Have your say

People's Panel

The People's Panel is a quick and easy way for Aucklanders to have their say on the council's plans, activities and services by taking part in short surveys.

We encourage anyone who is interested in the future of Auckland to join the People's Panel.


How does it work?

  • Aucklanders who have signed up will receive surveys by email.
  • We have approximately one survey a month, but you only need to complete those that interest you. 
  • Most surveys take less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • There are prizes to be won.
  • We keep personal details private and members are not identified in reports of survey results.
  • Key findings and reports (including how the results have been used) are shared on this page.
  • We'll keep you informed about other opportunities to give feedback to Auckland Council.
  • You may also be invited to take part in focus groups, workshops and online forums.


Join the People's Panel

If you would like to get involved and have your say, please sign up to our People's Panel.


People's Panel reports

People's Panel Survey - Annual Budget 2017/2018 consultation

Full report: Annual Budget 2017/2018 consultation - Report, May 2017 (PDF 361KB)

People’s Panel Survey – OurAuckland Design Trial

Full report: OurAuckland design trial results - Report, April 2017 (PDF 483KB)

People’s Panel Survey – Air Quality and Home Heating

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Air Quality and Home Heating - Report, June 2016 (PDF 948KB)

When: June 2016 Respondents: 4318

We want to ensure Auckland’s natural environment remains healthy, resilient and protected for current and future generations. This involves managing and controlling discharges of contaminants to the air and ensuring that the region's outdoor air is clean and healthy to breathe. In June 2016, we asked the panel about:

  • Their views on Auckland’s air quality, including how smoke might affect air quality
  • Home heating methods, including solid fuel burners and insulation, and Awareness of different financial assistance programmes available

Council’s Social Policy and Bylaws Team will use the findings from this survey (along with other research and information gathering activities) to shape the policies and rules that manage the city’s air quality. We are also using the results to track and improve Auckland's air quality over time.

Key findings summary:

Auckland's Natural Environment

  • Almost all panellists were concerned about ‘water pollution’, ‘loss of streams, wetlands, bush, and forests’, and ‘loss of native animals, and plants’.
  • Air pollution from traffic and industry was also a significant concern, as was waste disposal.

Auckland's Air Quality
  • Overall, panellists were positive about air quality in their neighbourhood.
  • Most said air quality was not often affected by smoke.

Home Heating
  • The most commonly used methods to heat the home were electric heaters, heat pumps, and wood burners.
  • Heat pumps are used by panellists to heat the main living area in their home as they are easy to use, efficient, and easy to control, while electric heaters are used as they are easy to use and control, and are portable.
  • While many did not have concerns about the heat pump they used, two fifths were concerned that it would not work in a power cut.
  • The main concerns for those using electric heaters included the cost to run them, and also not working in a power cut.

Solid Fuel Burners
  • A wood burner was the most popular solid fuel burning appliance used by panellists in their main living area.
  • Among those currently using a wood burner, open fire or multi-fuel burner, the main reasons given for using these methods were the enjoyment and ambience they created.
  • Most panellists currently using a solid fuel burner to heat the main living area in their home have no concerns with the method.
  • Most panellists said their solid fuel burner was no more than twenty five years old. Among those currently using a wood burner, most typically used natural cut wood, and almost all regularly used dry wood.
  • These panellists indicated their household fire is mostly or always clean burning.

Changed Heating Methods
  • Among those who have replaced the open fire at their home, over a third estimated it would have been more than thirty years old.
  • Among those no longer using a wood and/or coal burner, the main reason for switching was convenience.
  • Among those who have switched, over half noticed the alternative heating method was easier to run, while a little under half noticed they can have heating when they want it.
  • Most panellists indicated they were not considering changing to another type of home heating in the next few years or so.
  • Among those considering changing to another type of heating, over half would choose a heat pump, however, these people also felt the cost would be a barrier.
  • Among those considering changing to a wood burner or coal burner, most wanted to switch as these options would bring enjoyment and help create ambience, however, these people would consider an alternative if it was cheaper to run.

Insulation
  • Most panellists indicated they do not have HRV or DVS, or double glazing, while many said they have insulation above the ceilings that is fully installed and in good condition.
  • Many would not consider improving or adding insulation in the next few years despite not having any insulation at all, or having partially / fully installed insulation that is in poor condition.
  • Among those considering improving or adding insulation, most said the main reason was to improve warmth in the house.

Your Home and Financial Assistance
  • Among those whose homes or rental properties are over seventeen years old (that is, built before 2000), over half were not aware of any financial assistance programmes or subsidy packages that could be used to upgrade the heating or insulation.
  • When prompted, half of panellists whose homes or rental properties are over seventeen years old indicated they were aware of the Warm Up NZ programme, while over a quarter were aware of Retrofit Your Home programme, and a few were aware of a Mortgage Top Up programme.
  • Among those who tried to use these financial assistance programmes, two fifths said they did not qualify or meet the criteria.
  • Most of those who have used Warm Up NZ, Retrofit Your Home, or Mortgage Top Up were satisfied with their experience in acquiring the financial assistance.

Vehicle Exhaust Emissions
  • Many panellists said they, or those living in their household, had not been affected often by vehicle exhaust emissions.
  • For those who were affected to some degree, the main issues were the smell and the noise.

People’s Panel Survey – Housing and travel

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Housing and travel - Report, November 2016 (PDF 948KB)

When: December 2015 Respondents: 3285

This project involved collaboration with the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and Victoria University of Wellington to complete an independent study on housing preference in Auckland. The survey was designed to help understand how Aucklanders choose between different types of housing and neighbourhoods.

Key findings summary:

A gradual shift from the standalone houses toward townhouses and in some cases, apartments, was noted, reflecting previous research work.

"It’s notable that, when people face constrained choices, but take into account affordability, neighbourhood and travel, they don’t necessarily indicate a preference for standalone houses," says Associate Professor Ralph Chapman of Victoria University, who led the survey work.

Presented with various choices to consider, people from a range of backgrounds listed three housing and neighbourhood attributes as most important. First was ‘affordability’ (94 per cent), second, a warm and dry house (92 per cent) and third, a safe neighbourhood (88 per cent). A standalone home also ranked highly at 70 per cent.

On transport access, the option chosen most was location "very close" to the local town centre and CBD (five minute walk to town centre and five-15 minute drive or bus to CBD) and "fairly close" (10 minute walk to town centre and 15-30 minute drive or bus to CBD). A third of respondents preferred to drive for their daily commute while public transport and walking were each preferred by over a quarter of people. Cycling was the least preferred mode of transport (11 per cent).

Professor Chapman said it was interesting how many Aucklanders now prefer not to use a car for commuting. "This reflects the importance of easy access to public transport."

Common housing issues raised by respondents were given as "too small", expensive, cold/difficult to heat, and poor condition.


People’s Panel Survey – Census Test

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Census Test - Report, August 2016 (PDF 580KB)

When: August 2016

Auckland Council uses census data to help plan services, such as disaster preparation and transport infrastructure, through to libraries providing resources that meet the needs of their local communities. In July and August, the Auckland Council People’s Panel collaborated with Statistics New Zealand in running a test to help prepare for the 2018 Census. Information was required to see whether the new and changed questions they’ve developed are ready to be included in the next census.

Key findings summary:

People’s Panel members filled in test census forms and helped test new questions on topics such as housing quality and sexual orientation. Information was collected during the completion of the online forms, such as the length of time it took and any issues with different devices used.

Typically completing the individual, dwelling and household forms on mobile phones took around 30 seconds longer for each form than on a desktop or tablet.

Statistics New Zealand would like to thank everyone who participated in the test. Your support will help improve systems and processes in the lead up to the 2018 Census.


People’s Panel Survey – Dogs on beaches

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Dogs on beaches - Report, March 2016 (PDF 686KB)

When: March 2016 Respondents: 1701

Eight local boards reviewed their dog access rules in 2016, following on from another nine local boards that reviewed their rules in 2015. This year Great Barrier, Henderson-Massey, Howick, Otara-Papatoetoe, Papakura, Puketapapa, Whau and Maungakiekie-Tāmaki communities were asked when they go the beach, how busy beaches are, preferences around dog access rules, and about any concerns around having dogs on beaches.

Local boards use this feedback to understand whether their current rules are reasonable or whether they need some changes. Public consultation in those local board areas that decide to propose changes will begin in June 2016. Communities will have the chance to have their say before a final decision is made.

Key findings:

Activities at the beach:

  • Almost all panellists engage in summer activities at the beach (91%). Many begin their activities during the end of the year (24% in December, and 18% in November), while a quarter never stop these sorts of activities (23%).

Using the beach during summer:

  • Among those who are usually at the beach first thing or midmorning during summer weekends, most said it was not busy (78% and 61%). Between 5pm and 6pm, 35% said it was not busy, and 28% said it was busy. In the early evening or after 7pm, around half said it was not busy (45% and 53%).

Dog Access Rules in summer:

  • 36% thought summer rules for dog access to beaches / foreshores should begin with daylight saving, and 20% think they should start from first of December.
  • After 9am half of respondents wanted dogs to be on leash on the beach, while before 9am over half thought dogs off leash was acceptable (54%).
  • The top reason given for wanting the summer rules was that a lot of people like to walk their dogs at the beach (53%). 42% said dog owners were generally able to control their dogs, 41% said they were generally considerate of other beach users, and 39% said they generally picked up their dog’s poo. 39% mentioned a lot of people at the beach, and 32% mentioned birdlife and other wildlife in the area as a reason for their views on summer rules.
  • 52% said they do not know the current rules for dog access in the summer periods.

Using the beach during winter:

  • Among those who were usually at the beach first thing or midmorning during winter weekends, most said it was not busy (87% and 74%). Late afternoon or early evening during winter weekends, over two thirds of users said it was not busy (68% and 71%). After 7pm during winter weekends, 75% said it was not busy.

