Statistics stack up for Selwyn

by Mike Isle

It seems Selwyn succeeds where others fail; that is one interpretation at least of data from the latest Infometrics Regional Wellbeing Survey.

The economic consultancy has revealed that out of the 66 territorial authorities surveyed, they rank Selwyn first in health wellbeing, third in income and consumption and third in social connections.

The lowest ranking registered for Selwyn is 27th for environment.

In the important economic indicator of jobs and earnings, Selwyn is ranked 9th. Infometrics’ Brad Olsen said Selwyn has some of the best regional wellbeing outcomes for the area’s Infometrics has examined. 

Olsen said the highest ranking for health was outstanding, given that it included life expectancy, drinking water quality, mental health and the suicide rate. He said Selwyn has the highest life expectancy in NZ, with a life expectancy at birth in 2017 being 84.3 years, and the second-lowest mental health presentation rate, with the second lowest proportion of the population accessing mental health services. In 2017, only 2.2% of the Selwyn population presented to mental health services, compared to 4.7% of the national population.

Selwyn also had the second-highest median household income at the 2013 Census, with the median household earning $85,100pa.

The local authorities having the worst performance over the nine categories surveyed by Infometrics were the east coast of the North Island and Northland.

Olsen said that the importance of understanding and influencing wellbeing stems from its focus on outcomes for people and communities across the country. Having objective measurements of wellbeing is critical to provide a more robust assessment of progress, for both local communities and decision-makers to consider, he said.