The communities of Southshore and South New Brighton

What we know

The 2013 census recorded 4,830 people living in Southshore and South New Brighton in 2,019 dwellings.

The data in this infographic relates to the Southshore and South New Brighton Regeneration Strategy project area based on the 2013 Census, Ministry of Social Development, and Residential Advisory Services statistics. Note: denominators differ by Census question because some cells were suppressed due to small sample sizes. Ethnicity data does not equal 100 percent due to people identifying with multiple ethnicities.


Sense of place

Feedback from submissions on a range of Christchurch City Council plans and projects from members of the Southshore and South New Brighton communities following the earthquakes highlight the strong sense of community in these areas, along with a feeling of disconnection from the rest of Christchurch. The submissions show that local amenities, events and surrounding natural environment are highly valued, as well as intangible aspects of the communities such as the “beachy pace” and “friendliness of locals”.


Community involvement in decision-making

Trends in submissions between 2011 and 2017 show that residents and community representatives are becoming increasingly involved in participatory processes, and that they want faster response from agencies. The submissions also demonstrate a heightening awareness of the issues and policy implications for home owners, with the focus shifting from earthquake legacy issues to include future-focused issues such as estuary edge and flood protection, and the effects of sea level rise on the existing flood hazard.


Mental health and wellbeing

Research indicates that the mental health and wellbeing of residents of the wider coastal and east Christchurch communities appears to have been more significantly affected than for residents in other parts of Christchurch.

This is particularly the case for youth. A higher proportion of respondents in these communities continue to experience the top four stressors of ‘distress or anxiety associated with ongoing aftershocks’, ‘being in a damaged environment surrounded by construction work’, ‘additional financial burdens’ and the ‘loss of recreational, cultural and leisure pursuits’ .

While these mental health indicators reflect the wellbeing for a wider area than Southshore and South New Brighton, it is possible that many of these issues are also true for individuals and families in the Regeneration Strategy project area.


Why this is important

Southshore and South New Brighton have a very strong sense of community, with a wide network of community groups and support networks. This is important for understanding the adaptive capacity of the communities – their ability to respond to change over time.


What we don’t know

While the population data used for this study was accurate in 2013, the effects of Canterbury earthquakes created population relocation, particularly from the eastern suburbs of Christchurch. Updated data from the 2018 census, available in late 2018, will confirm whether this trend is still occurring, has ceased, or has reversed.

The movement of people to and from the Regeneration Strategy project area outside the residential red zone following the earthquakes is not well documented. It is possible that residents relocated away from the area because of stresses following the earthquakes. Likewise, others may have relocated within the area, or moved into the area for other reasons.

In most of the statistical data used to identify social issues and demographic information, South New Brighton and Southshore are grouped together.

What we know

The 2013 census recorded 4,830 people living in Southshore and South New Brighton in 2,019 dwellings.

The data in this infographic relates to the Southshore and South New Brighton Regeneration Strategy project area based on the 2013 Census, Ministry of Social Development, and Residential Advisory Services statistics. Note: denominators differ by Census question because some cells were suppressed due to small sample sizes. Ethnicity data does not equal 100 percent due to people identifying with multiple ethnicities.


Sense of place

Feedback from submissions on a range of Christchurch City Council plans and projects from members of the Southshore and South New Brighton communities following the earthquakes highlight the strong sense of community in these areas, along with a feeling of disconnection from the rest of Christchurch. The submissions show that local amenities, events and surrounding natural environment are highly valued, as well as intangible aspects of the communities such as the “beachy pace” and “friendliness of locals”.


Community involvement in decision-making

Trends in submissions between 2011 and 2017 show that residents and community representatives are becoming increasingly involved in participatory processes, and that they want faster response from agencies. The submissions also demonstrate a heightening awareness of the issues and policy implications for home owners, with the focus shifting from earthquake legacy issues to include future-focused issues such as estuary edge and flood protection, and the effects of sea level rise on the existing flood hazard.


Mental health and wellbeing

Research indicates that the mental health and wellbeing of residents of the wider coastal and east Christchurch communities appears to have been more significantly affected than for residents in other parts of Christchurch.

This is particularly the case for youth. A higher proportion of respondents in these communities continue to experience the top four stressors of ‘distress or anxiety associated with ongoing aftershocks’, ‘being in a damaged environment surrounded by construction work’, ‘additional financial burdens’ and the ‘loss of recreational, cultural and leisure pursuits’ .

While these mental health indicators reflect the wellbeing for a wider area than Southshore and South New Brighton, it is possible that many of these issues are also true for individuals and families in the Regeneration Strategy project area.


Why this is important

Southshore and South New Brighton have a very strong sense of community, with a wide network of community groups and support networks. This is important for understanding the adaptive capacity of the communities – their ability to respond to change over time.


What we don’t know

While the population data used for this study was accurate in 2013, the effects of Canterbury earthquakes created population relocation, particularly from the eastern suburbs of Christchurch. Updated data from the 2018 census, available in late 2018, will confirm whether this trend is still occurring, has ceased, or has reversed.

The movement of people to and from the Regeneration Strategy project area outside the residential red zone following the earthquakes is not well documented. It is possible that residents relocated away from the area because of stresses following the earthquakes. Likewise, others may have relocated within the area, or moved into the area for other reasons.

In most of the statistical data used to identify social issues and demographic information, South New Brighton and Southshore are grouped together.