A new survey on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders has found that rising crime rates is the number one worry for people from Christchurch, although fewer of them are reporting concerns than they were a year ago.
The survey of 2000 New Zealanders by Southern Cross Healthcare Group asked respondents to tick issues they were either 'worried' about, 'in between' on, or 'not worried' about from 11 topical issues.
Rising crime rates topped the list of worries for people from Christchurch, with 54% saying they were worried about this issue. This was in spite of figures showing reported crime in the city had dropped substantially in the year to June 30, 2012.
The next biggest concern was insurance costs (53 per cent of people worried), with home and contents insurance having skyrocketed since the earthquakes, followed by the Christchurch rebuilding process (50 per cent) and the possibility of a natural disaster (46 per cent).
A large number of people from Christchurch also harboured health-related worries. Forty-two per cent of those surveyed said they were worried about their family's health, while 37 per cent were worried about their own personal health.
People from Christchurch were found to have on average 5 per cent more worries than the average New Zealander. However, people from Hamilton were found to have 8 per cent more worries than the average Kiwi, making the city the most worried in New Zealand.
The same survey in May 2011 found that Christchurch people were as a group the most worried New Zealanders - this year retired people topped the list, having on average 13 per cent more worries than the typical New Zealander.
Nationwide, rising crime rates (55 per cent of people worried), insurance costs (52 per cent) and being able to retire comfortably (49 per cent) were New Zealanders' top three worries. In Christchurch, 45 per cent of people said they were worried about their ability to retire comfortably.
Southern Cross Healthcare Group Chief Executive Ian McPherson said the ability to retire comfortably was an issue that would gain in prominence in coming years.
"The ageing population presents big funding challenges for New Zealand - not least in health. We are likely going to be required to take more personal responsibility for the cost of our healthcare, so it's essential this is factored into our retirement thinking."
Nationally, the survey found women were significantly more worried than men, and worry also increased with age.