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Manukau a great place to live and work

20 September 2004

Manukau a great place to live and work - residents' survey results

82% of Manukau residents think Manukau City is good place to live, according to the latest 2004 Citizens' Perception Survey. There are also high satisfaction levels with the city as a place to work and do business, internet use is growing, and there has been greater use of Council facilities such as libraries and swimming pools over the past year.

The annual survey examines residents' perceptions of everyday life in the city, and of satisfaction levels with Manukau City Council's services. The survey company spoke to 515 residents spread throughout the city with interviews conducted across the city and every age group above the age of 15.

Key results:

- 66% rate Manukau as a good or excellent place to live
- 70% rate the city a good or excellent place to do business
- 67% rate the city a good or excellent place to set up or operate a business

In contrast to the negative image commonly portrayed in the national media, crime overall in Manukau is falling and the survey shows most residents feel safe in their local community:

- 89% feel safe in their homes and 90% in their neighbourhood during the day
- 75% feel safe in their homes at night, and 63% in their neighbourhood

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says, "The pleasing overall outcome of the survey is the increasing satisfaction of residents with the public services and facilities provided by the Council. We work hard to provide these services and the survey results suggest we are getting it right."

"It is not just residents expressing satisfaction, with business community also giving the city a thumbs-up.

"Economic growth is essential to the city's sustainable development and well-being. Having the business sector rate Manukau highly as a good place to set up and operate a business shows that we are continuing to head in the right direction." Residents were also asked about issues of concern, and to nominate three main issues facing the city. The results:

Issues related to crime, safety and policing were mentioned by 24%, traffic congestion 23%, public transport 20% education initiatives 13%, health service and promotion 12%, appearance of the city 12%.

"This year the findings have identified crime, safety, policing traffic congestion and public transport as issues, although in each case they were of concern to a minority. However these are all issues we have already focused on and will continue to do so," said Sir Barry. At the other end of the spectrum, the level of rates and Council spending was mentioned by 8% and graffiti 7%.

The survey found 46% of residents agreed Council had shown leadership on key issues, a fall from last year. Sir Barry says this is of concern but he believes it is a misperception.

"Most people cannot see the work that goes on behind the scenes before the results of a project or initiative can be seen. Rather like watching a swan gliding over water - not much is happening on the surface, but it's paddling furiously underwater.

"There's a tremendous amount of planning, meeting and organising done by the Council on a wide variety of fronts in the city. These processes are time-consuming and not done in the public eye. That's why people don't realize the extent of our activities."

Other results:

- Town centres: 88% satisfied with how easy their town centre is to get to
- Regional Transport: 46% find it easy to get around the region, 42% say it's difficult
- Manukau transport: 68% find it easy to get around the city
- Internet use: 50% use the internet daily, with 72% of the adult population using the net.
- Swimming pool use: 51% have used a Council swimming pool over the past year (up from 31% last year)
- Library use: 76% have visited a library in the past year (up from 65%)

ENDS

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