Dog Access Rules in winter:

  • 37% thought winter rules for dog access to beaches and foreshores should begin when daylight saving ends.
  • Similar to summer, close to half or more of beach users wanted off leash times before 9am and after 6pm in winter. On leash was still favoured on the beach the rest of the day in winter.
  • Again, the top reason for wanting the particular winter rules was that a lot of people like to walk their dogs at the beach (58%). 44% said that the beach was generally quiet, 41% said dog owners were generally able to control their dogs, 38% said they were generally considerate of other beach users, and 37% said they generally picked up their dog’s poo.
  • Similar to awareness of summer rules, 56% do not know the current rules for dog access in the winter periods.

General views and major concerns about dogs on beaches:

  • 50% claim they usually don’t mind if dogs come up to them when at a beach or park, while 29% said they don’t want dogs to come up to them. 20% said they like it when dogs come up to them, and 16% say they are nervous when they are approached by a dog.
  • 46% said they had not been concerned or upset at all by the behaviour of dogs at beaches or parks, 21% said they had rarely been concerned or upset, 20% said they had sometimes been, and 8% said they had been many times.
  • Among those who have been concerned or upset by the behaviour of dogs at beaches or parks, 63% said owners did not try to control their dogs and were unaware or unconcerned that their dog was causing a problem. Over half said owners did not clean up after their dogs (57%), were not able to control their dogs (56%), and/or ignored rules (52%).
  • When asked how they would define an under control dog, 66% defined this as the dog being obedient, under constant owner supervision, close by their owner’s side, and instantly responding to commands regardless of distractions. 40% mentioned a leash, and 20% said they should be calm, approachable, well socialised to people and other dogs, and know how to behave properly.

The beaches and foreshores assessed for dog access in this study range from sandy beaches to muddy foreshores. This report shows aggregated results and has been compiled for the purposes of reporting back to the People’s Panel. Local board areas are only mentioned if the results were significantly different from the overall usage and attitudes.


People’s Panel Survey – OurAuckland

Full report: People's Panel Survey – OurAuckland - Report, Jan 2016 (PDF 685KB)

When: July 2015 Respondents: 1502

OurAuckland is Auckland Council's main communication vehicle for council news, activities and events. OurAuckland is produced in two formats, online and a monthly magazine.

OurAuckland has recently undergone two major changes. In late 2015 the OurAuckland website was launched to make news more accessible and timely, and the print version of OurAuckland went from the A5 size to the larger A4 format to increase readability and letterbox cut through.

The purpose of the survey was to seek feedback on both the website and the A4 format change for OurAuckland.

Key findings:

Accessing news about Auckland:

  • Panellists were asked which channels they used to read about Auckland news and events. The local community newspaper (64%), news websites such as the NZ Herald online or Stuff.co.nz (50%), OurAuckland magazine (50%) and daily newspapers like the NZ Herald (48%) were most popular.
  • Many panellists selected the morning as when they accessed news and local events, with a third in early morning (32%) and a third throughout the morning (33%).

Sharing online content:

  • A third (34%) of panellists indicated that they share online content on social media or by email. This rose to 44% for those aged 35-54 years, and to 59% for those under 35. Older panellists were much less likely than those of other age groups to share content online, only 26% in the 55+ year age group saying they share content.
  • The most popular content to share was ‘interesting, relevant or humorous information’, comprising almost half (46%) of comments, followed by events (36%) then articles or news (27%).

OurAuckland magazine:

  • Similar proportions of panellists recalled receiving OurAuckland (45%) as had not received it (46%).
  • The majority (53%) of panellists rated the new, larger OurAuckland magazine as being appealing or very appealing. Open ended comments about the new larger A4 version of OurAuckland were mostly positive (53%), especially about it being easy to read with the larger font and feeling like a magazine.

New OurAuckland magazine:

  • Over half (53%) of those who had seen the OurAuckland website found it appealing, while 8% found it unappealing.
  • Three quarters (74%) of respondents found the website easy to navigate, while a tenth did not (10%). The main reason given for navigation problems was that the website was busy or cluttered.
  • The topics that respondents were most interested in seeing on the OurAuckland website were: plans about Auckland’s future (61%), events (59%), transport (50%), environment (48%) and local news (44%).
  • More than one quarter (28%) of respondents would use the OurAuckland website monthly. This compares to just under one fifth (18%) who would use it weekly, and 12% who would use the website on a fortnightly basis.
  • Respondents would like to read more news about their local area (59%), upcoming events and festivals (59%), council-run places for leisure and walks (50%) and how to have their say on decisions affecting their area and wider Auckland (50%).

Actions from the research:

    The results are shaping the design and content of the OurAuckland printed publication, and helping make content decisions around what is posted on the OurAuckland website.

    Through this research, we’ve identified an opportunity to tailor the content on the OurAuckland website to make it more relevant and interesting to those groups that are most likely to use the website.

    Many survey respondents enquired about the cost of the A4 magazine vs. the previous smaller size. We can confirm that there is very little difference and we can continue to support the cost of producing the OurAuckland printed publication within existing operational expenditure.

    This is due, in part, to the standard A4 version having 16 pages instead of the previous 24 page version. Changing the format has also allowed us to use a cheaper stapling technique.


People’s Panel Survey – Public Buildings

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Public Buildings - Report, July 2015 (PDF 570KB)

When: July 2015 Respondents: 4078

Auckland Council believes buildings and community facilities have an important role to play in establishing town centres and creating a sense of community.

The council wanted to hear from Aucklanders about whether they feel public buildings can make communities better. In particular, they are looking for feedback to help them decide what to include in new housing areas.

A diverse range of Aucklanders were asked their views about public buildings and town centres in local areas, living close to town centres, buying homes near public buildings, council buildings in town centres, and giving local areas a unique identity.

Key findings:

Public buildings in local areas:

  • Almost all panellists have a local park or reserve (96%), school or early childhood centre (94%), block of shops (92%), supermarket (89%), and/or library (87%) in their local area. Others said they have a sports club (75%), a community centre (75%), a gym (73%), a shopping mall (58%), cinemas or other entertainment venues (56%), a council recreation or aquatic centre (54%), and/or a council service centre (41%).
  • All panellists use supermarkets, with most using them often (92%). Almost all use their local block of shops, with 76% using them often, most use their local shopping mall, with 64% using them often, and most use their local park or reserve, with 63% using them often.

Town centres in local areas:

  • The majority of panellists would say their local area has a ‘town centre’ (78%).
  • While 27% felt there were no local buildings, amenities or facilities that were ‘iconic’ or define their local area, the most common that do include historic or heritage buildings (20%), village shops or town centres (17%), parks, reserves, or gardens (16%), or their local library (14%).

Living close to town centres:

  • When choosing a place to live long term, many said they would like to be close to a park and/or reserve (83%), a town centre (76%), and/or a library (68%).
  • On the other hand, 62% did not want to live close to a council service centre.
  • Most panellists feel a library (87%), local park or reserve (81%), and/or community centre (75%) should be located within a local town centre, and some think a council recreation or aquatic centre (46%), and/or council service centre (41%) should be.
  • Most panellists felt a block of shops (87%), and/or a supermarket (83%) were important non-council facilities in a town centre, and some believe schools and early childhood centres (65%), cinemas or other entertainment venues (57%), shopping malls (38%), sports clubs (37%), and gyms (36%) were important.

Buying a home near public buildings:

  • Slightly under half said they would be prepared to pay extra for a home close to council buildings and facilities (46%).
  • Among those who were prepared to pay more for a home which was close to council public buildings and facilities, 33% were only prepared to pay up to $10,000, and 47% were prepared to pay between $20,000 and $60,000.
  • Most panellists believed being close to a well-designed town centre (82%), or recreation areas (78%) increased property values.

Council buildings in town centres:

  • When asked which things were important for council buildings in town centres, many mentioned a high commitment to sustainability and low operating costs (72%). Others felt it was important to have buildings surrounded by gardens or green spaces with appropriate landscaping (66%), and/or by space that can be shared by the community for leisure and passive recreation (65%), and some felt it important to make the design of new council and public buildings reflect what is unique or special about the local community (49%), and/or make council buildings blend in with neighbouring buildings and become part of the town or shopping centre (44%).

Giving local areas a unique identity:

  • Panellists were asked which public amenities, buildings and facilities they thought gave local areas a unique identity compared to other areas in the region. Many felt local parks and reserves (79%), a library (61%), a local block of shops (53%), and a community centre (50%) gave areas a unique identity. Others felt schools, early childhood centres (38%), council recreation or aquatic centres (35%), cinemas or other entertainment venues (32%), shopping malls (27%), supermarkets (26%), and sports club (23%) did so.

The following report summarises the key results and comments identified in the survey:


People’s Panel Survey – Auckland’s Global Identity

Full report: People's Panel Survey – Auckland’s Global Identity - Report, July 2015 (PDF 680KB)

When: July 2015 Respondents: 4078

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) is Auckland's economic growth agency. It helps to promote Auckland to New Zealanders and the rest of the world, to encourage more visitors, businesses, investors, skilled migrants and international students to come to Auckland.

Auckland has embarked on an important review of its global identity and story by asking a diverse range of Aucklanders what makes their city unique. ATEED wish to articulate what makes Auckland unique on a global level, and express this in an inspiring and compelling way.

In particular they were looking for feedback on Auckland’s uniqueness overall, Auckland’s distinct identity, and the way Auckland is changing or will change in the next decade.

The following summarises the key results and comments identified in the survey.

Auckland’s uniqueness overall:

  • When panellists were asked which one word came to mind to describe Auckland, the most common included busy, congested or crowded (17%), diverse and multicultural (12%), alive, vibrant and energetic (10%) and sprawling (9%).
  • When all responses were presented in a word cloud, particular words to describe Auckland became even more prevalent. In particular, diverse, expensive, busy, home, vibrant, beautiful, and sprawling, stood out.
  • Around a third (31%) feel Auckland city’s diverse and multicultural population is unique compared to other places in New Zealand, while nearly a third (29%) feel the harbours, isthmus and Gulf Islands make Auckland unique.
  • Other aspects mentioned included the beaches (21%), the city’s size or population (14%), its close proximity to outdoor pursuits, regional parks, bush and green spaces (12%) and the volcanic cones (12%). However a few feel traffic congestion and traffic concerns make Auckland unique (9%).
  • One in five Aucklanders feel the city’s harbours and isthmus are unique compared to other cities overseas (20%). Other differentiating features included access to beaches and coastline (16%), being a small city, not too crowded (15%), the outdoor activities available, access to parks, reserves and bush (14%) and Auckland’s diversity, cosmopolitan, multicultural population (13%).

