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Purpose of the Social Report

The Social Report has four key aims:

  • to report on social indicators that complement existing economic and environmental indicators
  • to compare New Zealand  with other countries
  • to contribute to better-informed public debate
  • to help identify key issues and help with planning and decision making.

The Report enables us to examine how people are faring in New Zealand, how this has changed over time, and varies for different groups in the population. It helps us to identify adverse trends in social outcomes at an early stage. While the Report cannot always illuminate what is driving these trends, it can point to the need for further research to understand what is happening and what actions need to be taken to address them.

The trends identified in the Social Report are influenced by many factors. The economy, policy, international factors, demographic change and the decisions and choices of individuals, families, communities and businesses all affect social indicators. The cross-cutting nature of many social issues means the Social Report is not a tool for evaluating the effectiveness of specific government policies.