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North Shore City provides a high quality of life

North Shore City media release

EMBARGOED until the official release of the Quality of Life report, 1pm, Tuesday, November 27, 2007

North Shore City provides a high quality of life

November 27 2007

North Shore offers residents a very high quality of life, with high incomes and a strongly performing economy, according to a new report.

The 2007 Quality of Life report, released by the Metropolitan Sector Group today, provides a comprehensive assessment of the quality of life in 12 New Zealand cities, as part of a multi-council initiative.

The report showed 88% of North Shore residents rated their quality of life as either good or extremely good. In addition, 85% rated themselves as happy or very happy, and 83% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.

The report said North Shore experienced strong economic growth during 2001-2006. GDP grew by an average of 5.7% per year over the period – the third highest growth rate among the 12 cities. GDP per capita grew by 4.4%, also third-highest. During the period 2002-2006, the number of economically viable businesses grew by 26.4%.

North Shore’s median personal income in 2006 was $29,100 and median household income was $69,100. Out of all North Shore households, 42.6% were classed as high income (earning over $70,001). In all of these results, North Shore was second only to Wellington.

Only 5.2% of North Shore residents received means-tested benefits, the lowest rate among the 12 cities. At 4.3%, the unemployment rate was the second lowest of the 12 cities.

The North Shore population grew by 11.2% over the period 2001-2006. Further growth of 38.8% was projected for the period 2006-2026. The city had a relatively low Maori population and a relatively high population of Asian descent. After English, Korean was the most commonly spoken language.

In the environment, North Shore residents were the country’s best recyclers – recycling 114.7kg of waste per person during 2006-07. The volume of waste sent to landfills has declined in recent years.

Despite these positive results, the report also highlighted challenges facing the city.

North Shore had the highest rate of vehicle ownership of any city, along with Rodney. Residents were slightly more likely to use cars to get to work than people in the 12 cities overall. But while 73 per cent of people thought public transport was either very easy or easy to access, only 21 per cent were regular users.

“This report is very positive about life in North Shore City,” said Mayor Andrew Williams. “The vast majority of residents are happy with their quality of life, and the economy is performing strongly. Like other cities in the region, we also know there are issues we need to confront.”

The Quality of Life project started with six councils in 1999 and has since expanded to 12 territorial local authorities, including: Rodney; North Shore; Waitakere; Auckland; Manukau; Hamilton; Tauranga; Porirua; Hutt; Wellington; Christchurch; and Dunedin.

The project aims to give decision-makers information to help them improve the quality of life in major New Zealand urban areas.

Project sponsor Jim Harland said the report highlighted the need for action to plan for long-term growth, improve access to services and promote economic and environmental sustainability.

ENDS

(Note for editors and reporters: A full copy of the ‘2007 Quality of Life Report’ will be available on the website www.qualityoflifeproject.govt.nz after 1 pm today.)

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