Auckland’s distinct identity

  • When panellists were asked how important they thought it was for cities to have a distinct identity, a majority said it was important (72%), with a third saying it was extremely important (35%).

A changing Auckland

  • Panellists were asked how they had seen Auckland change in the past decade. The most common responses included population growth and a change in the city’s cultural diversity (32%), increasing traffic and congestion and increasing transport concerns (27%), increased housing issues with increased house prices, infill housing and housing shortages (23%).
  • When asked how Auckland is likely to change in the next decade, around a quarter said the city was likely to get bigger, busier, more crowded, and over populated (23%), and around a fifth said the city would see better public transport and cycle lanes with less dependence on cars (19%).
  • Other changes predicted for the city included more high rises, apartments, and intensification (17%), increased cultural focus and diversity but also more cultural divide (16%), increased traffic and congestion (14%), more expensive housing, increased cost of living and continuing housing shortages (13%).

People’s Panel survey – Food grading

When: June 2015 Respondents: 5040

The government is introducing a new food act in March 2016. This food act does not include a food grading system and Auckland Council has been asked to advise on what a suitable grading system would be.

Therefore, the council was looking to capture Auckland resident's views on the current food grading system in Auckland, as well as alternative options.

In particular, they were looking for feedback to inform their suggestions on what a suitable grading system would be. They wished to understand experiences dining out and getting takeaways, and gauge opinions on how food grades are currently displayed for customers, and on some alternative food grading systems that could be used.

The results of the public survey provides valuable information that will assist in the development of the new food grading scheme. The grading scheme will, as far as possible, reflect the views of ordinary Aucklanders.

For instance preliminary survey results confirms the huge public support for the continuance of the letter based grading scheme and also reveals strong support for the mandatory display of a grading certificate at the main entrance to a food outlet. As a result, both these aspects are being strongly considered for inclusion in the new grading scheme which will come into effect on 1 March 2016.

The following summarises the key results identified in the survey

Food places in Auckland:

  • Many panellists said they had eaten from a café (75 per cent), small local takeaway place (68 per cent), restaurant (65 per cent), bakery (56 per cent), large takeway chain (47 per cent), food court (38 per cent), and/or bar (24 per cent) in the last month.
  • 5 per cent dine out or purchase food places in Auckland everyday, 27 per cent do so every two or three days, and 39 per cent weekly.
  • While most panellists (71 per cent) had not seen or experienced any of the poor food hygiene situations mentioned, 12 per cent had seen bad hygiene practices from an employee, and/or had seen a food place that looked very unclean.
  • Among thoes who had a bad food experience, 57 per cent decided not to dine or purchase from the place at the time. 22 per cent reported the matter to the owner or a staff member.
  • 17 per cent of thoes who had a bad food experience said they witnesseed poor practice from staff, and 13 per cent said the premises were poorly maintained, dirty or smelly.

The current food grading system:

  • 78 per cent were aware of all, or most of the way the food grading system works in Auckland.
  • 96 per cent were aware of the food grading certificates displayed in food outlets.
  • 93 per cent were aware that all food places need to clearly display their food grading certificate at all times
  • 84 per cent knew what the A-E grades on food grading certificates mean
  • Among those who know what the A-E grades mean, nearly half saw it explained in the media (46 per cent), and over a third (36 per cent) said they saw the grades on the certificate and worked it out themselves.
  • To improve public understanding of the food grading system, 64 per cent said there should be an online search function that allows you to look up the food safety grade of a food place, 45 per cent said there should be a media release sent out on the worst food places to eat, while others felt there should be more information on food grade certificates, at food places, via a mobile phone app and/or available on the Auckland Council website.

Using food grading certificates:

  • 82 per cent thought the current food grading system was useful for customers, with 57 per cent saying it was very useful.
  • To improve the current food grading system, 18 per cent said the certificates needed to be placed in more prominent positions, suggesting a compulsory, standardised location, 18 per cent said they needed more information on the system, 13 per cent said there needed to be more information on the certificates, and 10 per cent said that the current system was good, and that it should be kept simple.
  • 57 per cent said they always or often look for a food grade certificate when deciding to visit a food place, and around a fifth 21 per cent said they sometimes checked.
  • 97 per cent would dine or purchase from a food place with an A grade food safety rating, and 46 per cent would from one with a B grade, but 92 per cent would not dine from one with an E grade.
  • 61 per cent might dine or purchase from a food business that was not displaying their food grade certificate.
  • 17 per cent said they tended to make their own judgements about food places, based on experience, the situation, and whether it looks clean, and don't solely rely on the grading, 12 per cent said they look or ask for the food grade certificate, and 11 per cent said it needed to be displayed in a standard location where it could be easily seen.

Changes to the food grade certificate system:

  • 96 per cent believe a food grade certificate system should continue to operate, and 90 per cent strongly agree that all food places should clearly display their certificate.
  • 33 per cent said a pass-fail system needed to be implemented, 18 per cent mentioned regulation and monitoring, and 13 per cent mentioned industry certification and government direction.

Alternative food grade certificate options:

  • The current letter grade option was the most popular, with 69 per cent saying they preferred it to the other options. 19 per cent preferred the phrases option, 18 per cent the number grade option, and 17 per cent the star rating option.
  • 96 per cent thought the date the grade was issued should be displayed on the certificate, and most also said the certificate should contain information about the business, the name of the owner/ operator, how often the business will be inspected, and where the grade sits within the range.
  • 15 per cent said the alternative food grade certificate options must be simple, clear, and not cluttered with extra information, and 14 per cent said that the current certificate was good, less confusing, and that there was no need to change.

Full report: People's Panel Survey - Food grading - Report, June 2015 (PDF 818KB)


People’s Panel survey – Risk perception to volcanic hazards

When: March 2015 Respondents: Auckland region

The city of Auckland (with a population of 1.4 million people) is built on a volcanic field made up of more than 50 eruptions from different vents. The most recent eruption at Auckland Volcanic Field occured approximately 600 years ago (e.g., Needham et al., 2011). Auckland is also at risk from ash fall from eruptions at large central North Island volcanoes.

In March 2015, a People's Panel survey was conducted in the Auckland region to help understand:

  • The volcanic risk perception of Aucklanders
  • How prepared Aucklanders are for coping during a volcanic event
  • Their intended behaviour before a volcanic event and
  • Their intended behaviour in the event of volcanic activity.

Auckland Council sought responses from residents across the community with a range of viewpoints and experiences.

How results will be used

Auckland Council's Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) department, together with GNS Science, University of Auckland and University of Canterbury reseachers, have analysed volcanic risk perceptions and evacuation preparedness in Auckland from the data collected in this survey.

The results will be used to improve public education and information campaigns, and to refine response plans and procedures.

The following summarises the key results identified in the survey

Volcanic risk perception and information seeking:

  • 76.8 per cent of panellists know there is a risk of future volcanic activity but are not confident that they konw what to do in the event of an eruption.
  • 87.1 per cent of panellists know of the eruption risk.
  • 15 per cent of panellists have sought information on the risk of volcanic eruptions in Auckland and 84.1 per cent have not. Of those that have, 55.4 per cent of panellists have sought information online, while 29.8 per cent used books, journals, magazines, TV, radio or newspaper. The rest used smartphone apps or contacted specific agencies. A wide range of other sources were also used, e.g., work, school, lectures, movies, museum.
  • Only 5.1 per cent reported correctly the size of the Auckland Volcanic Field while 44.7 per cent reported correctly the approximate date of the last eruption. Only 0.9 per cent know that the next volcanic eruption could occur at any time, and 14.5 per cent know that the size of the next eruption may devastate an area 6 km from the centre of the eruption.
  • The majority of panellists expect an official warning time of 2-3 days or less leading up to a volcanic eruption, with the majority stating that they would need less than one day's warning.
  • 89.2 per cent of panellists report having a good understanding of disasters that could occur in Auckland and of the effects of the disasters.
  • The great majority of panellists consider that more information and advice should be provided by authorities to communities with only 1.3 per cent reporting that they consider themselves to be well prepared.

Volcanic event preparedness:

  • 2.9 per cent of panellists consider themselves to be very prepared for a volcanic eruption.
  • 72.6 per cent are partially prepared and 23.4 per cent said they are not prepared at all.
  • 62.5 per cent of panellists reported having the necessary items to survive a disaster.

Intended behaviour before a volcanic event:

  • Participants report that they would expect to have the following provided by authorities - information on how to respond, volcanic risk, eruption timings, alternative accommodation, evacuation transport and financial assistance.

Intended behaviour during a volcanic event: (eruption scenario given)

  • If an eruption was imminent the majority of panellists stated that they would get prepared and keep informed. Many would check on others and/or evacuate, while 5.1 per cent wouldn't do anything immediately.
  • If told to evacuate, 5.4 per cent of panellists stated that they would stay put at least temporarily. Factors affecting people's ability to evacuate included caring for pets/animals, finding available accommodation, dislocation from friends and family, disability, job/study, lack of availability of transport, lack of finances, and home security would affect people's ability to evacuate.
  • 62.7 per cent of panellists would take one car from their household when evacuating and 33.7 per cent would take more than one car, with others leaving by boat, by bicycle or motorbike. 4.2 per cent are reliant on public transport.

