Culture and diversity

Christchurch is a city of many ethnicities, cultures, and beliefs. As our population continues to grow, we can expect to see our city become more diverse than ever before.

Christchurch is increasingly becoming home to people from a wide range of cultures and it is important that all residents feel welcome.

Topic

Status

Key findings

A safe and welcoming city to all Snapshot
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In 2018, 39% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Christchurch is a city where all communities and people feel safe and welcome. Further information.

Attitudes to cultural diversity in the city Snapshot
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In 2018, the majority of respondents felt that increased cultural diversity has made Christchurch a better or much better place. Further information.

Attitudes to neighbourhood diversity Snapshot
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In 2016, respondents were most comfortable with ethnic diversity and least comfortable with mental illness in their neighbourhood. Further information.

Fostering cultural diversity Snapshot
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When asked if participants agree or disagree that the Council is doing enough to foster and develop cultural diversity throughout the city, 45% of participants agree or strongly agree. Further information.
Fostering language diversity Snapshot
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 A large proportion of participants neither agree nor disagree that the Council is doing enough to foster and celebrate Christchurch’s language diversity. Further information.
Fostering Te Reo Maori use Snapshot
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45% of participants believe the Council does enough to foster and celebrate the use of Te Reo Māori in Christchurch. Further information.
Matariki celebrations Snapshot
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Almost 60% of respondents agree that the Council should do more to celebrate Matariki in Christchurch. Further information.

A safe and welcoming city for all

The 2018 Life in Christchurch survey asked respondents whether they felt that Christchurch is a city where all communities and people feel safe and welcome.

Results showed that just under 40% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the city was safe and welcoming, while 30% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Cultural diversity in the city

The Quality of Life survey asks residents whether increased cultural diversity makes Christchurch a better or worse place to live.

In 2008, around 63% responded that increased diversity made the city a better or much better place to live. This fell to 57% in 2014 but has since increased to 64% in 2018, the highest in the survey period. The national average in 2018 was 57% (in regards to respondents' local city). 

However, since 2008 the proportion who believe it has made Christchurch a worse or much worse place has increased from 5% in 2008 to 12% in 2018.  Most of this growth has come from those who previously reported increased diversity made no difference to the City, which has been declining since 2004.

The 2018 Life in Christchurch survey found that a high proportion of respondents viewed diversity favourably, at around 80% (compared with around 65% in the Quality of Life survey above).

In 2018, 79% of respondents believed increased diversity had a positive impact on the city (41% responded with a better place to live, and 38% a much better place to live), while 6% responded it made the city a worse or a much worse place to live.

For those who viewed increased diversity positively, the main reason stated was that it makes the city more vibrant and interesting (50% in 2018). This was followed by those who believe that it's good to mix with people from other countries and cultures, and that it adds to the multi-cultural and diverse feel of the city (both 43% in 2018).

Neighbourhood diversity

The 2016 General Social Survey(external link) asked respondents about their views towards different types of diversity within their neighbourhood.

Over 80% of respondents would feel comfortable or very comfortable having a neighbour who had a different ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or language, or who had a disability/long-term health condition.

Mental illness was viewed less favourably, with 56% or respondents indicating they would feel comfortable or very comfortable having a neighbour who had a mental illness. A further 26% felt neutral about this.

Council role in fostering cultural diversity

The council has a leadership role to encourage all residents to celebrate and embrace the benefits of a diverse society, and to overcome the challenges.

The 2018 Life in Christchurch survey asked residents whether the Council does enough to foster and develop cultural diversity throughout the city.

Around 45% agreed or strongly agreed, while 40% felt neutral or did not know. The remaining 15% disagreed or strongly disagreed that the council was doing enough.

Council role in fostering language diversity

The council has a role to support and foster diversity, including language diversity.

The majority (55%) of respondents to the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey felt neutral or did not know when asked if the the Council does enough to foster and celebrate language diversity of all Christchurch peoples. 

Just under one quarter agreed or strongly agreed that the Council does enough, while around one fifth disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Council role in fostering Te Reo Maori use

When asked by the 2018 Life in Christchurch survey whether the Council was doing enough to foster and celebrate the use of Te Reo Māori language in Christchurch, a much higher proportion of respondents agreed or strongly agreed (45%), compared with whether the Council was doing enough to foster and celebrate city-wide language diversity (24%).

40% felt neutral or did not know, while 15% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Matariki celebrations

Matariki(external link) is the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter and for many, it heralds the start of a new year. Historically for Māori, the sighting of the Matariki star constellation helped to better understand the seasons, navigate safely while on waka voyages and predict the fertility of the whenua (land) in order to harvest and grow crops.

In recent years, there has been a renaissance in observing and celebrating Matariki throughout New Zealand. The 2018 Life in Christchurch survey asked respondents whether they thought the Council should do more to celebrate Matariki in Christchurch.

Almost 60% agreed that the Council should be doing more to celebrate Matariki, while 18% disagreed. 23% felt neutral or did not know.

Further information

Please email monitor@ccc.govt.nz for further information.

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Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in processing, analysing and reporting the information provided in these web pages and reports. However, the Christchurch City Council gives no warranty that the information in these web pages and reports contain no errors. The Council shall not be liable for any loss or damage suffered consequent upon the use directly, or indirectly, of the information supplied in this publication.