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How well do you know your neighbourhood?

Media release
3 September 2012

How well do you know your neighbourhood?

Aucklanders are being encouraged to find out how their neighbourhood is doing, with the release of Auckland Council’s State of Auckland report cards. The report cards summarise Auckland’s demographic make-up, how Aucklanders rank their quality of life, and the quality of Auckland’s land, air, waterways, coast and sea.

Auckland Council’s Manager of the Research, Investigations & Monitoring Unit, Grant Barnes, says the report cards are a means of recording the aspirations of the Auckland Plan, and the vision to become the world’s most liveable city, alongside how sustainable our resource use is. They allow Aucklanders an appreciation of how Auckland is tracking.

“The State of Auckland report cards build on more than 30 years of monitoring Auckland’s people and environment – they help create a picture of how Auckland is doing, socially, economically and environmentally,” Mr Barnes says.

“As our population and economy grows, greater pressure is put on our environment. Fortunately, the quality of environmental management has also improved over time and we have been able to apply better knowledge and technology to meet some of these challenges.”

The report cards are presented by local area, and the environment of each area has been graded to indicate its current quality. It is clear to see that ongoing management of our environment is required; otherwise some of the negative trends we see today are likely to continue in the years ahead. However, this situation provides as many opportunities as it does challenges.

Some key findings:

The demographic and quality of life reports show that Auckland’s population is constantly growing and has a younger population profile than New Zealand as a whole. The reports show that Aucklanders are generally satisfied with their quality of life and are proud of their local area.

Auckland’s groundwater, lakes and rivers that are monitored are degraded to some extent (although there have been some welcome improvements in the last decade).
Many of our rural streams have the potential for dramatic improvement with the right management. The Hibiscus Coast, Great Barrier, and Waitakere Ranges freshwater reporting areas all have the top ‘A’ grade rating.

Land biodiversity, graded using a scale of A to F, is based on the amount of native ecosystems (forest, scrub, freshwater and saltwater wetlands) that exist within each reporting area. Waitakere and Great Barrier come out on top, followed by Franklin and there are no F graded areas.

The marine environment grade is based on the water quality, ecology, and sediment contaminants found in each reporting area. Of note is the East Coast / Devonport reporting area, which received an A grade rating. The waters in this area have low nutrient content, low bacteria counts and high concentrations of dissolved oxygen.

Mr Barnes says Auckland Council is actively working to maintain and improve our environmental status across the various areas, and to improve public awareness about their importance. In addition, the Council supports many community-led initiatives such as Waicare and Enviroschools, and administers an Environmental Initiatives Fund.

“Auckland has so much to offer in environmental and recreational terms, and we’d like more Aucklanders to discover their values and benefits while exploring and enjoying them responsibly.”

Copies of the State of Auckland Report cards are available from Monday 3 September at council service centres. These are also online at www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/stateofauckland

See PDF top 5 and bottom 5 tables attached



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