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Metadata: Infometrics Regional Wellbeing Framework

Overview

The Infometrics Regional Wellbeing Framework provides an overview of wellbeing across New Zealand’s territorial authorities and regions. It also provides a reliable comparison across the country on a consistent set of indicators.

Our Framework contains nine domains of wellbeing. These nine domains are based off the 12 domains contained in the New Zealand Treasury’s Living Standards Framework. The majority of these domains are closely aligned to the OECD Better Life Index.

Underneath our nine domains sit 30 indicators, which provide a detailed view of the state of wellbeing across the country. Our indicator variables have been chosen for their ability to highlight wellbeing outcomes at a comparable level across the country.

 

Updates

Date

Comment

Wednesday 15 May 2019

Regional Wellbeing Framework launched

Friday 24 May 2019

Unemployment rates revised to correct processing error, regional council dependency rates adjusted, road fatalities label updated.

 

Criteria for indicator inclusion

The following four principles were considered when assessing if a variable should be included:

  • Outcome-focused: A variable should be focused on the end result, rather than an input or intermediary step. Outcomes are preferred as they allow for a better understanding of what good wellbeing actually manifests as, rather than applying a judgement to what should lead to a positive outcome. This criterion prioritises a quality assessment of wellbeing, rather than a quantity assessment.
  • Availability of data: An indicator variable should be available for all territorial authorities and regions across New Zealand on a comparable basis. This variable requires that the information be available for assessment, calculation, and manipulation, rather than that the variable is fully formed already – transformation of various data sources is acceptable as long as the underlying data is available across all areas on a comparable basis. Other data may be available for some domains, but it may not be easily translated to regional boundaries or may not have comprehensive coverage across the country.
  • Ability to influence: A variable should be able to be changed by decision makers, through direct or indirect intervention, including the settings put in place by businesses, local government, central government, or the community. Variables which could clearly affect wellbeing, such as sunshine hours, but which cannot be influenced, have not been included.
  • Understandable by the public: A variable should be easily understood by the general public, when contextual information is provided about it. Technical definitions aside, the broad encompassing concept should be readily understood and relatable to the public.

To build a comprehensive picture of wellbeing at a detailed level, Infometrics has sought to balance these criteria so that where the gold-standard data is not available, a suitable proxy is located and used. When this has occurred, the outcome-focused principle has been balanced against the availability of data. A clear example is our examination of the crime rate: the data available at a detailed level only included reported crime and does not provide a dimension of how safe people feel. However, higher crime is an obvious proxy for unreported crime (more reported crime would seem to imply a higher overall crime burden), and more crime would logically see people feel less safe.

Air quality data is often a core wellbeing indicator for the environment. However, in New Zealand, only 52% of territorial authorities have air quality monitoring, requiring its exclusion from this wellbeing framework.

Given the need for data to be available at a detailed level across the country, at a comparable level, survey-based data has been excluded, given the significant sampling errors present at the territorial authority level. As such, the Regional Wellbeing Framework is purely objective, rather than including subjective notions of wellbeing.

 

Coverage

The Regional Wellbeing Framework provides data across all 30 indicators for all 67 territorial authorities (excluding the Chatham Islands Territory) and all 16 regions. Two broad comparator areas, Provincial and Metropolitan, have also been created. The Metropolitan area comprises all City Council areas in New Zealand, plus the Queenstown Lakes District Council area. The Provincial area comprises all other District Council areas.

 

Domain Descriptions

Civic engagement and governance

Civic engagement and governance wellbeing highlights people’s interactions with local decision making and public institutions. Better wellbeing in this domain is displayed through higher activity by locals, indicating greater participation in civic processes and making choices which will affect their lives and the lives of those around them.

Environment

Environmental wellbeing highlights the human impact of living on the natural environment. The natural environment is important to wellbeing as it provides the foundations for life to exist, and the resources that are used daily for employment, social interactions, and basic living. Better wellbeing in this domain is displayed through minimising the damage and disruption to the natural environment caused by human interactions.

Health

Health wellbeing highlights people’s ability to live life free from illness and injury. Having better health outcomes provides people with a foundation to be an active and engaged member of society, through their ability to participate in the community, in work, and in education.

Housing

Housing wellbeing highlights people’s ability to access and use suitable shelter, along with the extended benefits of satisfactory living conditions, including privacy, safety, personal space, and space for a family. Adequate housing allows security of living in an area, with a reasonable, not overbearing, cost for the provision of shelter.

