Everybody needs good neighbours – or do they?
Everybody needs good neighbours – or do they? – Media release
18 September 2015
If you’ve got good neighbours, you’re likely to see just the right amount of them, according to new research from Statistics New Zealand.
The research, released today, shows that more than half of us (56%) have supportive neighbours, and of those almost 90 percent are happy with the amount of contact they have with them.
Over half of New Zealanders have lived in the same neighbourhood for six years or more. These people are twice as likely as those who have lived in a neighbourhood for less than a year to say they have neighbours they can turn to for help and support.
“Neighbours are an important part of people’s support networks. The longer someone lives in the same neighbourhood, the greater the opportunity to form and build on these relationships,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said.
Owner-occupiers tend to live in the same neighbourhood for longer than renters. Almost one-quarter of owner-occupiers have lived in the same neighbourhood for 21 years or more – compared with only 6 percent of renters.
“We found that having supportive neighbours enhances people’s sense of safety in their neighbourhood,” Ms Ramsay said. “People with supportive neighbours are more likely to say they feel safe at home by themselves at night, or walking alone in their neighbourhood after dark.”
Because neighbours are close by, they can provide an important social connection that may not be possible with family and friends. The main way we keep in touch with our supportive neighbours is by talking to them in person, and most of us do this regularly – 55 percent of people with supportive neighbours said they have weekly contact with them.
How connected are we to our neighbours? reports on information from the 2014 New Zealand General Social Survey. It focuses on the connections New Zealanders aged 15 years or older have with their neighbours.
NB: This media release corrects an earlier version which incorrectly stated: “Almost 90 percent of us are happy with the amount of contact we have with our neighbours – although nearly half of us have little or no contact with them.” This was incorrect. Statistics NZ regrets the error.
Published 18 September 2015
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