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New Zealanders happy with their relationships

EMBARGOED UNTIL: 6AM 29 AUGUST 2006
Media release

New Zealanders happy with their relationships

A new report funded by the Families Commission shows that on the whole New Zealanders are happy with the state of their relationships.

But when there is tension between partners, the most common causes are not spending enough time together, not listening or understanding each other and disagreements about money.

The report New Zealanders’ Satisfaction with Family Relationships and Parenting, was funded by the Families Commission’s Blue Skies Fund, which provides grants for research on family-related issues.

The report, by Dr Jeremy Robertson of the Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families at Victoria University, is the first published report to use the full data from an AC Nielsen/Relationship Services survey carried out in 2004.

Dr Robertson believes the survey is also the first national survey on New Zealanders’ views of the importance and level of satisfaction with their relationships.

“The findings show that New Zealanders regard relationships with a range of people as important, particularly those with their children and partners, followed by extended families,” he says.

In some cases relationships with friends came very close to the level of importance placed on that of extended family, he says.

Women rated their relationships as slightly more important than the rating by men, though both sexes reported similar levels of satisfaction with their relationships and their overall life satisfaction was relatively high, he says.

However, around half of the 1,000 people who were surveyed said they would like to spend more time with family and with close friends.

Of those who were single about two-thirds said it was because they hadn’t met anyone they wanted to get involved with, and women were more satisfied being single than men.

Dr Robertson says the results of this work will be particularly useful for researchers and for people working in social policy. Some of the findings around relationship priorities and work-life balance will be particularly useful, he says.

ENDS

See... New Zealanders’ Satisfaction with Family Relationships and Parenting (PDF)

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