Income and consumption

Income and consumption wellbeing highlights people’s ability to meet their everyday needs and achieve adequate living conditions, which provide a suitable level of living and comfort. This includes independence and the ability to meet household costs such as heating, clothing, transport, and food costs, among others.

Jobs and earnings

Jobs and earnings wellbeing highlights people’s ability to secure a stable source of income which can be used to support an individual or their family, whanau, or household. Having a job often provides people with a sense of purpose and increase self-esteem. In a regional context, the wider labour market provides an indication of the potential wellbeing outcomes for people within that area.

Knowledge and skills

Knowledge and skills wellbeing highlights people’s ability to acquire and use information to increase their wellbeing in other areas of their life, particularly regarding employment. Measuring the level and types of formal qualifications people have provides an understanding of the access that a person, or in this case, a region has to higher education and employment. Higher qualifications and educational attainment provide a greater ability to access additional opportunities and allow for social mobility.

Safety

Safety wellbeing highlights people’s ability to live a life free from threat, danger, crime, abuse and violence. Safety is necessary in all facets of life; at work, at home, and everywhere else. Higher incidences of lower safety outcomes provide an understanding of the risk present to people living in a particular region.

Social connections

Social connections wellbeing highlights people’s ability to contribute in, and be a part, of a community and interact in society. Social contact allows people to socialise and interact with others, which reduces isolation and exclusion, and better enables support to be accessed, and resilience to build.

 

List of Domains and Indicators

Domain

Indicator

Civic Engagement and Governance

General election turnout

Civic Engagement and Governance

Local election turnout

Environment

CO2 emissions

Environment

Waste diversion rate

Health

Drinking water quality

Health

Life expectancy

Health

Mental health presentation rate

Health

Suicide rate

Housing

Home ownership rate

Housing

Household crowding rate

Housing

Housing affordability ratio

Housing

Rental affordability rate

Income and Consumption

Benefit dependency rate

Income and Consumption

Median household income

Income and Consumption

Personal earnings

Jobs and Earnings

NEET rate

Jobs and Earnings

Skilled worker rate

Jobs and Earnings

Unemployment rate

Jobs and Earnings

Workers in declining industries

Knowledge and Skills

ECE participation

Knowledge and Skills

School leavers with NCEA Lv 2

Knowledge and Skills

Secondary-tertiary transitions

Knowledge and Skills

Workforce with NCEA Lv 3

Safety

Crime rate

Safety

Road fatalities rate

Safety

Workplace injury rate

Social Connections

Dependency ratio

Social Connections

Internet access rate

Social Connections

Truancy rate

Social Connections

Work commuting time

 

Methodology

Each domain contains several indicators which draw on a wide range of data sources and have different units of measurement. Indicator values are normalised using the OECD’s min-max method, with a 4th and 96th percentile threshold for removal. This threshold removes the highest and lowest values to avoid overly skewing the data. The highest Indicator values are normalised to be between 0 and 100. A score of 100 indicates a better wellbeing outcome and 0 a worse wellbeing outcome. By giving each indicator equal weighting, we estimate an overall score (from 0 to 100) in each domain for each area.

The overall score for each area is an equally-weighted average of the individual scores for each domain. An area with a higher score is considered to have greater wellbeing outcomes in that domain.

Further information about the OECD’s methods or calculating regional wellbeing scores, which Infometrics has followed, can be found here.

 

Time period

The Infometrics Wellbeing Framework data is produced for different time periods, depending on the availability of the data. Where possible, data in the Framework is presented for 2017. Given different reporting timeframes and data access issues, not all data is for this period, and this is highlighted here in the metadata.

 

Civic engagement and governance

Local election turnout

The average turnout for mayoral and local councillors at the most recent local authority elections. Currently this is the 2016 local authority elections. Turnout is calculated as the percentage of enrolled electors who cast a vote in the local area. Data sourced from the Department of Internal Affairs.

General election turnout

The average turnout for the most recent general election. Currently this is the 2017 general election. Turnout is calculated as the percentage of enrolled electors who cast a vote in the local area, by area of residence. Data sourced from the Electoral Commission.

