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Vital Update 2023 Survey Data Available For All To Use

The research project ‘Vital Update – Tauranga 2023’ findings are now available online at

Tauranga City Council, alongside the Acorn Foundation, TECT and BayTrust, recently conducted the second edition of this in-depth research. Facilitated by independent research company Key Research, the survey focused on understanding the needs, wants and aspirations of the communities within Tauranga.

Commission Chair, Anne Tolley, says that the data collected will be used to inform and influence council projects and plans – ultimately helping to shape the city’s future.

“This is key data that impacts all parts of our city. While we keep to the highest standards of data privacy, the anonymised data is freely available for anyone to access and use, whether you belong to a community organisation, a community-driven business or even if you’re just someone who wants to see Tauranga thrive.”

The data has been collated into dashboards and various reports, holding information from over 6,000 people across Tauranga’s 12 suburbs. To ensure the results were representative of Tauranga's diverse communities, a deliberate and conscious effort was made to speak to a broad cross-section of residents, including the ageing population (65+ years), youth (13-24 years) parents and caregivers, Māori, Pacific communities, ethnic communities, disabled people (including carers), people experiencing homelessness and the Rainbow community.

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A separate survey was developed to gather information from children aged 5-12 years, resulting in an additional 1,100 responses.

“Vital Update has given us the opportunity to hear from a wide range of voices. We now have rich, inclusive and comprehensive data that accurately reflects the unique make-up of our communities here in Tauranga,” said Barbara Dempsey, General Manager, Community Services at Tauranga City Council.

The representative findings reaffirmed some already established understandings, notably that people want a revitalised city centre and traffic continues to be a critical issue. However, the data shows that since 2020, there is an increase in the number of people getting out of their cars to get to school and work. Eighteen percent of people walk or jog to get to work, compared to five percent in 2020, and 17 percent cycle, compared to six percent in 2020.

In addition, the survey data shows:

  • A significant rise of survey participants who have experienced family violence – four percent in 2020 to 15 percent in 2023.
  • The popularity of vaping among younger demographics – 23 percent of those aged 13-18 years and 34 percent aged 19-24 years have vaped in the past 6 months, and 12 percent of 13-18 years vaped within the last week.
  • Over half of people renting homes are paying upwards of $400 per week, and 36 percent of those surveyed do not have the savings or income to get by for more than a month should an unexpected expense arise.
  • 17 percent of survey participants in Tauranga are currently experiencing mental health issues.

These are just some of the findings Vital Update 2023 has brought to light. Go to

to view the reports, which provide some insights into the data available, and to use the dashboards to explore and compare specific data.

“A final word of thanks to those who participated in the survey and shared their voice. Hearing from you has helped to ensure that the data reflects our unique and diverse community, and the gathered data will be invaluable in guiding not only council’s plans and projects going forward, but also those of our community organisations,” said Anne Tolley.

Vital Update Media Workshop
The Vital Update dashboards and reports can also be useful tools for local media, giving you access to accurate and representative data on aspirations for the city, housing and standards of living, social wellbeing, safety and mental health. That’s why we are planning to organise a media workshop in the new year. During the workshop we will guide you through the dynamic features of the dashboards, showing you how to explore, compare and derive conclusions about various current topics. Please register your interest by replying to this email and we will keep you updated with the further details.

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