Christchurch City Council's recently-completed resident surveys show that 70 per cent of Christchurch residents are satisfied or very satisfied with the services provided by the Council.
Chief Executive Tony Marryatt says the levels of satisfaction remain high, despite the disruption and increased demands placed on the Council by major earthquakes in 2010 and 2011.
"We've always focused on delivering quality services to our residents, and these surveys help us stay on track and respond to emerging issues. While it is disappointing that the overall result has dropped from 78 per cent in the 2009/10 survey, this is understandable considering all that's happened in the past year.
"This year's results show that despite the disruption caused by the earthquakes, this Council has performed well for residents."
In January, the General Service Satisfaction Survey sampled the general population of Christchurch and measured residents' perceptions of satisfaction with Council service delivery. The Point of Contact Service Satisfaction Surveys were conducted throughout the year, covering services better suited to on-the-spot assessment of a specific customer base. Neither survey took place in the 2010/2011 year, due to earthquake disruption.
"Generally, the surveys showed residents are very pleased with how quickly we've managed to restore services after the emergencies," says Mr Marryatt. "Because our goal is to get Christchurch back to being a world-class city, this was very welcome news."
Residents also gave top marks for:
refuse and wastewater collection
quality of the city's water supply
events and festivals
the city's libraries, recreation and sport facilities and pools
parks, including the Botanic Gardens
communications around earthquakes and public meetings
work done by contractors such as City Care
"If you look at the responses in-depth, you learn that the number one area residents would like to see an improvement in is transparency of decision-making," says Mr Marryatt. "While the results are consistent with previous years, the consensus is that residents would like to see greater effectiveness in governance, as well as consultation with the public.
"We've already taken steps to improve this perception with public consultations like those for the Annual Plan, and we're definitely encouraging residents to come along and be part of the process. The communications audit underway now may identify other areas that can be addressed."
Other areas targeted for improvement include:
repairs to roads and sewerage
replacement of facilities such as pools, leisure centres and libraries
rates relief for eastern suburbs
building and resource consenting
"Council will address these issues next year in our Long Term Plan," says Mr Marryatt.
Full survey results can be found at www.ccc.govt.nz/ResidentsSurvey. The Point of Contact Survey has some results pending.
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