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Definitions and information about the data


Census definitions may differ from those in other Statistics NZ surveys. Links to census definitions are provided throughout the text of this report, and definitions specific to this report are listed here.

Area units: non-administrative geographic areas that generally coincide with suburbs or parts of suburbs. Area units within urban areas normally contain a population of 3,000 to 5,000 people. Area units provide more detail than is available at city or district level, but they can still be large in size and significant differences can be seen within a single area unit. For example, half an area unit may have damaged occupied dwellings while the other half may have no damage at all.

Divorced: divorces related to the 2010–11 earthquakes will not have come through into the 2013 Census data as couples must be separated for two years before they can apply for a divorce.

Dwellings in motor camps: the homes of people who live in a motor camp are classified as private dwellings and are in the 'Dwelling in a motor camp' category.

Empty dwellings: no current occupants and new occupants are not expected to move in on, or before, census night.

Four avenues: the central business district of Christchurch city and the surrounding area bordered by: Hagley Park (Deans Avenue) to the west, Bealey Avenue to the north, Fitzgerald Avenue to the east, and Moorhouse Avenue to the south.

Greater Christchurch: under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act, the areas of the Christchurch City Council, the Selwyn District Council, and the Waimakariri District Council, including the adjacent coastal marine area.

Improvised dwellings: this includes garages and sleep-outs that are lived in.

Joined dwellings: dwellings such as flats, units, and joined townhouses.

Most damaged red zone areas: those area units (suburbs) that had a decrease of at least 200 dwellings since the 2006 Census. This does not correspond to the residential red zone defined by Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Agency (CERA). No area units or meshblocks (the smallest Statistics NZ geographical area) align with the CERA-defined red zones, and therefore it is not possible to state the exact decline in red-zoned areas. The most damaged red zone areas are defined as some of the most affected area units that also happen to be at least partly in the CERA residential red zone in the east of Christchurch city.

Note that of Waimakariri’s three most damaged areas (Kaiapoi East, Courtenay, and Pines-Kairaki Beach) Kaiapoi East was the only one to have a decrease of over 200 dwellings between 2006 and 2013.

NEET rate: Youth NEET is defined as people aged 15–24 years who are:

  • unemployed (part of the labour force) and not engaged in education or training
  • not in the labour force, and not engaged in education or training due to multiple reasons.

Port Hills: the most damaged hill suburbs (area units) in the south-east of Christchurch city. Mt Pleasant, Moncks Bay, and Sumner area units each had a decrease of over 200 private dwellings between the 2006 and 2013 Censuses.

Separate houses: dwellings that are not joined to other dwellings, eg standalone houses.

Wellington area: the nine territorial authorities of Tararua district, Kapiti Coast district, Porirua city, Upper Hutt city, Lower Hutt city, Wellington city, Masterton district, Carterton district, and South Wairarapa district.

Information about the data

How we explored what happened in greater Christchurch since the earthquakes

Census data gives a good picture of what changed in greater Christchurch in the seven years from 2006 to 2013, but it doesn't show which of those changes happened after the 2010–11 earthquakes.

To explore the effect of the earthquakes, we looked at people who had been at their current address for two years or less at the 2013 Census. These people moved since March 2011, which was after the two major earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011. However, we can't tell whether these people moved because of the earthquakes. People who moved after the quakes may have done so for completely unrelated reasons. Or, people may have moved before the quakes (eg, away from greater Christchurch), then moved again (to any other area) in the two years before the census.

In addition, people who were born overseas answered a question on how long they had lived in New Zealand. If they had been in New Zealand for two years or less at the 2013 Census, they had moved to New Zealand since the 2010–11 earthquakes.

To look at whether changes in greater Christchurch were different from changes in the rest of New Zealand, we made a number of comparisons with national trends, and with the Wellington area and Auckland specifically. While each area has its own characteristics, these comparisons gave some perspective on what happened in greater Christchurch since the 2006 Census.

Populations used in this report

All information on people (with the exception of the population estimates in the 'Population change' section) is based on the census usually resident population count from New Zealand's 2013 Census of Population and Dwellings, held on 5 March 2013. The census usually resident population count excludes New Zealand residents who were temporarily overseas on census night and overseas visitors. All information on dwellings is based on the census night dwelling count.

Calculation of percentages

Unless otherwise stated, all percentages and ratios in this report exclude responses that cannot be classified (eg ‘not stated’, ‘response unidentifiable’, ‘response out of scope’).

The data in this report has been randomly rounded to protect confidentiality. Individual figures may not add up to totals, and values for the same data may vary in different tables.

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