The Social Report 2001 is the first step in the establishment of a regular programme of social monitoring. The aim of the report is to provide information on the overall social health and well-being of our society.
The report captures information about a wide range of areas that are important to New Zealanders. These include the health of the population, access to knowledge and skills, safety and security, participation in paid work, human rights, culture and identity, the economic standard of living, social connectedness, and the quality of the environment.
The report uses indicators to provide information on the current social health and wellbeing of the nation, historical trends in these outcomes, variation across the population, and international comparisons.
As can be seen from Appendix 1, The Social Report 2001 initiates a programme of social monitoring that is similar to the approach taken in many other countries and international organisations.
As in other countries, the choice of indicators is a matter of debate. In the coming months, the Ministry of Social Policy (and its successor the Ministry of Social Development) will be seeking opinions from a wide range of groups and individuals about this prototype report. Feedback will be sought about the overall approach taken, the nature of the indicators chosen, and areas where data and research could improve future social reporting.