Hap­pi­ness is ev­i­dent

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Porirua fared re­spectably in the lat­est Qual­ity of Life sur­vey, which sug­gests we are a pretty happy, low-stress lot, in touch with our fel­low res­i­dents.

Our feel­ing of a sense of com­mu­nity with oth­ers in our neigh­bour­hood – 63 per cent – rated higher than any of the other five cities sur­veyed. Lower Hutt was next best on 55 per cent.

Of course, given the other cities in the sur­vey were met­ro­pol­i­tan hubs – Welling­ton, Auck­land, Dunedin, Christchurch – it would have been a con­cern if Porirua and the Hutt had not per­formed well in this cat­e­gory. Smaller cities, closer ties.

Sense of com­mu­nity is more preva­lent among res­i­dents aged over 50 and un­der 25, high­est among Asian/In­dian res­i­dents (78 per cent) and low­est, but still solid, among Euro­peans (60 per cent).

In­ter­est­ingly, the less money peo­ple earn, the more con­nected to their com­mu­nity they ap­pear to be; 83 per cent of those with a house­hold in­come be­tween $20,000 and $40,000 felt con­nected to their com­mu­nity, com­pared to just 55 per cent of house­holds earn­ing $70,000 to $100,000.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett trum­peted the pos­i­tive com­mu­nity score in de­fence against the not-soim­pres­sive num­bers con­cern­ing res­i­dents’ pride in the city, which limped in at 52 per cent, ahead of only Lower Hutt (49 per cent) and a derelict Christchurch (33 per cent).

Though the six-city av­er­age was only 58 per cent – buoyed by Welling­to­ni­ans’ cult-like de­vo­tion to the wind (86 per cent) – Porirua res­i­dents’ am­biva­lence to their sur­round­ings ap­pears to cor­re­late with some in­flated per­cep­tions of crime.

De­spite the Kapiti-Mana po­lice district be­ing re­ported to have the low­est crime rates in the re­gion, Porirua was in the top three in all but one per­ceived crime cat­e­gory.

Skewed per­cep­tions of Porirua are coming just as freely from within the city as from the me­dia and naysay­ers out­side it.

And the cul­tural dis­par­ity in some of the find­ings sug­gest that though we may be well-con­nected to oth­ers in our neigh­bour­hood, ties with peo­ple a few neigh­bour­hoods over could do with some work.

Take the much-ma­ligned cen­tral busi­ness district where 42 per cent of res­i­dents feel safe at night. This drops to about a third among north­ern ward folk and Euro­peans, whereas east­ern ward res­i­dents and Pa­cific peo­ple feel much safer in the city af­ter dark (59 and 65 per cent re­spec­tively).

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