Wellbeing survey shows confidence and pride down in Wellington

Wellington is off to a bad start on the council's wellbeing goals, with several key indicators dropping since 2018. (File photo)

MONIQUE FORD / STUFF / Stuff

Wellington is off to a bad start on the council’s wellbeing goals, with several key indicators dropping since 2018. (File photo)

Wellingtonians’ sense of community and pride in their capital has diminished sharply in the past four years, in a survey that city councilors say is a “wake up call.”

Confidence in the city council’s decision-making was also down, something Councillor Nicola Young said was because “people are sick of council consulting them and totally ignoring the feedback”.

She said the bad start on the council’s wellbeing goals was “absolutely no surprise”.

“I am very concerned about Wellington at the moment.”

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Councillor Nicola Young says the negative Trends are absolutely no surprise.  (File photo)

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Councillor Nicola Young says the negative Trends are absolutely no surprise. (File photo)

Out of the 35 wellbeing indicators the Wellington City Council measures, just 10 were consistent with the goals the council had set.

Social and cultural indicators showed “largely unfavorable” Trends. Environmental Trends, on the other hand, were “largely favorite”. Economic Trends were inconclusive. Almost one-third of the indicators showed no trend at all.

The Trends were measured against goals set out in the council’s long-term plan, including “People’s sense of pride in the area” and “perception that air pollution is a problem”. The figures from 2020/21 were released in the council’s third quarter report.

The city’s sense of community took a hit, with People’s sense of community with their neighbors down to 45%, from 58% in 2016. Sense of pride in the area was down to 76%, from 88% in 2018.

Confidence in the council’s decision-making was down to 30%, from a Peak of 46% in 2018. Young received trust in the council was “abysmal”, as shown in a Residents’ survey last year,

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the council needs to act with humility and engage respectfully even with opponents of council decisions.  (File photo)

Monique Ford / Stuff

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons says the council needs to act with humility and engage respectfully even with opponents of council decisions. (File photo)

Fleur Fitzsimons said the figures were “a concerning wake-up call” and the council needed to “act with humility” when making changes.

“Wellingtonians are not impressed and we should listen,” she said.

Mayor Andy Foster said he did not expect an improvement on the 2020/21 figures for the current year, as the survey was done during the alert level red and in the middle of the Parliament occupation.

“If people were happy with the council at that time I would be surprised. If you can’t come into the city obviously that will affect the data, ”they said.

“We are investing enormously in Pōneke but it will take a while for life to come back to the city.”

Mayor Andy Foster doesn't expect an improvement on the 2020/21 figures for the current year, as the survey was done during the alert level red and in the middle of the Parliament occupation.

Jericho Rock-Archer

Mayor Andy Foster doesn’t expect an improvement on the 2020/21 figures for the current year, as the survey was done during the alert level red and in the middle of the Parliament occupation.

The perception that the city has a “strong and diverse” arts scene was also down, dropping from 90% in 2018 to 85.9%.

Young said the drop for arts could be attributed to Covid and it was “amazing that we managed to have an arts scene at all”. She thought some of her colleagues lacked advocacy for the arts.

Fitzsimons said the city “needs serious investment in core infrastructure including the arts sector to get back on its feet again”.

Although environmental indicators in general were showing positive movement, Perceptions of air and water pollution had both increased.

The city’s greenhouse emissions showed no trend – with just two figures recorded. In 2016 there were 5.7 tonnes of emissions and in 2019 5,045 tonnes.

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