Confidence in Auckland
The jury on the Super City is still out as far as Aucklanders are concerned. In mid-2013 a moderate-sized survey of 350 Aucklanders showed that those surveyed are still unsure whether the governance reforms have benefitted the region or their local community.2
The Aucklanders surveyed are still unsure whether the governance reforms have benefited the region or their local community
Traditionally, local government attracts only limited public interest but the formation of Auckland Super City saw interest increase, as measured by voting turnout figures. However, the heightened interest has yet to be consolidated. Most respondents think that the reforms have made little difference (so far) to either the region as a whole or their local community. In terms of the impact on the region specifically, substantially more Aucklanders surveyed felt the reforms have been beneficial compared to those saying they have had the opposite effect. In terms of the impact on local communities, the trend is reversed: 30 percent felt the effects have been negative and 20 percent felt they have been positive.
Familiarity with the Council’s Auckland Plan and/or Draft Unitary Plan was low. Of the Aucklanders surveyed who ventured an opinion, around half were unsure whether the plans were right for Auckland
Nearly two-thirds of respondents had heard of the Council’s Auckland Plan and/or the Draft Unitary Plan. Only ten percent claimed a high degree of familiarity with the plans, while a similar-sized grouping claimed no familiarity at all. The remainder of responses, 80 percent, were equally divided between “some” or “slight” familiarity. When asked whether these plans are right for Auckland, a quarter of respondents disagreed, a quarter agreed, and half were unsure.
Most Aucklanders surveyed reported middling confidence in Auckland’s system of regional and local government
Confidence in Auckland’s system of regional and local government was mixed, with 33 percent of Aucklanders surveyed reporting confidence, around 16 percent reporting a lack of confidence, and around 50 percent reporting middling confidence.
A third of Aucklanders surveyed believed that the Mayor is an effective leader for the Auckland region
The Mayor’s leadership in the Auckland region was positively evaluated by a third of respondents. A quarter of respondents felt he is not an effective leader for the Auckland region while the remainder of respondents were ambivalent.
A minority of the Aucklanders surveyed felt they received value for their rates
Although a quarter of the Aucklanders surveyed felt they got value for their rates, a third felt they did not and 40 percent were ambivalent.
Around half of the Aucklanders surveyed felt that the distribution of power between central and local government is about right
A sixth of Aucklanders surveyed felt that Auckland Council is too powerful and that central government needs more power. One third felt that central government is too powerful and that Auckland Local Government needs more power. The remaining 50 percent of respondents felt the balance was about right.
The Aucklanders surveyed felt the number of local boards was about right
The vast majority of the Aucklanders surveyed felt that the number of local boards is about right; around 20 percent felt there were too many and 10 percent felt there were too few.
2. The moderate-sized random telephone sample was conducted by Phoenix Research. The confidence interval is +/- 5%. It is important that we are able to compare the views of stakeholders who ought to have more operational knowledge with those of the public which is informed largely through the media, but partly affected by personal experiences. However, the collection of stakeholders’ viewpoints is still underway and will be reported later.