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Queenstown Lakes Annual Quality Of Life Survey Results Now Available

Results from Queenstown Lakes sixth annual Quality of Life Survey show housing and economic concerns continue to be the district’s primary challenges.

The survey, commissioned by Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and published today, informs planning and decision-making for QLDC and other organisations responsible for delivering many of the services touched upon. It also helps steer Council’s advocacy to central government on behalf of the community.

Almost three quarters of respondents (72%) reported they had good or extremely good quality of life. Residents also have high ratings of pride in the district, and high satisfaction with community facilities and community safety.

While 21% of residents thought their general quality of life had improved over the last 12 months, 31% responded that it had decreased. The cost of living challenge being seen throughout Aotearoa New Zealand was reported as a major contributory factor in declining quality of life sentiment.

Other key issues influencing residents’ wellbeing include housing insecurity and deficits in transport and health infrastructure. While those issues are outside Council control, Council actively advocates to central and regional government on behalf of the community to improve the quality of these services in the district.

The environment also continues to be an increasing concern for residents, with commentary across all sections of the survey illustrating a need for environmental considerations to be at the forefront of Council decisions. This reflects Council’s own declared climate and biodiversity emergency and commitments in the district’s Climate & Biodiversity Plan. QLDC’s programmes of work in this space are documented on the Council’s new climate action website, climateaction.qldc.govt.nz, which was launched today. The site includes agreed actions to address climate change and biodiversity loss and provides updates on progress.

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Council’s own performance metrics have declined, with satisfaction with elected members at 15%, Council’s preparedness for the future at 10%, and overall Council performance at 15%. However, more residents are satisfied than dissatisfied with opportunities to have their say and the information provided by Council.

Mayor Glyn Lewers said while it’s heartening the community has a high level of pride in the district and is positive about QLDC’s community facilities such as parks, libraries and sports & recreation venues, the lower levels of satisfaction are something the Council is taking very seriously.

“It’s been a tough few years for our district’s communities and more widely across the country. We’ve had multiples crises, infrastructure delays and significant project cost increases, and ballooning costs of living that are hitting many people hard. It’s no surprise some people are feeling challenged. I think it’s a mark of frustration based on longer commutes, traffic cones, public transport issues and affordability, not to mention the national and global challenges we face.”

“The results of this survey reinforce that we have work to do and I want to be clear that Council is listening and hearing these concerns. We have very much been in a delivery phase but are moving to an even greater focus on community and on service,” he said.

“Whether it’s the hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions between elected members, staff and community members that happen every day, the facilities we provide such as playgrounds and walking tracks, or essential services like animal control, waste management, or resource consenting; it’s all valuable feedback and allows us to keep focusing on improving,” he said.

The Quality of Life Survey received 1,767 responses from residents and 749 responses from non-residents. It was open from 16 October – 19 November 2023.

Key results at a glance:

  • 72% report good or extremely good quality of life.
  • 71% report mostly good or excellent ratings of physical wellbeing.
  • 61% report mostly good or excellent ratings for mental wellbeing.
  • 75% of residents are satisfied with the range of community facilities (84% of non-residents were also satisfied with the range of community facilities in the district).
  • 63% of residents agree or strongly agree that they feel a sense of pride in the district.
  • 21% worry about having a steady place to live in the future.
  • 15% are unable to always heat their home adequately, with cost reported as the main reason.
  • 30% report having a sufficient level of disposable income, with 21% unable to cover expenses or without any disposable income.
  • 45% agreed there was a long-term career path for them in the district, while 24% disagreed.
  • 39% report no barriers to accessing medical professionals.
  • 34% are satisfied with the celebration of tangata whenua and Māori culture.
  • 91% rated their neighbourhood as safe for themselves and their families, while 66% said they lived in a welcoming community.
  • 15% are satisfied with elected members,10% with council’s preparedness for the future, and 15% with overall council performance. More residents satisfied than dissatisfied with the information they receive and opportunities to have their say.
  • 12% of residents believe public transport meets the needs of residents.

The full 2023 Quality of Life Survey results are available online at: qldc.govt.nz/community/community-research

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