Lies, damn lies and statis­tics

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

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.

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