Sovereign Wellbeing Index reports

The Sovereign Wellbeing Index is the first national representation of wellbeing in New Zealand, which defines how New Zealanders are faring on a personal and social level.

It is the only study in New Zealand that investigates the multiple components of wellbeing and their relationship to individual and population health.

Take a look at the reports:

Mini report No.3: Take Charge: Exercise and wellbeing in New Zealand
 Read ebook   or   download PDF version

Mini report No.2: Wealth and wellbeing in New Zealand
 Read ebook   or   download PDF version

Mini report No.1: Highest level of wellbeing found in Kiwis aged 55 - 75
 Read ebook   or   download PDF version

2015 full report
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2013 full report
Read ebook


Understanding the wellbeing of New Zealanders will help to drive changes and policy that can be made at individual and societal level to make New Zealand a better place to live.

So far we’ve learned:

  • People with strong connections to family, friends and those living within a supporting community are doing the best.
  • Kiwis aged 55+ are the most awesome.
  • It’s not necessarily what we earn but whether we’re living within our means that matters.
  • Getting enough sleep is an important foundation for wellbeing.
  • Nearly two thirds of young people show signs of depressed mood.
  • New Zealand wellbeing compares poorly to that of European nations.


About the Sovereign Wellbeing Index

The Sovereign Wellbeing Index was developed by AUT’s Human Potential Centre, in partnership with Sovereign, and contains measures of wellbeing, socio demographics, health and lifestyle behaviours.

The survey was conducted for the first time in 2012 and included 10,000 adults aged 18 years and over. In 2014, these participants were invited to take part in the survey again, of which 4,435 participated (44%), along with a further 5,577 new participants randomly selected from one of New Zealand’s largest research panels.

Participants completed a web-based survey using a typical point-and-click interface visually and functionally similar to a paper-based survey. The New Zealand branch of TNS Global carried out the recruitment and data collection.

The authors measured benchmarks against the biannual European Social Survey (most recent survey was 2012), carried out in 29 European countries.

Why are we doing this research?

Traditionally, the success of a nation has been measured using economic indicators such as GDP and productivity. However, these provide a narrow and limited view of how society is functioning as a whole.

A national wellbeing index can help to show what it is to ‘be well’ across the entire population. We want to use this information to advocate change to ensure that New Zealanders are getting the most out of life. We want to make a difference to society.

As a nation, we need to understand better what helps bring out the best in New Zealanders and how a changing society can adjust to achieve the goal of wellbeing for everyone. This new information will be vital in shaping policy at all levels, from community organisations to business to government.