Residents speak out in city survey
A third of Porirua residents would love to see the city’s ‘‘unsavoury’’ inner city area upgraded, while 75 per cent have water and food stored in case of an emergency, according to the Annual Residents’ Survey.
Four hundred randomly selected residents were interviewed face-to-face in March and April, and were asked about a wide range of Porirua City Council services and their thoughts on the city in general. The results were presented to city councillors last week.
Thirty-three per cent of those surveyed said they were ‘‘not satisfied’’ with the canopies and describe the area as ‘‘old and tired’’, ‘‘not inviting’’, ‘‘unsavoury’’ and ‘‘dodgy’’ people hanging around the area made them feel unsafe and intimidated. They also complained about its ‘‘ low quality’’ shops.
Close behind the canopies was the quality of the natural environment, with 26 per cent of residents worried about rubbish and pollution in the city’s harbour and waterways. Despite this, the sewerage system and water supply rated highly, and these two services are regarded as the most important provided by PCC.
Mayor Nick Leggett says the council’s city centre revitalisation plan, currently in the consultation phase, will encompass not just the canopies area but will take a broader look at the CBD.
‘‘It’s not about the canopies, it’s about attracting new activity to the city centre, and jobs and businesses and hopefully some new development of property,’’ he says.
He encourages residents to offer suggestions about improvements to the city centre.
Mr Leggett says environmental quality is always at the forefront of council minds, and this year the council has dedicated seven years worth of its pipe repair budget, or $2.1 million, to repairing sewerage pipes that pollute waterways.
Ten kilometres of pipes will be upgraded under the plan.
More than 90 per cent of people consider Porirua a safe place to live in, the survey shows, while 76 per cent of residents are satisfied with the way rates are spent.
Residents are also ‘‘very or fairly satisfied’’ with parks, gardens and reserves (93 per cent), litter removal (89 per cent) and public libraries (88 per cent).
Nearly half of residents say Porirua is a better place to live than three years ago, with only 3 per cent saying it is worse, and 41 per cent saying it is the same.
Fears about a disaster similar to the Christchurch earthquake may have had a positive effect on residents’ emergency preparedness – 75 per cent have stored food, water and have a survival plan, compared to 56 per cent last year.
The survey has been run since 1993.