Disruption to life during a volcanic event:

Many of the panellists found the following actions as being potentially disruptive to their lives:

  • Evacuation to outside of the region – 95.1 per cent
  • Evacuation within the region – 94.5 per cent
  • Able to stay at home with power and water affected – 97.1 per cent
  • Able to stay at home but roads and public buildings affected – 94.7 per cent
  • Workplace or place of education affected – 70.1 per cent

Full report: People's Panel Survey - Risk perception to volcanic hazards - Report, March 2015 (PDF 1.35MB)


People’s Panel survey – Cemeteries

When: May 2015 Respondents: 4,318

Auckland Council manages 30 operational cemeteries across Auckland. It is important that these cemeteries remain relevant to the needs of our community.

We wanted to know what was important to Aucklander's when they chose a cemetery or cemetery service. We also asked about the appeal of services or facilities that are not currently offered at our cemeteries.

Findings will be used when planning the development of new areas within our existing cemeteries including Waikumete Cemetery and North Shore Memorial Park.

A summary of key findings is below:

Visiting large council cemeteries:

  • Most panellists had not visited any of the large council cemeteries (62 per cent). Only 16 per cent had visited Waikumete Cemetery, 11 per cent North Shore Memorial Park, and 10 per cent Manukau Memorial Gardens.
  • Among those who had visited a large council cemetery, nearly half 44 per cent had only visited once.
  • Among thoes who had visited a large council cemetery, close to half went to visit a grave or graves (46 per cent) and around a third went to a funeral for a friend, acquaintance or work colleague (37 per cent).

Large council cemetery grounds, staff, and records:

  • In general, among those who had visited a large council cemetery, most were satisfied with all aspects of the cemetery grounds and satisfied with their experience overall (81 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked if they had any suggestions for improving the cemetery grounds for visitors. A fifth mentioned better signage, directions and maps (21 per cent), and a fifth mentioned general maintenance, saying that areas were run down - particularly older areas (21 per cent).
  • While most panellists did not have contact with any staff (80 per cent), a few had contact with the office team (12 per cent) and the cemetery team (6 per cent).
  • Among those who did have contact with staff, more than half were very satisfied with the office team (60 per cent), ground staff (60 per cent) and cemetery team (55 per cent).
  • Among those who visited a large council cemetery to do a genealogy search or to find cemetery records, around two thirds enquired online through their website (64 per cent).
  • Among thoes who visited a large council cemetery to do a genealogy search or to find cemetery records, most were satisfied with the access they had to the records (75 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked if they had any other comments or suggestions to make about the cemetery. Some mentioned general maintenance, saying that areas were run down - particularly older areas (13 per cent) and a few said it was well maintained and to keep up the good work (12 per cent).

Visiting smaller council cemeteries:

  • A fifth (22 per cent) had visited a smaller cemetery in the last twelve months.
  • Among those who had visited a smaller council cemetery recently, Purewa (14 per cent) and Mangere Lawn Cemetery (11 per cent) were most commonly visited.
  • Panellists were asked if they had any comments or suggestions to make about the smaller cemetery they visited most recently and there were mixed responses. A quarter said the cemetery they visited was poorly maintained or neglected and staff were causing damage when mowing (26 per cent), whereas another quarter said that the cemetery they visited was well maintained and presented (25 per cent).

Family traditions and Family-led funerals:

  • When panellists were asked if their family have any traditions they follow when a loved one dies, a fifth said they visited the grave and tidied the site (20 oer cent) and a few said they had remembrance days (13 per cent).
  • Many panellists have had at least a little experience planning or helping to plan a funeral (70 per cent), with a few having had a lot of experience (7 per cent). Just under a third have had no experience planning or helping to plan a funeral (30 per cent).
  • When panellists were asked where they would go for information if they needed to organise a funeral, many said they would go to a funeral parlour (80 per cent). Nearly half said they would go to family and friends (46 per cent) and around a quarter said they would go to a cemetery or crematorium (24 per cent).
  • Many panellists said they would prefer to access funeral information in person (70 per cent) and half would prefer to access it online on websites (49 per cent). Over a third would rather speak to someone over the phone (37 per cent) and just under a third would rather use brochures and information packs (30 per cent).
  • Close to half of the panellists (49 per cent) expected a funeral to cost in the mid-ranges between $5000 and $9999.
  • Approximately half of panellists wanted funerals for loved ones to be customised (52 per cent). Māori panellists were more likely than other ethnicities to prefer a customised funeral for their loved ones (71 per cent).
  • Almost half of panellists would be interested in using the bereavement care team’s service for a funeral (49 per cent).

Cremation and burials:

  • Majority of panellists have thought about whether they want to be cremated or buried and have also shared their thoughts with others (75 per cent). A fifth have thought about it but have not shared their thoughts with others (17 per cent).
  • Most panellists would prefer to be cremated (66 per cent) and only a few prefer burial (16 per cent). European panellists were more likely to prefer cremation (69 per cent) whereas those in the Māori (34 per cent) and Pacific (36 per cent) ethnic groups were more likely to prefer to be buried.
  • Among those who would prefer to be cremated, the majority would like their ashes to be scattered somewhere that is significant to them (65 per cent).
  • Among those who would prefer to be buried, 15 per cent would like to be buried in another cemetery in Auckland, 13 per cent in Waikumete cemetery and crematorium, 11 per cent in North Shore memorial park and 10% in another place.
  • The main reasons why panellists have selected those locations is because they already have family members buried there (44 per cent), because it is close to their family so they can visit easily (31 per cent) or it is the place where they were born or have lived for some time (23 per cent).
  • Of those who said they would prefer to be buried rather than cremated, the majority would prefer burial in a natural space site within a cemetery (41 per cent) followed by burial in a cemetery outside of town (28 per cent).

Permanent memorials / markers

  • Panellists were more likely to want a permanent memorial or marker for their loved ones (59 per cent) than for themselves (47 per cent).
  • A plaque was the top memorial option panellists would like for themselves (47 per cent) as well as for their loved ones (45 per cent).
  • Among those who would like a memorial or permanent marker, approximately half would like to keep the headstone and grave site simple overall for their loved ones (54 per cent) as well as themselves (49 per cent).
  • Among those who would like a memorial or permanent marker, most would like to keep the decorations around the grave simple overall for their loved ones (63 per cent) as well as themselves (71 per cent). On the other hand, Pacific panellists were more likely than other ethnicities to want decorations around the grave to be elaborate overall for their loved ones and themselves.

Concept for loved ones:

  • Close to half of panellists would find communal memorial walls appealing overall for their loved ones (45 per cent) as well as themselves (45 per cent).
  • Close to two thirds of panellists would find garden memorials appealing overall for their loved ones (62 per cent) as well as themselves (62 per cent). Female panellists were more likely than male panellists to find garden memorials appealing overall for their loved ones (64 per cent) as well as themselves (66 per cent).
  • Close to half of panellists found the natural spaces in cemeteries appealing overall for both their loved ones (46 per cent) as well as themselves (46 per cent).
  • Approximately half of panellists found the ash planters in a cemetery or at home appealing overall for their loved ones (51 per cent) as well as themselves (48 per cent). Panellists that preferred to be cremated were more likely to find ash planters in a cemetery or at home appealing for both themselves and their loved ones.
  • Panellists were asked if they had any other comments or suggestions to make about the above concepts for loved one. A fifth were generally positive, commenting on the overall appeal of all concepts (20 per cent). A few mentioned how the concepts took the environment and natural spaces into consideration (10 per cent) and others talked about their preference for cremation (10 per cent).

Spaces for memorials and rememberance:

  • Most panellists would like to have a place in the cemetery to reflect and be together with others (42 per cent) while close to a third had no particular preference (30 per cent).
  • There were mixed responses with close to a third of panellists wanting to have children’s memorial in cemeteries (32 per cent) followed by 30 per cent of panellists who did not want to have children’s memorial in cemeteries.
  • Slightly less than half of panellists (46 per cent) did not want a separate part of the cemetery set aside for the cremated remains and/or memorialisation of pets. Male panellists were less likely than female panellists to want a separate part of the cemetery set aside for the cremated remains and/or memorialisation of pets.
  • Panellists were asked if they had any other comments or suggestions to make about the concepts for different spaces in the cemeteries. A fifth said the pet’s memorial was inappropriate or offensive (20 per cent). Nearly a fifth felt it would be inappropriate to have children’s playgrounds or the noise of children in cemeteries (19 per cent).

Support for cemetery uses:

  • There was support for cemetery spaces being used for celebrating significant life events with close to a third very supportive of this idea (32 per cent).
  • There was relatively high interest and support for cemeteries as areas of passive recreation. Many were very supportive of this idea (41 per cent) and close to a third very interested in this idea (32 per cent).
  • There was strong interest and support for cemeteries as places of learning with close to half very supportive of this idea (48 per cent) and a third very interested in this idea (35 per cent).
  • There was strong opposition for cemeteries as places for entertainment with close to half of panellists not supportive at all (44 per cent) and not at all interested in this idea (49 per cent).
  • Many emphasised that cemeteries are peaceful places of reflection and must be respected, followed by those who stated it would be inappropriate to hold events and concerts for entertainment purposes in a place of mourning.

Concepts: eco-burial, low-cost funeral and living headstones:

  • Approximately half of panellists were aware of the eco-burial concept (48 per cent).
  • There were mixed responses around the eco-burial concept with close to a quarter interested for themselves or loved ones (26 per cent) but a third were not interested in this idea (33 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked what interests them about eco-burial and more than a third highlighted the benefits around eco-friendliness and sustainability (38 per cent) followed by those who liked that it was a natural process (24 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked why eco-burial does not interest them and over a third claimed they personally preferred cremation or simply did not want to be buried (36 per cent). A fifth were not interested because they preferred to have a permanent marker or headstone (19 per cent) followed by those who did not believe eco-burial was traditional enough and almost seemed impersonal (14 per cent).
  • Close to half of panellists were not aware of the low cost burial concept (46 per cent). Over a third of panellists were interested in low cost funeral concept for themselves or their loved ones (39 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked which aspect of the low cost funeral concept interested them. Approximately half of the panellists highlighted the benefits of affordability and saving money on funerals (51 per cent) followed by those who believed it is more environmentally friendly (21 per cent) and liked the option of having a simple box or casket (21 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked which aspect of the low cost funeral concept did not interest them. A third of panellists disliked the body being kept in their home (33 per cent) followed by those who felt it was inappropriate to hold funeral services at home (14 per cent) and that the low cost funeral concept seemed too cheap (13 per cent).
  • Majority of panellists (92 per cent) were not aware of the living headstone concept. Over a third of the panellists were not interested in the living headstones concept for themselves or their loved ones (39 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked which aspect of the living headstones concept interested them. Over a third 38 per cent of panellists liked that it provides history and genealogical information about their ancestors (38 per cent) followed by those who felt it allowed ordinary individuals to carry on their legacy (22 per cent).
  • Panellists were asked which aspect of the living headstones concept does not interest them. Close to a quarter of panellists had concerns regarding privacy issues and security (24 per cent) followed by those who did not like the fact that complete strangers could access information about a deceased loved one (23 per cent).

