Quality Of Life Report 2007
27 November, 2007
QUALITY OF LIFE REPORT 2007
Waitakere City residents have a very high quality of life and the city’s economy is performing well but, like other cities in the region, it faces challenges such as improving access to public transport and affordable housing, 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 85% of Waitakere City residents rated their quality of life as either good or extremely good.
The average for all 12 cities was 90%.
In addition, 83% of Waitakere residents rated themselves happy or very happy, and 80% said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.
The city experienced economic growth of 4.3% and per capita GDP growth of 3.5% during the period 2001-2006.
Both results were broadly in line with the national average.
Labour productivity grew by 1.1% per year, the third-highest among the 12 cities. The number of economically-viable new businesses increased by 23.4% over the period 2002-2006.
Waitakere’s population grew by 105% during 2001-2006, compared with a national growth rate of 7.8%. The population is projected to grow by a further 43.1% over the period 2006-2026.
The report stated that Waitakere was among the most ethnically diverse cities in New Zealand, with population that is 12.3% Maori, 14.4% Pacific, and 15.2% from Asian ethnicities.
Just over half of residents (54%) felt that increasing diversity made the city a better place to live in.
The city’s tourism sector has grown, with a 25.0% increase in the number of guest nights purchased during the period 2004-2007.
House prices in Waitakere increased by 74.6% over the period 2001-2006, and rates of home ownership declined over that period but remained above the national average.
Of all private dwellings in the city, 53.2% were owned by their occupiers in 2006, compared with 65.1% in 2001. In Auckland, by contrast, only 34.8% of private dwellings are owned by the occupiers.
Waitakere City also spent a greater proportion of their incomes on rents than residents of most other cities.
The report also highlighted transport challenges facing the city.
Among Waitakere residents, 64% travelled outside their home city to work – the second-highest ratio among any of the 12 cities. Just over 70% of residents used cars to get to work – second-highest of the 12 cities after Manukau.
Fewer than half of Waitakere residents rated public transport affordable or convenient.
“This report is positive about life in Waitakere City,” said Mayor Bob Harvey. “The vast majority of residents are happy with their quality of life, the economy is performing strongly, and we’re working hard to protect the city’s environment. However, like other cities in the region, we also acknowledge the need to confront challenges.”
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.