A happy city: Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct Chair Peter Townsend

It is reassuring to see Christchurch City recently identified as the happiest city in New Zealand, by the London-based Institute for Quality of Life.

The index used in making the assessment focuses on cities that prioritise happiness and wellbeing.While I struggle a little with a city being “happy”, I can certainly relate to the concept and the importance of wellbeing.


I have, for some years, been promoting the concept of Ōtautahi Christchurch aspiring to be New Zealand’s “City of Choice”. That is all about having a balance of offerings, in work, health, education, lifestyle, infrastructure and location that is attractive to potential and existing residents. It is clear from this survey result and when looking at current population growth in and around Christchurch, that we are well on the way to achieving that goal. From a health perspective, we are well served, and although there are big challenges across the sector, there are also significant opportunities. We have the potential to improve the Canterbury health system at all levels.

That is one of the reasons I am so proud to be involved with Te Papa Hauora, the Christchurch Health Precinct. It is a unique construct that is unlocking potential in health education, research and innovation, all of which can only help to enhance the city’s reputation as a great place to live.

I mentioned in one of my previous Metropol columns that “wellbeing” would be identified as a key driver this year, underpinning our city’s offerings. It is pleasing to see this playing out according to predictions.

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