Offering services and facilities:

  • Close to half of panellists would like cemeteries to offer movable shelters to protect visitors from the weather (44 per cent) followed by movable chairs (33 per cent) and a café overlooking a place of remembrance (30 per cent).

Full report: People's Panel Survey - Cemeteries, May 2015 (PDF 1.02MB)


People’s Panel survey – Dogs on beaches

When: March 2015 Respondents: 3,390

9 local boards are reviewing their dog access rules in 2015. To help inform their decision making they wanted to ask members of their communities when they go to the beach, how busy beaches are, preferences around dog access rules, and about any concerns around having dogs on beaches. This feedback will help the local boards understand whether their current rules are reasonable or whether they need some changes. If the local boards do decide to propose changes as a result of survey findings (and other informal feedback) this will be publically consulted on in July 2015. At this time the community will have the chance to have their say before a final decision is made.

A summary of key findings is below:

Activities at the beach:

  • Most respondents began their summer activities at the beach at the end of the year (18% in November and 28% in December). They tended to stop their summer activities in March (19%) and April (27%). A quarter said they never stop these sorts of activities (25%).
  • Those living in Waitakere local board were more likely to continually engage in summer activities at the beach (32%), while those living in Waitemata local board were less likely to (16%).

General attitudes towards dogs and dogs on beaches:

  • Just over half (51%) said they don’t usually mind it if dogs come up to them when they are at a beach, followed by those who like it when dogs come up to them (30%).
  • 52% said they had not been concerned or upset by dog behaviour at beaches in the last two years (52%).
  • Those in Devonport-Takapuna were more likely to say they have been concerned or upset many times (13%, compared to a total of 10%).
  • Those in Waitakere were more likely to say they have been concerned or upset on rare occasions (24%, compared with a total of 19%).
  • We asked those who said they were concerned or upset by the behaviour of dogs why this was.

    The top four reasons were:

  • Owners did not try to control their dogs e.g. the owner was unaware or unconcerned that their dog was causing a problem (65%)
  • Owners did not clean up after dog(s) or allowed dog(s) to urinate on sand castles (58%)
  • Owners ignored rules e.g. had dog with them when dogs prohibited, or off-leash when supposed to be on a leash (58%); and
  • Owners were not able to control their dogs e.g. dogs ignored calls to come to owner (56%).

Using the beach during summer:

  • 29% felt summer rules for dog access to beaches should begin when daylight savings starts (the last Sunday in September), while 25% said this should happen from the 1st of December.
  • During the summer weekdays, many respondents were usually at the beach between 5pm and 7pm (36%).
  • During weekends and summer holidays, many respondents were usually at the beach in the middle of the day between 10am and 5pm (between 48% and 55%).
  • Those in Devonport-Takapuna were more likely to be at the beach before 9am (34%) or between 9am and 10am (31%).
  • Those living in Albert-Eden local board were more likely to be at the beach between 6pm and 7pm (45%), and after 7pm (25%).
  • Respondents indicated that during summer weekends, the beach was not busy at all before 9am (42%), a little busy between 9am and 10am (34%), somewhat busy between 5pm and 7pm (between 28% and 31%), and a little busy after 7pm (31%).

Dogs access to the beach used most often in summer:

  • We asked respondents what dog access rules they thought should apply to the beach that they used most often in summer.
  • The majority thought dogs should be allowed off-leash in the mornings before 9am (70%), and late in the evenings after 7pm (69%).
  • Some believed dogs on-leash should be given access to the beach between 10am and 5pm (44%) and others thought dogs should be prohibited (42%).
  • There were different opinions around dog access rules in summer between 5pm and 6pm. Some believed only dogs on-leash should be given access to the beach (36%), others thought dogs should be allowed off the leash (36%) and the remainder thought dogs should be prohibited (29%).
  • When asked what the current dog access rules were for the beach used most often in summer, 31% were unsure.
  • We asked respondents what dog access rules they thought should apply to the beach that they used most often in summer.
  • The majority thought dogs should be allowed off-leash in the mornings before 9am (70%), and late in the evenings after 7pm (69%).
  • Some believed dogs on-leash should be given access to the beach between 10am and 5pm (44%) and others thought dogs should be prohibited (42%).
  • There were different opinions around dog access rules in summer between 5pm and 6pm. Some believed only dogs on-leash should be given access to the beach (36%), others thought dogs should be allowed off the leash (36%) and the remainder thought dogs should be prohibited (29%).
  • When asked what the current dog access rules were for the beach used most often in summer, 31% were unsure.

Using the beach during winter

  • 29% felt summer rules for dog access to beaches should begin when daylight savings starts (the last Sunday in September), while 25% said this should happen from the 1st of December.
  • During the summer weekdays, many respondents were usually at the beach between 5pm and 7pm (36%).
  • During weekends and summer holidays, many respondents were usually at the beach in the middle of the day between 10am and 5pm (between 48% and 55%).
  • Those in Devonport-Takapuna were more likely to be at the beach before 9am (34%) or between 9am and 10am (31%).
  • Those living in Albert-Eden local board were more likely to be at the beach between 6pm and 7pm (45%), and after 7pm (25%).
  • Respondents indicated that during summer weekends, the beach was not busy at all before 9am (42%), a little busy between 9am and 10am (34%), somewhat busy between 5pm and 7pm (between 28% and 31%), and a little busy after 7pm (31%).

Using the beach during winter:

  • 29% felt winter rules for dog access to beaches should begin when daylight savings ends (the first Sunday of April), 25% said from the 1st of March, and 16% from the 1st of May.
  • The middle of the day between 10am and 5pm was the most popular time for using the beach during winter weekdays (38%), weekends (59%) and holidays (52%)
  • A majority said the beach was not at all busy during winter weekends before 9am (64%), between 9am and 10am (50%), between 6pm and 7pm (54%), and after 7pm (67%).

Dog access to the beach used most often in winter:

  • We asked respondents what dog access rules they thought should apply to the beach that they used most often in winter.
  • A majority believed dogs off-leash should be given access to the beach in winter before 9am (75%), between 9am and 10am (63%), between 5pm and 6pm (59%), between 6pm and 7pm (67%) and after 7pm (73%).
  • The top five reasons for selecting those winter rules were:

  • People like to walk their dogs there (65%)
  • The beach is generally quiet (59%)
  • Dog owners at the beach are generally able to control their dogs (55%)
  • Dog owners are generally considerate of other beach users (53%), and
  • The dog owners at the beach generally pick up their dog’s poo (52%).
  • When asked what the current dog access rules were for the beach they used most often in winter, a third were unsure (33%).

Full report: People's Panel Survey - Dogs on beaches, May 2015 (PDF 572KB)


People's Panel survey - fishing, freedom camping, filming in public places, and private property maintenance

When: February 2015 Respondents: 4,185

Shore based fishing:

  • 94 per cent of panellists had visited an Auckland beach in the last year, and 11 per cent of visitors had fished from the shore.
  • 59 per cent of those who fished from the shore used surf casting techniques, 52 per cent used rock casting techniques, 10 per cent used set nets, and 9 per cent used long lines.
  • 89 per cent of all visitors to Auckland’s beaches had not been personally affected or inconvenienced by shore based fishing, while 9 per cent had:
  • Of those who had the most common complaints were lines and rods restricting access or recreation activities (40 per cent), and fish remains, bait or shells being left on the shore (23 per cent)

Freedom camping:

  • Only 4 per cent of panellists had freedom camped in the Auckland Region in the past two years, while 45 per cent had seen others freedom camping. Of those who saw freedom camping:
  • 57 per cent saw it in an area where it was not permitted, 40 per cent saw them in an area where it was permitted.
  • 55 per cent did not see the freedom campers causing any problems, while some did notice littering (30 per cent), saw large amounts of public space/ parking made unavailable (20 per cent), or saw unsanitary practices (17 per cent).
  • 46 per cent of panellists were supportive of freedom camping being allowed in some areas of Auckland, and 26 per cent were not supportive.
  • 68 per cent of panellists thought freedom camping should only be allowed in areas that had adequate facilities like toilets and litter bins, 33 per cent in areas far away from residential properties, and 26 per cent in areas far away from official camping grounds, and/or protected parks, reserves, and ecological sites.

Private property maintenance:

  • Over the past year, 34 per cent of panellists had experienced significantly overgrown properties in their local area, 30 per cent experienced rats and/or mice, 22 per cent someone feeding wild birds on or near their property, 21 per cent someone hoarding / storing things in or on their property.
  • 40 per cent believed that council should intervene in private property maintenance complaints anytime potential health and safety issues or annoyance is caused. 15 per cent believed council should only get involved when there are health and safety problems.
  • When asked if there were any other comments about private property maintenance, 26 per cent of those who chose to answer mentioned that there should be stricter regulations, fines, and immediate action, 21 per cent said action should only be taken if health and safety was a concern, 19 per cent said the council needs to take more action, and 18 per cent said owners should be contacted, encouraged, and helped.

