This is the second national survey of restraint use in New Zealand by children aged 5–9 years old. The survey was carried out in October 2013.

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 2013, 96 percent of children aged 5–9 years were either in a child seat, booster seat, child harness, or restrained by an adult seatbelt. This is an increase from the rate of 95 percent observed in 2011 1.

Twenty-one percent of the children in the survey were restrained in child restraints of various types. Of these, 17 percent were in booster seats, 2 percent were in child seats and 1 percent were in child harnesses. Seventy-four percent were restrained by adult safety belts. The remaining 4 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 (%)
Category201120132
Child seat 5 2
Booster seat 17 17
Child harness 1 1
Adult safety belt used 72 74
Unrestrained 5 4
Total 100 100

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 2013 at least 150 children were surveyed in each region, except in Gisborne where 140 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, 2013 (%)

Local Government Region

Children in sample

Percentage using booster seat/child seat/harness

Total percentage restrained

Northland

487

14%

94%

Auckland

1,849

12%

94%

Waikato

656

29%

95%

Bay of Plenty

570

31%

96%

Gisborne

140

8%

97%

Hawkes Bay

253

18%

95%

Taranaki

327

10%

99%

Manawatu-Wanganui

608

47%

97%

Wellington

1,196

38%

98%

Nelson-Marlborough-Tasman

400

14%

97%

West Coast

248

13%

95%

Canterbury

686

15%

98%

Otago

433

33%

98%

Southland

315

15%

92%

All New Zealand

8,168

21%

96%

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, 2013 (%)

Metropolitan area

Children in sample

Percentage using booster seat / child seat / harness

Total percentage restrained

Northern Auckland urban zone

323

7%

100%

Western Auckland urban zone

304

10%

100%

Central Auckland urban zone

619

17%

99%

Southern Auckland urban zone

409

8%

84%

Hamilton

47

Sample too small

Sample too small

Tauranga

104

10%

99%

Wellington

289

36%

99%

Christchurch

394

15%

98%

Dunedin

204

40%

100%

All New Zealand

8,168

21%

96%

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 error3 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, 2013

Local authority/ authorities

Children in sample

% in restraints

Northland

 

 

Far North/Kaipara

253

88

Whangarei

234

100

Auckland

 

 

Auckland

1,849

94

Waikato

 

 

Waipa

198

97

Waikato

92

77

Matamata – Piako  

96

90

South Waikato

106

100

Hamilton/Waikato

139

95

Taupo

117

94

Bay of Plenty

 

 

Tauranga

104

99

Western Bay of Plenty

179

99

Rotorua

104

96

Whakatane

89

92

Kawerau

94

81

Gisborne

 

 

Gisborne

140

97

Hawke’s Bay

 

 

Wairoa/Hastings

120

96

Napier

80

91

Hastings Central Hawke’s Bay

112

97

Taranaki

 

 

New Plymouth

159

98

Stratford South Taranaki

168

99

Manawatu-Wanganui

 

 

Ruapehu/Whanganui

165

98

Rangitikei

140

99

Manawatu/Tararua

114

95

Horowhenua

89

98

Palmerston North

100

98

Wellington

 

 

Kapiti Coast

178

98

Porirua

200

100

Masterton/Carterton

89

100

Upper Hutt

171

96

Hutt City

269

96

Wellington City

289

99

Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman

Nelson

114

99

Tasman

139

97

Marlborough/Kaikoura

147

95

West Coast

 

 

Westland/Grey

145

92

Buller

103

98

Canterbury

 

 

Christchurch

410

98

Waimakariri/ Christchurch

460

98

Ashburton

100

98

Timaru

126

100

Otago

 

 

Waitaki/Central Otago

150

95

Clutha

79

95

Dunedin

204

100

Southland

 

 

Gore

123

89

Invercargill

192

94

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 2013, at least 390 children were surveyed in each district.

Table 5: Percentage of children in child restraints, by Police District, 2013 (%)

Police District

Children in sample

Percentage using booster seat/ child seat/harness

Total percentage restrained

Northland

487

14%

94%

Waitemata

765

10%

100%

Auckland

619

17%

99%

Counties/Manukau

465

10%

84%

Waikato

482

30%

94%

Bay of Plenty

744

30%

96%

Eastern

393

15%

96%

Central

1,011

36%

98%

Wellington

1,120

38%

98%

Tasman

648

14%

96%

Canterbury

686

15%

98%

Southern

748

28%

96%

New Zealand

8,168

21%

96%

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 error3 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, 2013

Police Area

Children in sample

% in restraints

Northland

 

 

Far North

191

86

Whangarei

296

99

Waitemata

 

 

Rodney

138

100

North Shore

323

100

Waitakere

304

100

Auckland

 

 

Auckland West

202

100

Auckland East

417

99

Counties/Manukau

 

 

Counties-Manukau West

119

82

Counties-Manukau East

183

83

Counties-Manukau Central/Counties-Manukau South

163

87

Waikato

 

 

Hamilton/Waikato East

143

96

Waikato West

290

91

Bay of Plenty

 

 

Taupo

223

97

Western Bay of Plenty

283

99

Eastern Bay of Plenty

183

86

Rotorua

104

96

Eastern

 

 

Gisborne

201

98

Napier

80

91

Hastings

112

97

Central

 

 

New Plymouth

159

98

Taranaki Rural

168

99

Ruapehu

125

100

Whanganui

180

97

Palmerston North Rural

279

97

Palmerston North City

100

98

Wellington

 

 

Kapiti - Mana

363

100

Wellington

228

98

Lower Hutt

269

96

Upper Hutt

171

96

Wairarapa

89

100

Tasman

 

 

Nelson Bays

253

98

Marlborough

147

95

West Coast

248

95

Canterbury

 

 

Northern Canterbury

170

97

Christchurch Central

91

98

Mid-South Canterbury

199

98

Southern Canterbury

226

99

Southern

 

 

Dunedin

283

99

Otago Rural

150

95

Southland

315

92



1 Changes from the previous survey are only commented on if they are found to be statistically significant at the 5 percent level.

2 Rounded figures given; actual percentages add to 100 percent.

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