Results of an independent survey carried out by the National Research Bureau (NRB) reveal Whangarei residents rate most local council services highly.
Each year Council surveys a representative sample of residents asking them to rate its services. The results are used to measure levels of service across Council and are incorporated into key indicators in the Annual Report which is due for adoption on 24 October.
Mark Simpson, CEO said the overall service performance has remained steady with some improvements across the organisation.
“Some of our services received outstanding endorsement from residents, with satisfaction with our sporting facilities (90% satisfaction*) and walking tracks (97%) increasing significantly.
“Other services with high satisfaction levels were kerbside rubbish collection (87% satisfaction), playgrounds (93%), Forum North (89%), library (98%), Council cemeteries (96%), public toilets (80%), water supply (98%), beaches and coastal facilities (91%).”
Mr Simpson said the services with the lowest satisfaction levels were stormwater drainage (52% satisfied), wastewater service (45%), maintenance of unsealed roads (52%) and CBD parking (48%).
“Each of the areas with lower satisfaction has been either very recently addressed or is getting further attention in our Long Term Plan. We’re therefore expecting to see higher levels of satisfaction for each of these areas in the future.
“For the last 5 years we have been heavily focusing on wastewater and the last piece of the puzzle is the Kioreroa road wastewater treatment plant upgrade. When it is completed in May next year untreated discharges to the harbour from this site will be eliminated. At that point we expect to see significant improvements to satisfaction in this area.
“The NRB survey results show that 81% of residents think the quality of life in Whangarei is good or very good and 85% believe our District is generally a safe place to live.”
Mr Simpson said the NRB survey gave an essential independent snapshot in time of how well Council was doing in the eyes of its residents.
“It’s very useful for identifying the areas where we are clearly doing a good job as well for identifying those services that we need to devote more attention to.
“Overall it’s a positive result. While it shows that the community thinks we are delivering pretty good services, we are committed to building on this in the future and lifting service quality even higher wherever we can,” he said.
*Satisfaction equals those residents who were either very or fairly satisfied with services provided.