Filming and photography in public places:

  • 57 per cent of panellists had seen professionals or students filming in public places in Auckland, 36 per cent had seen them taking still photographs
  • 85 per cent of those that saw filming said that they were not inconvenienced by the filming, while 7 per cent said they were.
  • Of those who saw still photography, 94 per cent were not inconvenienced by the still photography they saw, while 2 per cent were.
  • When asked if they had any other comments to make about filming or still photography in public spaces, 31 per cent of those who chose to answer said the use of public places was not a problem as long as it considered others and did not impact their health, safety, and access, and 29 per cent said that it was not an issue.

Other comments:

  • When asked if they had any other comments about the survey or use of public spaces, 18 per cent of those who chose to answer mentioned balancing the use of shared public spaces with access for all, 12 per cent said rules and fines needed to be monitored and enforced, and 11 per cent said council shouldn’t over regulate.

Full report: Use of Public Spaces People's Panel Report, February 2015 (PDF 714KB)


People’s Panel survey – Auckland Zoo, Events, Perceptions and Funding survey

When: December 2014 -January 2015 Respondents: 3,719

Auckland Zoo aims to inspire Aucklanders to value, understand, and take action for wildlife. We asked about usage of, and satisfaction with, current zoo events and programmes, and about the type of events and programmes Aucklanders would like to see in the future. We also asked about the role of the zoo and about zoo finances. The findings from this survey will be used to update the zoo’s public programmes and events strategy for the next five years, and to shape their communication and advocacy work. Feedback on boosting the zoo’s revenue will help inform their business planning into the future.

Zoo's role in society:

  • 90 per cent of panellists believe zoos help to educate the public, 75 per cent believe they help to protect animals from extinction, 74 per cent believe they provide fun, family-friendly entertainment, and 69 per cent believe they provide a valuable experience for visitors.
  • When asked about the role zoos play in our society, 19 per cent said their role was to provide information about animal conservation and raise awareness, 18 per cent said it was to offer the opportunity to see a variety of animals, and 17 per cent said zoos were imperative for learning, especially with children.
  • 77 per cent believe the zoo is knowledgeable about New Zealand’s environmental and wildlife issues, and 81 per cent would trust the zoo to be a voice on wildlife and conservation issues.

Auckland Zoo activities:

  • When asked what they knew about the wildlife work that Auckland Zoo supports and is involved with, 33 per cent of panellists mentioned breeding programmes, genetic pools, and animal sharing, 21 per cent mentioned general conservation, and 20 per cent mentioned the kiwi and related breeding and recovery.
  • 91 per cent believe the Zoo should be active in delivering education programmes for school children, 86 per cent in using signage and talks within the zoo to provide information to visitors on conservation actions, and 71 per cent in influencing key decision-makers on New Zealand's environmental and wildlife issues.

Zoo funding:

  • 67 per cent thought Auckland Council was the largest or second largest source of zoo funding, and 64 per cent thought ticket sales and admissions was the largest or second largest. In reality ticket sales are the largest source of funding (at 57 per cent of revenue) with council providing 20 per cent of funding (financial year 2013-2014).
  • 76 per cent would support the zoo exploring growing corporate sponsorship, 68 per cent commercial activities, 56 per cent fundraising, 34 per cent increasing advertising within the zoo, and 30 per cent raising the cost of experiences, to increase revenue.

Full report: Auckland Council Zoo survey, January 2015 (PDF 872KB)

People’s Panel survey – CCTV and Public Safety Report

When: September-October 2014 Respondents: 3,549

Existing CCTV systems in public space:

  • Many panellists thought existing CCTV systems were useful, particularly for monitoring traffic conditions (81 per cent) and providing evidence for prosecution (76 per cent).
  • 19 per cent of panellists said the presence of CCTV systems made them feel safer using public spaces all of the time, and 39 per cent said they made them feel safer most of the time. Reasons for this include, having a safer community in general (40 per cent), the belief that CCTV should act as a deterrent (32 per cent), and that it was a valuable prosecution tool (17 per cent).
  • 27 per cent of panellists the presence of CCTV systems did not make them feel safer at all. Reasons for this include the belief that CCTV systems would not prevent crime or deter criminals (49 per cent), however 16 per cent still said it could be a valuable prosecution tool.

Increasing the presence of CCTV systems in public spaces:

  • 65 per cent of panellists said they would not be concerned if the number of CCTV cameras in public places increased over time, with 48 per cent not being concerned at all. 20 per cent were concerned about an increase.
  • Those who were not concerned about an increase mentioned being generally positive about CCTV (53 per cent), that they were law abiding (20 per cent), and said that CCTV would act as a deterrent (19 per cent).
  • Those who were concerned about an increase in CCTV systems said that CCTV systems were intrusive and an invasion of privacy (58 per cent), 28 per cent had concerns regarding confidentiality, and 16 per cent felt there was no need for over surveillance.

CCTV controls / measures:

  • Only 17 per cent of panellists said they felt informed about the use of CCTV cameras in Auckland’s public spaces. 60 per cent felt uninformed, with 32 per cent saying they did not feel informed at all.
  • When asked what controls or measures should be placed on CCTV systems, 32 per cent of panellists wanted to see more monitoring and transparency, while 18 per cent had general concerns regarding confidentiality, what was being monitored, and content use.

Draft Strategic Action Plan proposed outcomes:

  • Panellists were informed of the CCTV outcomes that the draft strategic action plan aimed to deliver. In general there was a good level of support for the proposed outcomes, in particular ensuring all CCTV systems operate in a legal, accountable and transparent manner (90 per cent support), are well maintained, audited and assessed to ensure they achieve their purpose (85 per cent), and are well designed to address specific local situations (86 per cent).
  • 68 per cent felt that if the proposed outcomes were achieved there would be a higher level of public safety. 12 per cent felt that achieving the outcomes wouldn’t lead to a higher level of public safety.

Auckland Council’s Roles:

  • The majority of panellists agreed that Auckland Council should play the role of regulator (71 per cent agree, 14 per cent disagree), advisor (72 per cent agree, 11 per cent disagree), and owner operator or user (71 per cent agree, 11 per cent disagree). Agreement was much lower for council having a role as a funder or enabler of privately owned systems (27 per cent agree, 45 per cent disagree).

These findings will be grouped with other feedback we’ve received during consultation with stakeholders to inform the development of the final CCTV Strategic Action Plan. Proposed focus areas of the draft strategic action plan include the aim to improve CCTV’s public accountability and measure the impact and return on investment.

This survey is the first time Auckland council and its project partners have sought to measure people’s perceptions about the use of CCTV in Auckland and it will provide a baseline to measure ongoing public perception of CCTV and its use for Auckland as ways to meet these goals.

 

Report: People’s Panel survey - CCTV and Public Safety Report - October 2014 (PDF 908KB)


Protecting and Improving Auckland’s Natural Environment

When: July-August 2014 Respondents: 2,835

Protecting and Improving Auckland’s Natural Environment

  • When asked what areas or aspects of the Auckland environment came to mind, the most frequently given responses focused on coastal, greenspace, and urban aspects of the environment.
  • 41 per cent of panellists believe Auckland’s environment is getting worse, with 9 per cent believing it is getting a lot worse. A third (34 per cent) of panellists believe Auckland’s environment is getting better, with only 5 per cent believing it is getting a lot better. A fifth (20 per cent) of panellists believe there has been no change.
  • Among those who believed Auckland’s environment was getting better, the most frequently given reasons focused on it being well-kept, on council’s approach, such as recycling, public transport, air and water quality assessments, their environmental focus, and better communication, new work on the area’s public spaces, and on better public awareness and community input. Among those who believed Auckland’s environment was getting worse, the most frequently given reasons focused on traffic and transport, over development, water and harbour issues, and pollution in general.
  • 63 per cent of panellists listed local or suburban newspapers as a source of information about the environment in Auckland, followed by national newspapers (48 per cent), news websites (43 per cent), and television (40 per cent).
  • 86 per cent of panellists had reduced waste to landfill in the last 12 months, 78 per cent had reduced or limited their use of electricity, and 71 per cent had grown some of their own food, fruit, or vegetables.
  • 43 per cent of panellists stated that an opportunity to participate in community clean-up activities would motivate them to take more action to protect and further improve Auckland’s natural environment, and 43 per cent stated that an opportunity to participate in community planting activities would motivate them. Over a third (38 per cent) stated that free or discounted use of council facilities would motivate them, and 37 per cent said that providing free plants and/or advice to improve community environment projects would motivate them.

Survey results have provided a clear indication of Aucklanders’ understanding of and appreciation for the environment. There is a clear indication of a willingness to be involved with environmentally focused activities such as planting, bush preservation, waterway clean-ups and biodiversity related activities. This is an area where Council can take a leadership role by provide opportunities and support for communities.

Over the next few months Council staff will be undertaking a more in depth analysis of the survey findings to identify opportunities for Aucklanders to achieve a world class natural environment.

 

Report: People’s Panel survey – Protecting and Improving Auckland’s Natural Environment - July-August 2014 (PDF 862KB)


Household battery disposal and Customer service channels

When: April-May 2014 Respondents: 3,259

Household Battery Disposal

  • 97 per cent of panellists used disposable AA, CC and DD type batteries, and many used rechargeable batteries of some sort, especially those in cell phones and digital cameras (74 per cent).
  • 97 per cent of these people used a combination of both disposable and rechargeable AA, CC and DD type batteries. Many panellists use both rechargeable and disposable equally (43 per cent), 34 per cent using mostly rechargeable and 20 per cent using mostly disposable.
  • The most common reasons for not using rechargeable AA, CC and DD type batteries more were cost, reliability and convenience.
  • There was low awareness (8 per cent) of specialist household battery recycling services in Auckland.
  • The most common method of disposing of batteries was through the kerbside rubbish collection system (77 per cent), but 22 per cent stockpiled them at home.
  • Despite this, 60 per cent felt that batteries should be sent to a specialist battery recycling service for disposal.
  • 25 per cent would be prepared to pay to dispose of household batteries, but 41 per cent felt disposal should be free and 28 per cent felt the cost should be built into the purchase price.
  • 81 per cent would be more likely to purchase battery brands that took back their batteries for free recycling, and 86 per cent would be more likely to buy batteries from retailers that took back used batteries that were purchased from them.
  • The most frequently mentioned comments about battery disposal included the need for battery drop off points to be convenient and accessible, that battery disposal should be free (or at least incur a very small charge), and for more information about battery disposal options to be available.
  • Customer service channels and contacting the council

  • Panellists preferred to use different contact methods to contact council for different activities and in different situations.
  • In many cases, the council website was the preferred channel, particularly for activities like seeking information about council services, accessing property information, applying for registrations and permits, paying rates and booking facilities.
  • Email was also a favoured channel for many of these activities, and was the preferred method of contact for ‘having my say’ on council matters.
  • The council call centre was seen as a useful channel, especially for requesting an urgent service, e.g. noise control, discussing matters with a council specialist and requesting a non-urgent service
  • Amongst those who had contacted council last year in the way they prefer, 43% of panellists reported no issues contacting council using their preferred method over the past year.
  • When asked about specific issues related to contacting council, a number of panellists mentioned difficulty reaching the correct person or receiving the correct advice / information over the phone. Some had received no response to their query (via phone or email), or a delayed response from council.

