Satisfaction with council falls further

Satisfaction with the Queenstown Lakes District Council has further declined, according to the results of the sixth annual Quality of Life Survey.

Results show satisfaction with elected members and the council’s overall performance was now just 15% — down from 19% and 20%, respectively last year — while its preparedness for the future was rated at 10%.

The survey, conducted over October and November last year, attracted 1767 responses from residents, and 749 responses from non-residents.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Glyn Lewers said the lower levels of satisfaction were something the council was taking seriously.

"It’s been a tough few years for our district’s communities and more widely across the country.

"We’ve had multiples crises, infrastructure delays and significant project cost increases, and ballooning costs of living that are hitting many people hard.

"It’s no surprise some people are feeling challenged.

"I think it’s a mark of frustration based on longer commutes, traffic cones, public transport issues and affordability, not to mention the national and global challenges we face."

He said the council was "listening and hearing the concerns" and while it had been in a delivery phase, it was moving to an "even greater focus on community and on service".

In all, 21% of respondents said their general quality of life had improved over the past 12 months — 31% said it had decreased.

The cost of living challenge was reported as a major contributory factor to the latter.

Housing insecurity and deficits in transport and health infrastructure also influenced residents’ wellbeing.

A total of 21% worried about having a steady place to live in the future, and 15% were unable to always heat their home adequately.

Cost was reported as the main reason for that.

Thirty percent of respondents said they had a "sufficient level" of disposable income, while 21% were unable to cover expenses.

Meanwhile, just 12% of respondents believed the district’s public transport met the needs of residents.

Mr Lewers said while some of the issues affecting residents’ wellbeing were outside council control, it was actively advocating to central and regional government to improve the quality of services.

Key results at a glance: 

  • 31% said their quality of life had decreased. 
  • 21% worry about having a steady place to live in the future. 
  • 15% are unable to always heat their home adequately, with cost reported as the main reason. 
  • 30% report having a sufficient level of disposable income, with 21% unable to cover expenses or without any disposable income. 
  • 45% agreed there was a long-term career path for them in the district, while 24% disagreed. 
  • 39% report no barriers to accessing medical professionals. 
  • 34% are satisfied with the celebration of tangata whenua and Māori culture. 
  • 91% rated their neighbourhood as safe for themselves and their families, while 66% said they lived in a welcoming community. 
  • 15% are satisfied with elected members,10% with council’s preparedness for the future, and 15% with overall council performance. More residents satisfied than dissatisfied with the information they receive and opportunities to have their say. 
  • 12% of residents believe public transport meets the needs of residents. 
  • 72% report good or extremely good quality of life. 
  • 71% report mostly good or excellent ratings of physical wellbeing. 
  • 61% report mostly good or excellent ratings for mental wellbeing. 
  • 75% of residents are satisfied with the range of community facilities