 

Environment

Waste diversion rate

The proportion of waste diverted from landfill. Data collection for waste and waste diversion are not centrally recorded in New Zealand and is not consistently recorded across all 66 of New Zealand’s Territorial Local Authorities. Data sourced from various Local Authority documents, including Annual Reports, Waste Assessments under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, and Waste Minimisation Plans under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008.

Where possible, either the reported waste diversion from landfill has been used, or the calculated tonnage of waste to landfill and tonnage diverted from landfill. Due to the wide variations in data quality, waste diversion rates should be viewed as estimates, and local authorities with unpublished but accurate data can ask for their data to be updated by emailing Infometrics.

Carbon emissions

The estimated number of tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per capita. Total emissions are based off experimental 2015 data from Statistics New Zealand of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by industry. The industry total emissions have been estimated at a territorial authority level by taking the ratio of GDP in each industry by area and proportioning the total emissions by these ratios.

 

Health

Drinking water quality

Drinking water quality in New Zealand is classed as either achieving or failing the water quality standard for:

  • Bacteria
  • Protozoa
  • Chemical

If a water scheme achieves a standard in a given year, it is given a score of one (1) for each standard achieved, for the three standards. A failed standard receives a zero (0) score.

Each water scheme with over 100 people in the scheme’s connected population is monitored for water quality. The drinking water quality index is created by taking the weighted standard score for each area, weighted by the population in the scheme.

The highest possible score for an individual scheme is three (3), and the weighted score is scaled so that the total score possible for a territorial authority is 100. The lower score boundary is zero (0).

Data is sourced from the Ministry of Health’s Annual Review of Drinking Water series.

Life expectancy

The life expectancy (average length of life) at birth by territorial authority, for the three-year grouped period 2015-2017. Data sourced from a Statistics New Zealand customised data request, based on the New Zealand Abridged Period Life Table: 2015–17.

Mental health presentation rate

The percentage of people accessing a mental health presentation session. This details the count of distinct people who were seen at a mental health presentation, divided by the total number of people in area. Data sourced from the Ministry of Health Programme for Integration of Mental Health Data (PRIMHD) and Statistics New Zealand. This data is for June years.

Suicide rate

The suicide rate per 10,000 residents. Data only available until 2015 due to the need to confirm and finalise a cause of death and record this in the Mortality Collection. Due to small numbers of yearly suicides in small areas, data is presented as a five-year rolling average. Data sourced from the Ministry of Health Mortality Collection and Statistics New Zealand. This data is for calendar years.

 

Housing

Home ownership rate

Total households in dwellings owned or partly owned as well as Total households in dwellings held in a family trust as a percentage of total households stated. Data sourced from the 2013 Census.

Household crowding rate

The percentage of people living in crowded households. A crowded household is defined by the Canadian National Occupancy Standard, which states:

  • there should be no more than two people per bedroom
  • parents or couples share a room
  • children under five years, either of same or opposite sex, may reasonably share a bedroom
  • children under 18 years of the same sex may reasonably share a bedroom
  • a child aged five to 17 years should not share a bedroom with one under five of the opposite sex
  • single adults 18 years and over and any unpaired children require a separate bedroom.

Data sourced from the 2013 Census.

Rental affordability rate

Rental affordability is measured as the annual rent cost as a proportion of the estimated annual median household income. Data sourced from Infometrics, Statistics New Zealand, and Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (rental bond data). Rental affordability data presented in the Wellbeing Framework differs from rental affordability data presented in the rental affordability page in the Regional Economic Profile due to the denominator used. Rental affordability in the Wellbeing Framework is based on estimated household income, whereas rental affordability in the Regional Economic Profile is based on personal earnings.

Housing affordability ratio

Housing affordability is measured as the house price as a ratio of the estimated annual median household income. Data sourced from Infometrics, Statistics New Zealand, QVNZ, and REINZ. Housing affordability data presented in the housing affordability page in the Regional Wellbeing Framework differs from rental affordability data presented in the Regional Economic Profile. Rental affordability in the Wellbeing Framework is based on estimated household income, whereas rental affordability in the Regional Economic Profile is based on personal earnings.

 

Income and consumption

Benefit dependency rate

The percentage of the working age population (15-64-year olds) that are receiving a main benefit. Data sourced from the Ministry of Social Development and Statistics New Zealand, for March years.

Median household income

Annual median incomes of households in occupied private dwelling. Data sourced from the 2013 Census.