The People’s Panel survey on household batteries was requested by a joint Auckland Council, industry and community workgroup investigating the most appropriate end of life options for household batteries. The survey was a follow up from research already commissioned by the group into end of life options, and provided important information on householders perceptions and preferences for end of life options.

The research and the survey results informed and were included in submissions from both Auckland Council, and the battery workgroup, to the Ministry for the Environment in response to their discussion document “Priority waste streams for product stewardship intervention”.

The council wants to make it easier for customers to contact it and to get things done and understand what would make it easier for them. The findings have provided insights into that and helped us to understand Aucklanders’ preferred reasons for using our points of contact.

 

Report: People’s Panel survey – Household battery disposal and Customer service channels – April-May 2014 (PDF 840KB)


End of Year Review 2013 and business start-up support services

When: January-February 2014 Respondents: 2,315

  • 74 per cent were satisfied with the way the panel has operated over the past year, which is a significant improvement from 64 per cent in both 2012 and 2011.
  • Participants enjoyed the opportunity to have their say on the future direction of Auckland, contribute to Auckland Council’s decisions and be involved in the democratic/governance process.
  • The most frequently mentioned improvement suggestion was to provide information on how the results of People’s Panel surveys are actually used by the council to inform/change policies and plans. Other comments included the need to target surveys to the topics that panellists are interested in, ways to further grow the panel and make it more representative.
  • On the whole panellists felt they received about the right amount of emails, particularly those concerning survey invitations (84 per cent) and survey reminders (79 per cent). However 15 per cent felt they did not receive enough result updates and 18 per cent said they did not receive enough information about other feedback opportunities.
  • 69 per cent of panellists were satisfied with the People’s Panel updates and 28 per cent were very satisfied.
  • 62 per cent had read the People’s Panel reports. This is an increase from 48 per cent in 2012, when the question was last asked.
  • 54 per cent were satisfied with the reporting of results. This is a significant improvement from 38 per cent in 2012 and 39 per cent in 2011. Some panellists requested that the reports be clearer and more concise, and some wanted the results emailed (rather than having to read them on the website).
  • Suggestions for how to grow the panel included offering financial incentives and promoting the panel through various sources such as media, OurAuckland, social media, through community events and gatherings, via email and post and/or through rates notices.
  • 55 per cent were satisfied with the opportunities to participate in council’s decision-making, and 13 per cent were dissatisfied – much the same as in 2011.
  • However, only 22 per cent felt confident that their view were considered by council, while almost half (45 per cent) were not confident.
  • Improvement suggestions included the need for council to be more transparent in its decision making, talk to residents and listen to what they had to say – and provide a range of simple ways for people to provide their views. There was also a fair bit of scepticism that council uses the feedback given, and a feeling that the decisions have already been made.
  • Business start-up support services:
  • If setting up a business, most panellists would find the required information from sources other than Auckland Council.
  • Among those who were potentially interested in this type of information, 56% felt that the best way for council to provide information was through the website.
  • The two most commonly mentioned information needs concerned council-related information, regulations, and bylaws that might affect business start-ups, and a one-stop-shop type service that offered a range of information, plus checklists of things to consider when setting up a business. However, others felt that this was not a function of council, that other resources already existed to help people establish businesses and that council should not invest ratepayer money on this process.

The People’s Panel end of year review results have helped us assess the operation and administration of the People’s Panel and identify areas for improvement.

Members’ suggestions about encouraging more Aucklanders to join the panel have also been taken into consideration in the planning of panel member recruitment plans in the near future.

One of the improvements members would like to see is more short, quickfire surveys on a wider range of topics and issues affecting all Aucklanders.

As a result, we would be more active in engaging with various parts of council to bring more opportunities for panel members to have their say.

The business start-up support services survey findings will form part of an integrated strategy across Licensing & Compliance Services to provide a higher level of service and communication to our wide-range of business customers.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - End of year review 2013 and business support services (PDF 936KB)


Auckland Council leisure facilities

When: December 2013 Respondents: 3384

Auckland Council and contracted partners operate many fitness and leisure centres and swimming pools throughout the Auckland region. Panel members were asked how much they knew about these centres, how often they used them and what their perceptions of the centres were.

  • 20 per cent said they knew about the council’s fitness and leisure centres and programmes, and 52 per cent said they knew little about them.
  • The Tepid Baths had the highest levels of awareness across the sample (54 per cent), followed by West Wave (39 per cent), but awareness of each of the facilities was higher among residents of the relevant local board area.
  • 56 per cent of panellists had never used any of the council’s fitness centres, and only 10 per cent or fewer had used each of the specific centres (10 per cent had used the Tepid Baths, 8 per cent had used West Wave). Usage was higher among residents of the relevant local board.
  • 63 per cent of participants had not used other types of fitness centres or gyms, but 24 per cent had used a commercial fitness centre in the past 12 months.
  • While around half of participants felt they didn’t know enough to comment on the council’s fitness centres, 49 per cent said the centres welcomed all members of the community, 33 per cent said they offered good value for money, and 32 per cent said they had professional trainers and were clean and well maintained.
  • The fact that a particular centre was run by Auckland Council would have little impact on most participants, with 48 per cent saying this wouldn’t influence their decision and 21 per cent saying they don’t want to join any kind of fitness centre anyway. 16 per cent said they would be more likely to join a council fitness centre, while 6 per cent they would be less likely to join a council fitness centre.
  • There was positive feedback about the council facilities – with comments about the staff, the facilities, the affordability, location and convenience of the centres. However there were also a number of comments encouraging the facilities to ensure they provided affordable services and some comments about the locations. In addition there were a number of specific comments about particular centres, with both positive and negative feedback.
  • 57 per cent said they had never used the council’s leisure centres, but again usage of each facility was higher among residents of the relevant local board.
  • Among those who had used the centres, the most frequently used programmes were health and wellbeing related (36 per cent), room hire (22 per cent) and social sports leagues (20 per cent).
  • Panellists tended to have more awareness of council swimming pools than fitness or leisure centres, and only 2 per cent had not heard of any pools. Awareness was highest for the Tepid Baths (69 per cent) and the Parnell Baths (61 per cent), followed by West Wave and Pt Erin Pool.
  • There were a number of comments (both positive and negative) about specific pools and the council’s pools in general, concerning the facilities, cleanliness, staff, programmes and costs. Some felt there should be more pools in their area and there were requests to keep the pools affordable as well as clean and well maintained.
  • Overall, Pacific people and Māori participants tended to be higher users of the council’s leisure facilities than European participants.

These findings were a key input to our current planning process to help the Leisure unit overcome real and perceived barriers of non-users to enable us to more effectively deliver on the mayor’s vision and Auckland Plan.

The findings will also enable improvements in programme design, marketing and communications effectiveness and segmentation of our users.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - Auckland Council leisure facilities, December 2013 (PDF 977KB)


Kauri dieback disease

When: September-October 2013 Respondents: 3077

People’s Panel members were asked how much they knew about kauri dieback disease, how it should be managed and how information about it should be communicated by council. Other interested members of the public were also able to complete the survey.

  • 82 per cent of participants were aware of kauri dieback disease.
  • Three quarters (74 per cent) of those who knew of kauri dieback recognised that the disease is spread by soil, and panellists also identified that it can be spread by water (11 per cent) and people’s footwear / boots (7 per cent).
  • The most frequent ways of people finding out about kauri dieback were through the media (57 per cent), as well as signs (53 per cent) and cleaning stations (45 per cent) in the bush / parks.
  • 63 per cent of participants were aware that some tracks in regional parks have been closed to protect kauri.
  • 80 per cent had visited at least one kauri area in the past three years. The Waitākere Ranges was the most frequently visited area (55 per cent had visited), but participants had also visited a large number of other kauri areas, most notably Waiheke Island and Northland forests.
  • Walking was the most common way people used kauri areas (94 per cent of those using kauri areas had walked in these areas annually or more often).
  • Most visitors to the Waitākere Ranges had seen kauri dieback signs (61 per cent) and/or cleaning stations (58 per cent) and many visitors to the Hunua Ranges and Northland forests had also seen kauri dieback signs (44 per cent and 42 per cent respectively). Signage and stations were less apparent on Waiheke Island and in Coromandel forest areas however, with a quarter or fewer visitors noticing them.
  • 55 per cent always use the cleaning stations when entering a track in a kauri area, and 50% use them when leaving the track.
  • For 74 per cent of visitors to these areas, kauri dieback prevention activities do not affect their enjoyment, but 14 per cent said it did affect them at least sometimes – mostly because of track closures and restricted access to certain areas.
  • The most frequently mentioned suggestions for council in promoting the kauri dieback issue concerned raising the public’s awareness of the disease through media promotions and other communication campaigns – including TV, newspaper and radio advertising, working with schools, using the council’s website and OurAuckland, signs and social media.

