Find out the results of the first national survey of restraint use in New Zealand by children aged 5–9 years old, carried out in October 2011.

Children in more than 6,300 cars were observed at 112 sites throughout New Zealand. Sites were surveyed during school holidays. To determine national wearing rates, the rates for local authorities were weighted to adjust for the proportion of the national population aged 5-9 years in each local authority.

In 2011, 95 percent of children aged 5–9 years were either in a child seat, booster seat, child harness, or restrained by an adult seatbelt.

Twenty three percent of the children in the survey were restrained in child restraints of various types. Of these, 17 percent were in booster seats, 5 percent were in child seats and 1 percent were in child harnesses. Seventy two percent were restrained by adult safety belts. The remaining 5 percent were not restrained, including less than 1 percent who were held on the knee of other passengers (see Table 1).

Table 1: Restraint type used by children aged 5-9 years (%)

Table 1: Restraint type used by children aged 5-9 years (%)
Category2011
Child seat 5
Booster seat 17
Child harness 1
Adult safety belt used 72
Unrestrained 5
Total 100

Regional wearing rates

This national survey is designed to be conducted biennially and to provide a consistent measure of child restraint use over time, by surveying the same sites in each region each time. Although a range of sites are surveyed in each region and area, the survey is not designed for comparison of rates between regions, but rather to monitor changes over time within a region. In 2011 at least 150 children were surveyed in each region, except in Gisborne where 132 were observed.

Table 2 shows restraint use wearing rates for children aged 5–9 years for the local government regions.

Table 2: Restraint wearing rates, by region, 2011 (%)

Table 2: Restraint wearing rates, by region, 2011 (%)
Local Government regionUsing booster seat /
child seat / harness (%)
Total restrained (%)
Northland 11 93
Auckland 27 93
Waikato 16 96
Bay of Plenty 27 93
Gisborne 48 89
Hawkes Bay 9 96
Taranaki 43 94
Manawatu-Wanganui 18 98
Wellington 34 98
Nelson-Marlborough-Tasman 7 94
West Coast 13 99
Canterbury 19 98
Otago 4 91
Southland 27 92
All New Zealand 23 95

 

Metropolitan area wearing rates

Restraint wearing rates for 5–9 year olds for selected metropolitan areas are presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Child restraint wearing rates, by metropolitan area, 2011 (%)

Table 3: Child restraint wearing rates, by metropolitan area, 2011 (%)
Metropolitan areaUsing booster seat /
child seat / harness (%)
Total restrained (%)
Northern Auckland urban zone 5 100
Western Auckland urban zone 42 97
Central Auckland urban zone 28 94
Southern Auckland urban zone 26 86
Hamilton 13 95
Tauranga 7 98
Wellington 21 99
Christchurch 15 97
Dunedin 0 89
All New Zealand 23 95

Local authority wearing rates

Child restraint wearing rates at territorial local authority (TLA) level are presented in Table 4. At TLA level, sample sizes are relatively small and results should be treated with caution. For example, with a sample size of 100 and a wearing rate of 75 percent, the margin of error1 is approximately 9 percent. It should be noted that small samples make it difficult to detect small changes in the wearing rate from year to year. Where fewer than 70 children were sampled in a TLA, neighbouring local bodies have been combined for estimation.

