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Christchurch City Council Media Release Monday 21 July 1997


The Christchurch City Council has welcomed the positive results contained in the seventh annual survey of Christchurch residents.

Conducted by Statistics New Zealand on behalf of the Council the survey is unique among New Zealand local authorities as a comprehensive and impartial measure of residents perceptions of their Council and their City.

The survey was conducted face to face with 803 residents who are shown how much of their rates are spent on different services and are then asked to decide whether they believe the City gets value for money.

Two-thirds or more of residents continue to say that overall Council services are good or very good value for money.

Mike Richardson, City Manager has welcomed the findings. “It is pleasing to see that residents consider that their Council is making a positive contribution to them and our City. While we continue to see high levels of approval for services there is still room for improvement, and we will be investigating all the results very carefully to work out how we can make our performance and value to residents even higher.”

While a number of value for money assessments are slightly down on 1996 results, the overall trend of the last seven years is still upward or stable for most major services.

Positive trends can be seen over the seven years of surveying in most areas: looking after roads and footpaths; overall City and environmental planning; sewage disposal and land drainage; refuse collection and disposal; water supply services; The Town Hall; public libraries; events and festivals; parks and playing fields; pools and stadiums; promotion of sport and recreation; encouraging tourists to come to Christchurch; encouraging businesses to create jobs in Christchurch; supporting voluntary groups and community organisations.

Negative trends are evident for the following; ensuring traffic moves smoothly and safely; regulation and investigation of activities and nuisances; and the Art Gallery. In these three areas the substantial growth in traffic volume, limited powers under the Resource Management Act, and the cramped nature of the current Art Gallery are thought to be factors which may be contributing to the negative ratings.

Approval ratings of services were, except in one case, above 53% again in the 1997 survey with six of the 17 major services rating over 75%. Regulating activities and investigating nuisances fell to 45%.

Approval for the rubbish collection service continues climbing with 7% from the 1995 result to 88% in 1997.

Around 8% of Christchurch residents (which equates to around 20,000 people City-wide) have been involved in some form of consultation over the last 12 months.

But 19% of residents believe they have not personally been consulted on issues they thought they should have been consulted on. “There is already a lot of work underway in improving consultation with residents on issues, but this result will need investigation,” said Mike Richardson.

This year’s survey also asked residents what services they thought Council should provide, but are not providing at present. This revealed that many residents don’t realise the range of services their City actually provides for them. For example, of the 23% who thought that the Council should provide other services, 77 respondents (39%) thought Rubbish and Recycling should be provided, even though these services are supplied already.

The 1997 survey was conducted between 26 April and 24 May and involved 803 respondents, who were asked 81 questions on 29 topics. The survey has a margin of error of 3 percent at the 90 percent confidence interval.

For further information contact:

Mike Richardson, City Manager or

Rex Harrison, Corporate Planner, phone 371-1479

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