Life good despite council decisions
Most people enjoy a high quality of life in Porirua but only half would give credit to the city council, the latest Quality of Life survey reveals.
Four out of five Porirua residents (81 per cent) rated their quality of life positively, with 22 per cent rating it extremely good.
But only 47 per cent of respondents had confidence in Porirua City Council’s decision making and half felt people had no influence on the decisions made.
The biennial survey, conducted by research company Nielsen, measures the perceptions of people living in New Zealand’s largest urban centres.
A random selection of Porirua people were asked to complete the survey online or using a hard copy questionnaire late in 2012; 432 were completed.
Other key results for Porirua included 96 per cent of people felt safe in their home during the day (dipping to 91 per cent at night), 73 per cent had enough money to cover day-today expenses and 63 per cent felt a sense of community in their neighbourhood – 10 per cent higher than in any of the six cities surveyed.
Mayor Nick Leggett greeted the results with enthusiasm.
‘‘When looking at Porirua’s results we are doing really well,’’ he said. ‘‘Our residents rate highly the city’s sense of community, the positive impact of cultural diversity, safety of our children, rarely feeling isolated and having a rich and diverse arts scene.’’
He accepted there was still ground to be made in the com- munity’s confidence in the council’s decision- making, though the council still scored well above the six-city median of 36 per cent.
‘‘I’m not comfortable with that [47 per cent] and only 38 per cent voted at the last local body elections. It’s our responsibility to inform and educate people but people also need to involve themselves. It’s a joint responsibility.’’
Though most people trumpeted the easy access and abundance of parks, and 70 per cent believed Porirua was a great place to live, pride in the city slouched at 52 per cent.
The most common reason given for not feeling a sense of pride was crime and safety issues such as anti-social people, and alcohol- and drugrelated problems.
Mr Leggett, who has been outspoken in his criticism of the media for warping outsiders’ perceptions of Porirua, believed locals were proud of where they lived in terms of their suburb, be it Titahi Bay, Cannons Creek or Whitby.
‘‘ They connect with their neighbourhood, rather than the city as a whole.’’
He went back to the 63 per cent of people who felt a sense of community – the highest of the six cities surveyed ( Christchurch second with 57 per cent).
‘‘I think there are contradictions there.’’
The Quality of Life Survey was a partnership between Porirua, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Lower Hutt and Dunedin city councils, with a total survey sample of 5000 people.
For the full reports, visit: www.qualityoflifeproject.govt.nz.