Social » Sense of Place

We have a deep sense of pride in the Wellington region and there is strong community spirit. We value the region’s unique characteristics – its rural, urban and harbour landscapes, its central location, and its capital city.

What is Sense of Place?

Residents with a strong sense of pride and a sense of community are key to building strong, socially sustainable and connected communities. These people will act as advocates for their region and promote the positive aspects their region has to offer by contributing to improving their neighbourhoods. The built environment contributes to the way people feel about where they live and impacts strongly on the sustainability of the natural environment. 

Sense of place is made up of 6 indicators that were selected to measure progress towards the sense of place community outcome definition (shown above). Data relating to each individual indicator (for the 2001 to 2017 period) is provided via the menu below. The index for sense of place (pictured below) shows the composite average of the individual indicators.

Walking to School

Sense of place, 2001-2018

What this means

The sense of place GPI has changed a small amount from 2001 to 2015, then decreased by 1.5 percentage points in the last three years (2015 to 2018). The sense of place indicator has fluctuated mildly over the 18 year study time .The strongest negative trend across the sense of place indicators was in people’s perceptions about graffiti, vandalism and litter being a problem in their local area.

Did you know?

The GPI counts crime, pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource depletion and soil loss, as costs, not gains, to the economy.

6 Indicators are being used to track Sense of Place in the Wellington region

Click on each indicator below to access further information

Download Territorial Authority data for these Indicators

Volunteering rates

Why is this indicator important?

Voluntary work underpins a wide range of groups and organisations whose activities contribute to social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being. Voluntary work can provide benefits not only to the community, but also to volunteers themselves. The number of volunteers in the community is a proxy measure of community engagement and social connectedness. Volunteer work helps build social networks, increases social cohesion and supports economic activity.

Percentage of adults helping or undertaking voluntary work for or through an organisation, group or marae, 2001-2018



  • In 2018, 16.8% of Wellington region adults helped or undertook unpaid voluntary work for or through an organisation, group or marae. This is higher than the percentage for New Zealand overall, which was 15% in 2018.
  • The percentage of men in the Wellington region that undertook voluntary work was 15% and women 18.5%, slightly higher than the overall share for New Zealand men, 13.5% and women 16.7%.

Volunteering rates

Definition and data details

Indicator Definition

The number of people indicating that they have done "other help or voluntary work for or through any organisation, group or marae" in the last 4 weeks expressed as a function of the usually resident population aged 15 years and over.

Data Source

Statistics New Zealand: Census

Last updated May 2020

Data available only for the years shown.  Indicators are updated in May and November each year; for those indicators where new data or survey results have become available.

While care has been taken in processing, analysing and extracting information, we cannot guarantee that the information is free from error and we shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.