Decent Work Survey – Murihiku Southland

Southland’s first ever region-wide scientific survey of decent work provides valuable information about the experience of local workers.

The survey was conducted over three months from April 2023, inviting all workers in Southland to participate and share their perspectives about employment in the Southland region.

Participants came from a wide range of backgrounds, working in different jobs, from the largest firms to small businesses.

The Decent Work Survey was commissioned by a broad group of stakeholders, including the Southland Business Chamber, the private sector union E tū, Murihiku Regeneration, and Great South, the organisation responsible for the ‘Beyond 2025’ Southland long-term plan.

The survey design, delivery, and data analysis were overseen by independent experts at Massey University.

CEO of the Southland Business Chamber, Sheree Carey, says the Decent Work Survey has significant benefits for the members of the broader business community.

“By understanding employee perspectives on job satisfaction, workplace culture, communication, and professional development, our members can gain valuable insights to enhance their organisations,” Sheree says.

“This initiative aligns with our commitment to creating more engaging and satisfying work environments, ultimately contributing to a productive and positive workplace culture in Southland.”

E tū National Secretary, Rachel Mackintosh, says hearing the perspectives of workers is crucial.

“We know that workers have excellent insights about their own jobs that can often be overlooked,” Rachel says.

“By working with a wide group of interested parties on this survey, we have given a voice to workers across the region and ensured that their experiences can be properly taken into account for a variety of purposes, especially planning for an uncertain future.”

Bobbi Brown, the Project Lead for Beyond 2025 Southland, recognises the role of workers in the Southland economy.

“Our workforce is the lifeblood of our economy and while our unemployment rate remains very low, our employers are very focused on retaining their current staff while also attracting new people to fill vacancies. These insights are very helpful.”

Key insights:

  • Workers feel they are doing useful and meaningful work.
  • The majority of workers in Southland say their pay is not enough or just enough to meeting their basic living needs.
  • Most workers would immediately struggle to meet the cost of basic necessities if they were to lose their job.
  • Workplace culture is closely associated with management practices and the most frequent reason workers decide to leave or stay in their jobs.