High Level of Satisfaction with Council Continues

Hurunui District Council’s annual survey of 500 residents and ratepayers has again confirmed a high level of overall satisfaction with the Council’s performance.

Surveyed in February 2012, 84% of the 500 respondents said that they were either very satisfied or satisfied with the Council’s performance. Satisfaction with the Mayor and Councillors’ performance continues to sit at 76%, and the Hanmer Springs residents’ satisfaction with the overall performance of the Hanmer Springs Community Board was ranked at 62% (although 21% of respondents said that they didn’t know enough to rank the Board’s performance).

75% of those surveyed were satisfied with the overall service they had received from Council offices.

The top priorities reported for rates spending were roads (85%), water supply and drainage (41%), waste management and parks and reserves (equal on 21%).

64% of respondents were satisfied with the way rates are spent by the Council.

Respondents were asked what Council services and facilities they had used or visited in the district in the last 12 months. In all areas, usage had increased on previous years’ results. 78% said that they had visited a park or reserve, 69% had used a public toilet, 65% had used a library, 65% had used a transfer station, 58% had visited a Council office, 67% had visited a local hall, 47% had been to a playground and 41% said that they had visited a local cemetery.

93% of those who had visited a Council library were satisfied with the facilities and service.

90% of those who had visited Council parks or reserves were satisfied with the maintenance of the areas.

92% of those who had visited a Council cemetery were satisfied with the standard.

92% of those who said that they had used a public toilet in the district were satisfied with the quality of the facility.

90% of those who had visited a local hall were satisfied with the standard of the premises.

Satisfaction with the Council’s household waste collection service was rated at 96% by those who used the service, and 89% of users were similarly satisfied with the Council’s household recycling collection service.

53% of the 500 respondents had heard about the Council’s youth programme, with 92% saying that they agreed that it was a good idea for the Council to be involved in this type of programme.

For those respondents on a town drinking water supply, 71% were satisfied with the appearance and taste of their water, and 81% were satisfied with the pressure and flow.

For the respondents on rural water schemes, 78% said that they were satisfied that there was a sufficient amount of water available to them.

Of the 500 respondents, 68% were satisfied with the standard of public footpaths, 67% were satisfied with the standard of sealed roads, and 69% were satisfied with the overall maintenance of the Council’s roads.

The most significant area of dissatisfaction continues to be with the Council’s unsealed roads. Only 50% were satisfied with the standard of unsealed roads and 43% were either not very satisfied (30%), or not at all satisfied (13%). Funding of our road maintenance and construction is split between district general rates and government subsidy funding. In 2009, the Right Honorable Steven Joyce, (the Minister of Transport at the time), told all local authorities to “do more with less”. In line with this, the New Zealand Transport Agency reduced our maintenance funding subsidy on average by $600,000 per year since then. The Council has been working closely with its roading contractor, Downer Ltd, to try and maintain the community level of service expectation associated with general maintenance, renewal construction and surface riding quality, whilst prioritising the reduced funding allocation to ensure that we do not have reduced asset life across our wide-spread infrastructure.

The 2012 Resident Satisfaction Survey of 500 respondents throughout the district was made up of:

• 176 living in Amberley, 95 from Amuri, 65 from Hurunui, 64 from Hanmer Springs, 56 from Cheviot and 44 from Glenmark.

• 221 were older with no dependents, 193 had dependents, and 86 were younger with no dependents.

• 7% were aged 18-24 years, 45% were aged 25-49 years, 29% were aged 50-64 years and 19% were aged 65 plus.

• There was a 50/50 split between males and females.

• 41% were urban dwellers and 59% were rural dwellers.

• 40% had lived all or most of their lives in the Hurunui, 46% had lived here for 5 years or more and 14% had lived here for less than 5 years.