Table 4: Restraint wearing rates by territorial local authority, 2011

Table 4: Restraint wearing rates by territorial local authority, 2011
Local authority/authoritiesChildren in sample% in restraints
Northland
Far North/Kaipara 178 87
Whangarei 123 100
Auckland
Auckland 1,501 93
Waikato
Waipa 114 99
Matamata-Piako/Waikato 108 93
South Waikato 201 100
Hamilton 151 95
Taupo 108 99
Bay of Plenty
Tauranga 120 98
Western Bay of Plenty 131 97
Rotorua 100 88
Whakatane/Kawerau 106 90
Gisborne
Gisborne 132 89
Hawke's Bay
Wairoa/Hastings 165 96
Napier 132 96
Hastings 116 97
Hastings/Central Hawke's Bay 147 97
Taranaki
New Plymouth 90 91
New Plymouth/Stratford/
SouthTaranaki
158 94
Manawatu-Wanganui
Ruapehu/Rangitikei/ Wanganui 146 100
Manawatu/Tararua/ Horowhenua 169 97
Manawatu/ Palmerston North 118 97
Wellington
Kapiti Coast 117 98
Porirua 205 96
Masterton/Carterton 80 93
Upper Hutt 132 98
Hutt City 225 97
Wellington City 469 99
Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman
Nelson 83 95
Tasman 157 91
Marlborough /Kaikoura 147 96
West Coast
Westland/ Grey 103 98
Buller 121 100
Canterbury
Christchurch 459 97
Waimakariri 103 100
Ashburton 100 98
Timaru 120 98
Otago
Waitaki/Central Otago 71 94
Clutha/Dunedin 144 91
Southland
Gore 117 96
Invercargill 141 89

Police District wearing rates

The national survey is designed to provide a consistent measure of child restraint use over time, by surveying the same sites in each Police District each time. Restraint use rates for 5–9 year olds by police district are shown in Table 5.

In 2011, at least 300 children were surveyed in each district.

Table 5: Percentage of children in child restraints, by Police District, 2011 (%)

Table 5: Percentage of children in child restraints, by Police District, 2011 (%)
Police DistrictUsing booster seat /
child seat / harness (%)
Total restrained (%)
Northland 11 93
Waitemata 27 98
Auckland 28 94
Counties / Manukau 27 88
Waikato 17 96
Bay of Plenty 24 94
Eastern 19 94
Central 26 96
Wellington 34 98
Tasman 8 95
Canterbury 19 98
Southern 10 92
New Zealand 23 95

 

Police area wearing rates

Restraint wearing rates for 5–9 year olds at the Police Area level are presented in Table 6. At police area level, sample sizes are relatively small and results should be treated with caution. For example, with a sample size of 100 and a wearing rate of 75 percent the margin of error1 is approximately 9 percent. It should be noted that small samples make it difficult to detect small changes in the wearing rate from year to year. Where fewer than 70 children were sampled in a police area, neighbouring local areas have been combined for estimation.

Table 6: Restraint wearing rates for 5-9 year olds by Police area, 2011

Table 6: Restraint wearing rates for 5-9 year olds by Police area, 2011
Police areaChildren in sample% in restraints
Northland
Far North 139 83
Whangarei 162 100
Waitemata
Rodney 92 98
North Shore 355 100
Waitakere 248 97
Auckland
Auckland West 149 95
Auckland East 216 93
Counties/Manukau
Counties-Manukau West 107 83
Counties-Manukau East 175 88
Counties-Manukau Central 81 85
Counties-Manukau South 78 96
Waikato
Hamilton 151 95
Waikato East/Waikato West 222 96
Waikato West 164 96
Bay of Plenty
Taupo 309 99
Western Bay of Plenty 251 98
Eastern Bay of Plenty 106 90
Rotorua 100 88
Eastern
Gisborne 181 89
Napier 132 96
Hastings 147 97
Central
New Plymouth 90 91
New Plymouth/ Taranaki Rural 124 98
Whanganui/Ruapehu 146 100
Palmerston North Rural 162 97
Palmerston North City/ Rural 216 96
Wellington
Kapiti-Mana 420 98
Wellington 384 99
Lower Hutt 225 97
Upper Hutt 132 98
Wairarapa 80 93
Tasman
Nelson Bays 240 93
Marlborough 147 96
West Coast 224 99
Canterbury
Northern Canterbury 321 98
Christchurch Central 90 93
Mid-South Canterbury 151 100
Southern Canterbury 220 98
Southern
Dunedin 144 91
Otago Rural 71 94
Southland 258 92



1 Margin of error based on a 95 percent confidence interval.