Res­i­dents speak out in city sur­vey

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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