The analysis of the stories submitted to the review involved three phases:

  • A manual analysis of all the stories to identify common themes and develop of a set of thematic keywords;

  • A keyword search using Nvivo software to establish how often each theme appeared in the stories;

  • Another manual analysis of the stories (by two different researchers) to check the results of the Nvivo analysis.

As well as revealing the key themes of the stories, this analysis showed up some gaps in the stories. In response, we proactively solicited stories from underrepresented groups and experiences. Where those stories were hard to find, we looked for existing research into e.g. the experience of people in places of detention.

At the same time, certain stories were identified as being illustrative of the experiences described by many others and we asked those people for the chance to interview them in more detail. Some of them agreed to be named and have their stories featured in this report.

Researchers and authors

This report was written by ActionStation’s Marianne Elliott and Ann Cloet with research assistance from ActionStation volunteers Lou Hutchison and Alex Davis. An independent audit of the data analysis was provided by researcher Jonathan Beazer. The report and website was designed by Laura O'Connell Rapira from ActionStation.


ActionStation is the new vehicle for people who believe in a fair and flourishing New Zealand.  Since launching in June 2014 we have grown to a community of more than 140,000 people who act together, in new ways and in real time, to create what we cannot achieve on our own: a society, economy and democracy that serves all of us – everyday people and the planet we love.  

Who funded the review?

The People’s Review is a fully independent, crowd sourced project.  It has been funded by donations to the campaign, via ActionStation.

The Review was endorsed by the Public Service Association, the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association Aotearoa and the New Zealand Association of Counsellors but they have provided no funding or support beyond encouraging participation.