Council reputation stable after challenging year
Last year’s vaccination mandates and the August omicron outbreak have played their part in Waipā District Council taking a hit in its annual resident satisfaction scorecard.
The Annual Residents Perception Survey, undertaken quarterly by independent research company Key Research, showed Waipā dipped in the first quarter. This was the same period when the August restrictions came into force for the Omicron outbreak of COVID-19.
It further dipped again in the third quarter, when Council introduced vaccine mandates to visitors to Council facilities. It bounced back in the fourth quarter when mandates were lifted.
The survey showed overall satisfaction with Council remained stable after a significant decline in 2020. Council’s reputation benchmark remained within the ‘acceptable’ range.
Chief executive Garry Dyet said the results reflected a challenging year for Waipā.
“The 2021-22 annual results in relation to reputation, trust and leadership indicate residents’ perceptions of Council have been influenced by the challenges other benchmarked councils have faced over the last year; the impacts of mandate decisions, changes in COVID-19 alert levels and views of Central Government reforms.
“For Waipā specifically, perceptions are also influenced by our high growth environment and resourcing constraints.”
Benchmarking results across 12 councils showed Waipā was in the middle of the pack on most indicators, with regulatory services, playgrounds, libraries, sports-fields, availability of parking and public toilets trending towards the lower end.
Waipā scored the highest result for ‘quality of life’ against the benchmarked councils.
Dyet said the survey result of 72 per cent of residents rating Waipā between 8 and 10 for a high quality of life was a highlight.
“Council works extremely hard to deliver outstanding facilities and services for our community so to achieve this result is heartening.”
Dyet added the Council’s latest plans are targeted at addressing the areas of improvement.
“As always, there are some key areas to work on such as roads and transport, approach to growth and engagement and consultation, which will be addressed through our plans such as Ahu Ake – the Waipā Spatial Plan, which is the way we will approach growth into the future.”
The residents perception survey is available at www.waipadc.govt.nz/haveyoursay.