index Data section of the website.

In order to meaningfully consider the wellbeing of the greater Christchurch population, time series and national comparisons are presented where feasible and statistical significance testing is noted where it has been provided with data. Differences between population groups (breakdowns by geography, ethnicity, income, gender, age, or disability status) are provided where these are feasible and meaningful.

Draft indicators are subjected to internal peer review processes, and agencies who contribute data have the opportunity to review the content prior to public release. He Tohu Ora has been reviewed from a cultural perspective by Ihi Research.  

Indicators will be updated annually or less frequently if data are only available less often than annually.

Responding to trends identified in the Canterbury Wellbeing Index

The aim of the Canterbury Wellbeing Index is to be a comprehensive source of information to support local collaboration, planning, decision-making and advocacy to support and promote community wellbeing.

Emerging trends and issues identified through the Canterbury Wellbeing Index will be used to inform decision-making by a range of local and national agencies and partnership groups, including:

  • the Greater Christchurch Partnership; and
  • Waka Toa Ora (formerly known as Healthy Christchurch) - supporting the Health Communities workstream of the Greater Christchurch Partnership.


The Canterbury Wellbeing Index Team gratefully acknowledges the many individuals and organisations that have supported and contributed to the 2018 Canterbury Wellbeing Index.

In particular we would like to acknowledge:

  • Data providers and reviewers;
  • Greater Christchurch Psychosocial Governance Group;
  • Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu;
  • Canterbury Wellbeing Survey partners and Survey Working Group members;
  • Ihi Research;
  • Meanwhile Design Studio; and
  • Staff at Community and Public Health – analysis, writing and web development.


The information contained on this website is derived from many different sources. While Canterbury DHB has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all the information is from a reliable and reputable source and is accurate, it accepts no liability or responsibility for any acts or omissions, done or omitted in reliance, in whole or in part, on the information contained on this website. Canterbury DHB takes no responsibility for the manner in which this information is subsequently used or the results of such use.

To help users of this website to find related information, we provide links and references to third party websites. These links are provided for convenience and for information purposes only. Where we provide links on this website, we:

  • cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time;
  • have no control over the availability of linked pages; and
  • cannot accept responsibility for the content or reliability of the linked websites.

Canterbury DHB does not endorse or approve (expressly or implicitly) any website, organisation or people who have off-site links to this website.


Material featured on this website is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source and copyright status must be acknowledged. The permission to reproduce Crown copyright protected material does not extend to any material on this site that is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material must be obtained from the copyright holders concerned.