Personal earnings

The annual average earnings for workers in an area is calculated to help understand what the average individual in each region earns in a year.

Earnings data comes from the quarterly Linked Employer-Employee Data published by Statistics New Zealand. LEED publishes the mean earnings of full quarter jobs for each quarter. Full quarter jobs may include full time and part time jobs. Earnings include overtime and lump sum payments. We sum the mean earnings for the four quarters making up the year to arrive at an estimate of average annual earnings.

 

Jobs and earnings

Unemployment rate

The proportion of the labour force that is unemployed. Regional level unemployment rates are sourced from Statistics New Zealand’s Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Territorial authority unemployment rates are estimated by Infometrics using trends in the HLFS and social assistance. To reduce volatility the unemployment rate is presented as an average for the last four quarters.

Workers in declining industries

Declining industries are defined as industries in which employment in the local area is forecast to decline by more than 5% between 2017 and 2022. Data sourced from Infometrics

NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) rate

NEET rates measure the proportion of young people aged 15-24 that are not in education, employment or training. Data sourced from Infometrics.

Skilled job rate

The percentage of jobs in an area which are highly skilled. Data sourced from Infometrics.

Highly skilled occupations typically require a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification and include professionals such as accountants, teachers, and engineers, as well as most managers such as chief executives. This category is consistent with skill level 1 of the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

 

Knowledge and skills

Early Childhood Education (ECE) participation

The percentage children who attended Early Childhood Education (ECE) in the six months prior to starting school. Data sourced from the Ministry of Education and is for calendar years.

School leavers with NCEA Lv 2

The percentage of school leavers who have a NCEA level 2 qualification or above. This includes school leavers who have achieved a non-National Qualifications Framework award at the equivalent of NCEA level 2 or above. Data sourced from the Ministry of Education and is for calendar years.

Secondary-tertiary transitions

The percentage of school leavers enrolled in tertiary education within one year of leaving. Enrolment is based on those enrolled only with a NZQA recognised tertiary education organisation, based on the area of residence of the school leaver. Data sourced from the Ministry of Education and is for calendar years.

Workforce with NCEA Lv 3

The percentage of the working age population (15-64 years) with a NCEA level 3 qualification or above. Data sourced from the 2013 Census.

 

Safety

Crime rate

The crude crime rate is calculated as the number of crimes committed and recorded (offender proceedings) in an area per 10,000 residents. Data sourced from the New Zealand Police and Statistics New Zealand for fiscal years.

Road fatalities rate

The average number of road fatalities per 1,000 vehicle kilometres travelled (VKTs). Road fatalities are often low in number and variable across years, so a five-year moving average is utilised to ensure a consistent trend. Vehicle kilometres travelled by area have been modelled to provide a reasonable base of comparison – essentially, the distance travelled is positively correlated to road fatalities, so allows a more like-for-like comparison across areas. Estimated VKTs have been modelled for territorial authorities using regional VKT estimates from the Ministry of Transport and split by territorial authority by the length of local roads in each area. Data sourced from Infometrics, NZTA, Ministry of Transport, and Statistics New Zealand.

Workplace injury rate

The percentage of workers injured in each area, based on work-related injury claims made to the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Data sourced from Statistics New Zealand.

 

Social Connections

Work commuting time

The average commute time to work, in minutes by road. The place of work (area unit) and place of residence (area unit) of each employed person was identified using Census data. Using Google Maps the commute time of each person was measured (from the centroid of the residence area unit to the centroid of the workplace area unit).

Small and large area units reduce the ability to determine commute times. Kaikōura’s small population and comparatively large area units make the Kaikōura commuting time difficult to determine, with almost all commuting occurring in the same area unit. Similarly, the Central Otago District’s large commuting time is due to the small population being spread across large area units. Place of work and place of residence as at March 2013. Commute times as at June 2018. Data sourced from the 2013 Census and Google Maps

Dependency ratio

The dependency ratio is the number of under 15-year olds and over 65-year olds as a ratio of the rest of the population (working age). Population data is sourced from Statistics New Zealand, and is for June years.

Internet access rate

The percentage of households with internet access at home. Data sourced from the 2013 Census.

Truancy rate

The percentage of unjustified absence half-days recorded, by territorial authority. Data sourced from the Ministry of Education (NZ Schools Attendance Survey). Unjustified absences include where students take time out of school go on holidays during term. This data is for calendar years.