Statistics New Zealand Jacoby Prize Winner 2006/07 'Place Attachment in New Zealand' Catherine J. Schroder School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences Victoria University of Wellington Email: [email protected] Abstract Attachment to place has always played an ambiguous role in demography. While stability dominates over the life course, it is population movement which preoccupies the study of population. Although stability plays a fundamental role in understanding how and why people move, we have very little understanding of our attachment to place – what drives it, who is attached, and how, and most particularly the role that place itself plays in residential stability. This essay addresses each of these questions and results in a set of arguments that can now be applied to better understanding mobility in New Zealand. The international literature on place attachment suggests that it is driven out of several different relationships to place. Collectively these are expressed in terms of attitudes (e.g. sentiment and satisfaction) and behaviour (formal and informal social networks). This New Zealand study applies principal component factor analysis to 25 questions asked in a purpose designed survey of 1001 residents in 2005. Five principal dimensions are uncovered: sentiment, friends, relatives, participation in, and satisfaction with the community. Together they account for nearly half of the total variance. In New Zealand too, attachment to place is multidimensional. Multiple regression models are estimated for each of the five dimensions of attachment showing how each dimension drives different subpopulations: the elderly were more highly attached through sentimental feelings towards the community whereas families with children were attached through friends and participation, while respondents of Maori ethnicity were more like to be attached by family than their of New Zealand European counterparts. Of particular interest is the way in which, even after controlling for the characteristics of respondents, different types of places invoked different dimensions of attachment. Although population size performed poorly as a discriminator of attachment, when recast in terms of type, size, and position on an urban-rural continuum place proved more robust. Also important in explaining levels of attachment was the socioeconomic level of the community. The five dimensions derived from this the survey of attachment are now being used as arguments in models of mobility itself: who moves, when and from what location. The full essay will be reproduced in the next PANZ Population Review.