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Satisfaction With Everyday Life In Manukau

21 August 2002

Survey Shows High Level Of Satisfaction With Everyday Life In Manukau

The latest citizens' perception survey of Manukau City indicates that two thirds of residents are satisfied with the way the city looks and feels, and 80% rate it as a good or excellent place to live, work or do business.

The survey is conducted annually. It is a snapshot of public perceptions of everyday life in Manukau, including positive and negative factors, social issues and problems, as well as the performance of the Council and the quality of its services. This year’s survey was conducted between May and June and involved interviews with 506 citizens from all wards.

Some of the issues are in the Manukau City Council's areas of responsibility, while others relate to the Police or other agencies. In areas of Council responsibility, the findings confirm the Council's plans to improve the look and feel of the city, which is seen as a priority in the survey findings.

City Manager Colin Dale says, "There is a clear message of support for our drive to tackle graffiti, improve the image of the city, and upgrade the appearance and cleanliness of neighbourhoods. These things reflect strong community pride."

As regards the perceptions of the Council's performance, In some areas the Council is rated more highly while in other areas the rating is unchanged or has fallen since last year.

Crime, law and order and traffic congestion are seen as the most important unresolved issues. They were also key issues last year. Also of concern are hoons, street racers and the need to improve public transport. It is the first time that boy racers have been a major concern, with 60% regarding it as a big or fairly big issue.

The results overall mirror last year's survey in most aspects. Among the key findings:

- just under three quarters say they are satisfied with how their neighbourhood looks and feels, and 24% are very satisfied.

- graffiti is seen as the number one negative factor in neighbourhoods where it is a problem.

- 75% rated the look and feel of their town centre as good or excellent. Botany Town Centre stood out as being the most highly rated with Manukau City Centre a close second.

- half the residents feel the growing cultural diversity makes the city a better place to live.

- two thirds use a computer fairly often, with over half using a computer at home, and 42% use email or access the Internet daily.

- around three quarters rate the city's infrastructure as being good or excellent, down from 71% last year.

- about half feel the Council has shown leadership over the past year, up from 37% last year. The level of understanding of the Council's decision making is unchanged from last year, at 38%. But there has been a drop in the satisfaction with the level of public involvement in decision-making, down from 52% last year to 39% this year. The level of understanding of Council processes remains unchanged at 38%.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says "These results shoot down in flames the
false stereotype which keeps getting pushed about Manukau - the negative "South Auckland-problem-area" cleche. Clearly, most residents have a good life and are happy living here, whether they live in the southern wards or in the Howick /Pakuranga areas. We do have our problems but those same problems are also faced by many other cities."

Colin Dale says, "As far as the Council is concerned, the results are mixed. You can never please everybody all the time, however we will take the findings on board. The Council gets feedback from our community in many ways and the more information we get the better.

“I am not satisfied with the continued low level of understanding of our procedures and the perception that the public don't have enough input into decision making. We will clearly have to work on changing that perception. But as a Council we try to be as open as possible and that will continue."

The Residents' Perception Survey 2002 is available from Manukau City Council tel 2625104.

© Scoop Media

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