Survey of residents identifies positives and negatives for Council

Published on 08 November 2018

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Horowhenua residents are very happy with their libraries, swimming pools and rubbish collection, but think Horowhenua District Council could do better on footpath maintenance, stormwater and making roads safe for cyclists.

Those are some of the key points to come out of the 2018 Resident Satisfaction Survey. More than 800 residents from across the district were surveyed about Council services, facilities and communications, as well as about community wellbeing. The survey was carried out online through Council’s website and over the telephone by students and staff of Waiopehu College.

Overall satisfaction with Council facilities and services for 2018 was 81.85%.

The areas that scored the highest levels of satisfaction were library services at 91.5% satisfaction, Aquatics Horowhenua swimming, rehabilitation and fitness services at 89.24% satisfaction, and rubbish collection at 85.3% satisfaction. Other areas that scored more than 80% satisfaction were reliability of sewerage/wastewater, emergency management and regulatory licensing (health/liquor).

Customer service was measured at four different sites – aquatic centres (Levin and Foxton), Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, Horowhenua District Council Main Office and Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom. All sites achieved more than 90% satisfaction, with the aquatic centres scoring almost 95% customer service satisfaction.

“I’m delighted to see such high levels of satisfaction with our customer service and regulatory and licensing,” said Council’s Chief Executive, David Clapperton. “In 2015/16 year, we carried out a review and made changes – as a result customer service satisfaction is now over 90% and regulatory and licensing satisfaction is over 80%. I am very proud of our team who have achieved these results while managing increasing requests from our growing population.”

Some services, however, showed room for improvement, including footpath maintenance, stormwater reliability and roading suitability for cyclists, which all scored between 59% and 63% satisfaction. Other areas where improvement is needed were economic development/business support, and planning/resource consents which scored between 67% and 69% satisfaction.

“While it is disappointing to see those results,” said Mr Clapperton, “they need to put into perspective. Council is working hard to improve in these areas, and an example of some of the projects underway includes increased spending on footpaths, the creation of shared pathways and the move to providing online consenting processes.”

There was generally a high level of satisfaction with Council facilities from the people who had used them in the last year. The three top facilities were sports grounds, Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, and cemeteries, which all scored around 93% satisfaction. There was also more than 90% satisfaction with swimming pools and parks and reserves, and all Council facilities achieved more than 80% satisfaction from users.

Almost 80% of those who had direct dealings with Council in the last year were satisfied with that contact.

“We are grateful to the students and staff of Waiopehu College and to all the residents who have taken part,” said Mr Clapperton. “The survey is important, as it is one of the ways that Council can measure its performance and identify areas for improvement.”

Resident Satisfaction Survey 2018 Infographic(PDF, 1MB)