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Waitakere residents pride in ‘eco city’

Media Release

April 6, 2009

Waitakere residents pride in ‘eco city’

Waitakere’s status as New Zealand’s leading eco city is a tag its residents take a lot of pride in.

A survey undertaken by Waitakere City Council to identify public attitudes to the eco city approach showed that 79 percent of residents agreed with the approach and two thirds felt a sense of pride in living in an eco city.

Conducted earlier this year, the telephone survey saw a random sample of 300 residents interviewed on a range of topics including what they thought should council be doing to work towards an eco city, what residents can do and whether they agree with some of the initiatives council has undertaken.

The council’s plan to work with retailers to eliminate plastic shopping bags was a winner with 80 percent of respondents indicating firm support for this initiative.

A forum hosted by the council last month and attended by local retailers saw strong support to work towards reducing plastic shopping bags in Waitakere.

Other initiatives that also got the thumbs up were:
• Providing off-road cycleways that could be used for walkways (86 %)
• Subsidising rainwater tanks (81%)
• Subsidising solar heating (76%).

When asked what the public could do to foster the eco city approach the most common response was to recycle (32%). Other responses included:
• Using cloth supermarket bags (21%)
• Composting (17%)
• Not littering and picking up litter (14 %)
• Conserving water (11%).

Waitakere declared itself an eco city in 1993 with a vision to work towards better social, cultural and economic outcomes for the city. It’s a vision which guides all council’s decisions, policies and activities.

Waitakere deputy mayor Penny Hulse is heartened by the survey’s findings.

“I’m delighted that people have recognised the importance of the work we are doing and that the initiatives we have developed are of real value and something Waitakere people can be proud of.

“We’ve accomplished a lot as a council over 20 years in areas of water conservation, heritage protection, sustainable living and design and of course the signing of the landmark Waitakere Ranges Heritage Area Act 2008.”

The survey results will help the council assess how well its approach is aligned with public opinion and expectation and identify areas it needs to prioritise.


© Scoop Media

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