Life good de­spite coun­cil de­ci­sions

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

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.

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