Resident satisfaction remains high despite a difficult 2020

Published on 20 November 2020

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Horowhenua residents have given Horowhenua District Council a mixed scorecard in the Council’s annual Resident Satisfaction Survey.

Residents were very happy with their library services, sports grounds and rubbish collection, but thought Council could do better on road and footpath maintenance, keeping the public informed, and considering public views when creating strategies and plans.

These are some of the key results of the 2020 survey, which was carried out by telephone using a randomised database of telephone numbers covering the district. A total of 381 surveys were completed, with a quota system used to ensure the survey sample was representative of the district’s population.

Overall satisfaction with Council services and facilities for 2020 was 88%.

Areas that scored the highest levels of user satisfaction were library services at 96%, sports grounds at 95%, kerbside rubbish collection services at 95%, parks and reserves at 93%, cemeteries at 93%, and recycling stations at 90%. User satisfaction with the community centres Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō in Levin and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom in Foxton were high, at 93% and 97% respectively. Other areas that scored more than 80% user satisfaction were swimming pools, drinking water, sewerage, kerbside recycling and waste transfer stations.

Eighty-five percent of respondents said they were satisfied with customer service at Council’s main office, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom, and Aquatics Horowhenua.

Horowhenua District Council Chief Executive David Clapperton said it was pleasing to see the continued high public satisfaction in many areas of Council operations.

“I’m proud that we’ve continued to achieve high levels of resident satisfaction, despite the challenges presented by changes in COVID-19 alert levels this year. We worked hard when heightened alert levels were in place to keep delivering high levels of service to our community in as many areas of Council activity as possible,” he said.

Some services, however, showed room for improvement, including road and footpath maintenance, suitability of roads for cyclists, keeping the public informed, involving the public in decision-making, and considering public views when creating strategies and plans.

Mr Clapperton said Council has established a Survey Project Team to identify areas for improvement and recommended actions.

“There are always ways to improve, and we’ll be working to do better in identified areas. For example, in the Long Term Plan 2021-2041 currently being developed, we’ll be looking to increase our spending on footpaths, road maintenance, and improving the suitability of our roads for cyclists. We’re already making key parts of our road network safer for cyclists, with dedicated cycle lanes installed at the new Queen/Cambridge Street roundabout and as part of the Queen Street safety improvements.”

He said Council was looking at ways it could keep the public better informed and involved in decision-making.

“We place high value on community input into our decision-making processes and the feedback we get when we consult on plans and strategies, and we need to ensure we show people how their views have been considered,” he said.

This year’s survey explored perceptions of Council, with 70% agreeing the Mayor and Councillors display sound and effective leadership, 60% of respondents believing Horowhenua District Council has a good overall reputation, 64% reporting satisfaction with how Council responds to issues raised by the community, and 58% saying Council is open and transparent in its decision-making.

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