Lies, damn lies and statistics
Porirua’s representatives on the regional council and the city council voted for a Wellington super-city.
It is dubious whether they had a mandate for the abolition of Porirua City Council. Last year the region’s local bodies commissioned Colmar Brunton to do a telephone survey.
They found that 58 per cent of the 400 Porirua respondents favoured no change. Only 29 per cent favoured any super-city variant.
Not getting the answer they wanted, the pro-amalgamation politicians organised another consultation, this time using the submission system that gets responses from the better-off. Only 161 submissions came from Porirua.
Porirua City Council commissioned another survey. The sampling method was skewed to those with more leisure time. It involved receiving an ‘‘information pack’’ and being followed up later.
The recruited sample reflected the social class structure of the wards: 50 per cent were from northern ward, 18 per cent from eastern ward and 35 per cent from 35 per cent western ward.
The final sample was 501 people, 82 per cent Pakeha, 43 per cent from northern ward, 35 per cent from eastern and 22 per cent from western.
Half were 60-plus years and only 13 per cent were under 40.
The results, adjusted for age, were inconclusive and contradictory.
Support for change was 51 per cent.
Support for a super-city option was 72 per cent, yet 87 per cent supported a locally-elected Porirua body. These results can be explained by the misinformation campaign by the promoters of the so-called two-tier super-city option.
The proposed local boards will employ no staff and spend only 5 per cent of the council’s money.
The effects of the ways people are fed information and surveys are designed are shown by results from the Hutt Valley.
A far more extensive survey of 7300 residents found only 6 per cent in favour of the super-city.
A remote regional super-city council is less likely to work for the needs of Porirua’s workingclass areas.
The number of representatives of Porirua residents will be cut from the present 16 to just three representatives of Porirua and Tawa combined.
The fight to save Porirua City Council and local democracy is on.