Te Kuiti Wellbeing Survey Results

The Project

In August and September 2022, Barbara Kuriger’s office ran a Needs Assessment survey in Te Kuiti using Huber Social’s Wellbeing Framework. The purpose of the study was to better understand the needs in Te Kuiti and how these relate to individual’s wellbeing.

The Framework

To measure wellbeing, we measure satisfaction with life using a globally recognised and validated scale. As a state of being (rather an emotion) it requires the capability and opportunity to be in the best position to fulfil one’s potential and live a life of value.

Wellbeing serves as the ‘lighthouse’ measure, giving the overall picture of how the community is doing. To understand what a person needs to be in the best position of wellbeing, the second part of the framework measures a person’s level of ‘capability’ and ‘opportunity’.

Through measuring wellbeing, and capability and opportunity factors, it is possible to learn what matters most to the wellbeing of the community by comparing these factors.

The list of needs within the survey were chosen through consultation with community leaders and cross-referenced against the Treasury’s He Ara Waiora Framework[1]. The framework groups needs into Te Taiao (the natural world), and Te Ira Tangata (the human domain) which includes connection and responsibilities, personal capability, identity and belonging, and intergeneration prosperity. 


Following review by the Huber Social Ethical Review Board, surveys were tested to ensure questions were appropriate. They were then distributed through social media, the local paper, post, flyer drops, and directly through community groups.


In order to achieve a representative and statistically significant sample size, goals were set for different demographics within the community. Unfortunately, overall survey numbers were lower than hoped for and certain groups have been underrepresented, including men (22% rather than 49%), Māori (25% rather than 55%), and young people (2% rather than 9%). Conversely, women (77% rather than 51%), including those with children (33% rather than 11%), and people living with a disability (14% rather than 5%) are overrepresented in the sample.

The level of education achievement is higher among participants than the wider population, and 53% were engaged in full-time work compared to approximately 45% reported in the census.

These results should therefore be used with caution, knowing they are not representative of the community as a whole, but can be used to give an indication of trends and some of the key determinants of wellbeing that are seen in the community.

Participation may indicate reluctance to share some information or engage in a survey from an MP, in future it may be better to deliver surveys in partnership with other community groups who people may feel more comfortable with.


On average respondents scored 3.33 (out of 5) for wellbeing, this is 10% lower than other residents of the Waikato region (3.67).

Strongest predictors of wellbeing

  • Access to nutrition, access to leisure activities, self-worth and sense of purpose are the strongest predictors of wellbeing for the Te Kuiti community, meaning these are areas that really matter to Te Kuiti residents.
  • Steps to increase these would have a greater impact on wellbeing than other interventions

Priority needs

  • Having enough income is a priority need for Te Kuiti residents (indicated as important to wellbeing but scored low)
  • Those who responded to the survey largely feel they do not have issues with drug or tobacco use, are stable in their homes and are not regularly having to go without things they need because they can’t afford them (as above this doesn’t mean these aren’t issues for others in the community who didn’t participate)
  • However, participants also feel that they don’t have a voice in government (local and central) and their community is not always safe. They also indicate that housing costs are unaffordable.
  • A key need for the community is access to leisure activities. When given the opportunity to explain what stops them from taking part in these activities, residents offered that a lack of information, availability, individual health conditions or disability, the need to travel and a lack of time or finances were the key barriers faced.
  • When asked what else they would like to share about what mattered to them, key themes people raised were crime rates & policing, cost of living pressures, infrastructure and housing.
  • Of the 15 respondents who were renting, only one responded that they wished to continue renting, the rest sought to purchase their own home.


To read the full report, please click here. 



[1] https://www.treasury.govt.nz/information-and-services/nz-economy/higher-living-standards/he-ara-waiora