According to a major Quality of Life survey just released, 89% of ManukauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s residents perceive their overall quality of life as good or very good. Ninety per cent of New Zealanders overall have a similar view on their quality of life.
The survey is the third in a series (2001, 2003, 2006) and covers 12 of New ZealandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest cities. A total of 7720 people were interviewed nationally, and 547 within Manukau.
The positive perception of quality of life extends to overall health and wellbeing, with 86% of ManukauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s residents rating their overall health as good or very good, compared with 90% of the rest of New Zealand.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The survey is in line with what we already know. There are some areas we can be particularly proud of and others where we know we can do better,Ã¢â‚¬Â Strategic Directions Committee chair Colleen Brown says.
The topic areas covered in the survey relate to the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s strategic vision TomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Manukau. The CouncilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Long Term Council Community Plan shows how the council is responding to TomorrowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Manukau and contributes to improving residentsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ quality of life. This involves working closely with community organisations, government agencies and the business sector to build a proud, progressive and prosperous city.
Manukau residents are more likely to agree (78%) that their city has a culturally rich and diverse arts scene (rest of New Zealand 64%). Thirty-one per cent of Manukau residents were likely to have mentioned Good Facilities and Services than elsewhere in New Zealand (17%).
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are areas that continue to be a concern to us, such as crime and safety and graffiti. We have taken positive steps regarding graffiti, with the Local Bill now before Parliament and we need the GovernmentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s support for this so that we can more effectively address this issue. Our Annual Plan 2007/08 proposes increased funding for eradication and enforcement, complementing our partnership with the Manukau Beautification Trust,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cr Brown says.
Manukau residents also have issues around crime and safety, feeling less safe in their homes, neighbourhoods and city centre than the rest of New Zealand.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We recognise this issue, and sponsor projects such as Project Walkthrough, participation in the Safe Communities Outcome Group, funding for Community Safety Networks, and the implementation of the CCTV strategy. But, we need more police on the ground in our city,Ã¢â‚¬Â Cr Brown says.
The safety, convenience and cost of public transport are further concerns expressed by Manukau residents.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will continue to work with the Auckland Regional Council and ARTA to address these issues. A good example of this is the Manurewa Transport Interchange, which links bus and train services to improve services and convenience for passengers.Ã¢â‚¬Â
As the survey was being carried out, Council also launched its twice-monthly newspaper Manukau Matters, to ensure Manukau ratepayers are better informed about Council and more able to have a say about what Council does.