Economy more of a concern – survey
We’re worried about the economy, the environment and education in the Waikato, but generally content with our quality of life, a Waikato Regional Council survey has found.
The council’s third three-yearly perception survey found 85 per cent of the 713 respondents from across the region were content with their quality of life.
The council uses the survey to identify the biggest issues in each Waikato district and uses the data to inform decision making.
Report co-ordinator Dr Beat Huser said the latest survey found a slight rise in those concerned about the economy. Concern over the state of the environment and a desire for better education opportunities also featured prominently.
‘‘ The 2013 findings are little changed from 2010 although we are seeing a rise in those identifying economic issues as one of their primary concerns,’’ Dr Huser said.
The last survey came in 2010 just after the global financial crisis but Dr Huser said it wasn’t surprising economic wellbeing was still at the forefront of people’s minds.
‘‘The answers to the latest survey indicate that people are still somewhat nervous about their economic prospects given ongoing financial concerns.’’
Classic Hits breakfast host Mark Bunting said he was ‘‘largely content’’ with living in the Waikato.
‘‘It’s the best place in the country to live. It’s got a bloody good farming sector and people who don’t take themselves too seriously. People say to me Hamilton sucks and I say it does. We suck from Auckland, we suck from Wellington, people can’t wait to get here,’’ he said.
‘‘We just do the job of keeping the country running.’’
That Waikato survey compares favourably with results from a recently published United Nations report, which found 87 per cent of New Zealanders were happy with their lot in life.
Less than 1 per cent were unhappy with their quality of life.
Those living in rural areas were happier with their quality of life than those living in towns or Hamilton, while those over 65 or aged under 25 were significantly happier than other age groups.
Those who described themselves of European descent were more content than those of Maori descent.
Home owners were also happier with the quality of life than those who rent or board.
Similar to 2010, the main issues for the region were employment opportunities, economic issues, education, environment concerns and law and order.
South Waikato residents were the most concerned about employment.
Asked what made their district special, the main themes identified included a sense of community or the district’s natural resources such as beaches, rivers and mountains.