These results have been used to provide a measure of current knowledge of kauri dieback, in order to assess the effectiveness of the kauri dieback communications programme in Auckland over time. The wealth of information will also inform council’s management of parks and help shape an awareness campaign for this summer.

Visit Keep Kauri Standing for more information about kauri dieback disease.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - Kauri dieback disease, September-October 2013 (PDF 565KB)


Life jackets and safe boating

When: May-June 2013 Respondents: 4229

Auckland Council sought feedback from the boating public and the wider community on regulations around the wearing of life jackets on board smaller recreational vessels (smaller than 6 metres overall length) as part of its review of the Navigation Safety Bylaw.

  • 54 per cent felt the best safe boating practice in small boats was ensuring everyone (adults and children) wears a life jacket at all times. More ‘seasoned’ or regular boaties, who use a number of types of boats, are less likely to feel they need to wear a life jacket at all times, while less regular and non-boaties think this would be the safest practice.
  • 54 per cent had been out in a dinghy in the past three years and almost half had kayaked and/or been out in a small/medium motorboat. Overall, 84 per cent of the sample had been out in some kind of boat.
  • Boaties using larger yachts tend to go out in them the most often (38 per cent have been out at least once a month), followed by dinghy users (34 per cent use them at least monthly).
  • Those using smaller yachts, dinghies and motorboats were more likely to wear a life jacket at all times, while those in larger yachts and launches (6m or over) were more likely to wear a jacket when conditions are bad or when told to by the skipper.
  • Those using jet skis, kayaks and dragon boats were more likely to wear a life jacket at almost all times, while paddle boarders, windsurfers and rowers were more likely to say they hardly ever / never wear a life jacket.
  • 34 per cent of participants had attended a boat safety course - the most frequently mentioned were Coast Guard courses (particularly their boating education, boat master and day skipper courses), and a range of courses through yacht clubs.
  • There were no clear preferences in terms of future life jacket regulations, and opinions regarding each of the options were split. The two options with the most support were that life jackets must be carried and worn at the skipper’s request, and that life jackets must be worn at all times – but these two options also had the highest proportion of “least preferred” rankings, so opinions were polarised.
  • As to when people should wear a life jacket, non-boaties and less frequent/varied users of boats were more likely to support wearing life jackets at all times, while more seasoned boaties were more likely to support wearing life jackets at the skipper’s discretion.

These results, together with feedback from the wider public consultation on this matter, enabled officers to further develop the options and to provide advice to the local boards and the Regulatory and Bylaws Committee on the views of the community. This advice enabled the selection of an initial preferred option that requires the compulsory wearing of life jackets (subject to exemptions). The proposed Navigation Safety Bylaw will be open for public feedback in February 2014.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - Life jackets and safe boating, May-June 2013 (PDF 526KB)


Parks and open spaces, sports and recreation

When: June 2013 Respondents: 3289

Auckland Council is currently preparing strategic action plans for parks and open spaces, and sport and recreation to guide their future development. This survey asked panel members about their use of Auckland’s parks, open spaces, sports and recreation facilities and their thoughts on proposals put forward in the two draft strategic action plans.

Use of parks, open spaces, sports and recreation facilities

  • 71 per cent of panellists visited local parks monthly or more often, 58 per cent beaches, and 53 per cent civic spaces. Panellists most commonly used streets (64 per cent) and walkways/cycle ways (36 per cent) for exercise and recreation. Around half of panellists had never used fitness centres, sports clubs, sports fields, public swimming pools or sports stadiums.
  • Over 60 per cent had walked, jogged, swum in the sea, had a picnic or BBQ and/or walked in the bush over the past year and a number had participated in a wide range of other activities.
  • When deciding about which parks and open spaces to visit, the two most important factors were safety (87 per cent) and whether or not they are clean of rubbish and graffiti (86 per cent). Panellists said the same factors, together with quality of the amenities (82 per cent) were most important when deciding which sports and recreation facilities to use.

 

The draft Parks and Open Strategic Action Plan proposes a number of actions to achieve several key objectives. Panellists were asked to comment on these actions and select their top three for each objective.

Protecting and enhancing heritage, landscape and biodiversity:

  • Protecting our coastal parks, including beaches, from development (75 per cent ).
  • Controlling pests and weeds in parks (53 per cent).
  • Improving vegetation along waterways and lakes (54 per cent).

Providing places for recreation and leisure:

  • Making existing parks safer and more welcoming (49 per cent).
  • Maintaining facilities to a high standard (41 per cent).
  • Ensuring there is a park within easy walk of people’s homes (39 per cent).

Improving connections between parks and open spaces:

  • Providing trails for walking and running (49 per cent).
  • Enhancing waterways and bush areas so that native plants and animals can move round the regions (42 per cent).
  • Creating paths between parks, streets shops and schools (42 per cent).

Increasing the environmental and economic benefits of parks and green spaces:

  • Restoring streams and waterways to improve water quality (68 per cent).
  • Investing in parks that create attractive urban environments (48 per cent).
  • Increasing street trees and planting to provide habitat and reduce stormwater runoff(44 per cent).

 

Panellists were also asked to comment on proposals put forward in the draft Sport and Recreation Strategic Action Plan and select their top three for each objective.

Encouraging participation in sport and recreation:

  • Providing free or low cost opportunities (58 per cent).
  • Providing family friendly opportunities (44 per cent).
  • Opportunities for young people to participate (33 per cent).

Developing a network of facilities that enables sport and recreation at all levels:

  • Provision of a range of open spaces (55 per cent).
  • Better public transport connections (40 per cent).
  • More sport and recreation opportunities in areas of high density housing (37 per cent).

Building pride in Auckland’s sporting achievements and celebrating talent and excellence:

  • More school programmes to identify and support talent (63 per cent).
  • Better funding and support for talented athletes (41 per cent).
  • More large sporting events (37 per cent).
  • Note: Panellists thought the actions listed under this objective of less importance (for council) than other actions and a number felt it was outside council’s scope.

Developing a strong and capable sector:

  • More support and training for volunteers (51 per cent).
  • Encouraging more volunteers to be involved (45 per cent).
  • Better alignment and coordination between sporting organisations (31 per cent).

These results and other feedback received during consultation has helped to confirm and refine the final drafts of the strategic action plans prior to their adoption by council in September 2013. Both strategic action plans will be published on council's website.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - Parks and open spaces, sports and recreation, June 2013 (PDF 881KB)


Rangitoto Motutapu Haerenga - A journey through sacred islands

When: April-May 2013 Respondents: 2706

The People’s Panel, along with other Aucklanders and visitors to Auckland, took part in a survey for ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) asking for feedback on a new multi-day visitor experience planned for Rangitoto and Motutapu islands.

Key findings

  • 73 per cent were interested in the island journey experience.
  • Activities of most interest were guided walks (77 per cent), the opportunity to learn about the history of Rangitoto-Motutapu (69 per cent), the ability to engage in volunteer activities (68 per cent) and kayaking (62 per cent).
  • 32 per cent would be willing to pay between $300 and $500 for an all-inclusive 3 day experience.
  • Respondents were interested in staying in lodges/cottages (61 per cent), huts (48 per cent), rent-a-bach (40 per cent), and campsites with equipment provided at the site (31 per cent).
  • 53 per cent expressed concern for the environment and over-commercialisation of Rangitoto-Motutapu. Another critical theme was the affordability of the experience for all New Zealanders.

These findings will be used to inform the next stage of the development of the Rangitoto-Motutapu island journey experience.

 

Report: People's Panel survey - Rangitoto – Motutapu visitor experience, April-May 2013 (PDF 215KB)


Trading in public places survey

When: March 2013 Respondents: 3092

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are reviewing the bylaws relating to trading in public places that they inherited from the eight former councils in order to develop a region–wide approach to these activities. This survey canvassed People’s Panel members’ views on issues relating to trading in public places, and any experiences with these activities.

Key findings

  • The vast majority of survey participants had noticed shops, stalls and other activities in public places and over half had bought products at least occasionally from these, especially from markets (83 per cent) and temporary stalls (70 per cent).
  • Most were fairly happy with the experience of using these activities, especially with markets (81 per cent) and temporary stalls (69 per cent).
  • 72 per cent had given donations to charitable collectors in public places, but this was quite a polarising activity, with 40 per cent saying they were happy and 28 per cent saying they were unhappy with this activity.
  • In general, many people were positive about things like buskers, markets and outdoor dining as they made the area feel more colourful and alive. Charitable collections received mixed feedback with some saying this was an important way for non-profit groups to raise money and others expressing annoyance at how pushy the collectors could be. On balance many people felt this was an appropriate outdoor activity provided it was limited and not too invasive.
  • In terms of managing public place trading, the most important values were accessibility (ensuring trading activities do not block footpaths), safety, and fairness for all users of public places. Flexibility, balance, common sense and respect were other values that came through from the comments
  • 90 per cent felt that at least some commercial activities should need permission from Auckland Council, particularly those that encroach on public accessibility, are large-scale and that generate a profit.
  • 25 per cent felt charitable collections in public places should not need permission from council, while 36 per cent felt they should. Many felt that larger scale activities and those with invasive techniques should need permission.
  • 62 per cent felt there should be a fee for commercial use of public spaces with many saying that since these activities were making a profit they should be asked to pay a ‘modest’ fee for the privilege of using the space, but that this should be proportional to the size of the operation. Among those who did not feel a fee was appropriate, many felt that small businesses needed support rather than being stifled by fees and/or that there should be less council bureaucracy and fees in general.
  • 80 per cent felt non-profit activities should not be charged a fee, generally because they were raising money for the betterment of society and so if they were charged a fee that would mean less money could be used for their specific cause.
  • The two primary considerations for determining fees were whether the activity is commercial or not-for-profit and the work the activity creates for council as a consequence. One other factor mentioned was the extent to which the activity would benefit the community – some felt that if the activity creates good amenity / character / vibrancy and is positive for the community, then council should encourage it, and this should be reflected in the fee strategy.
  • Generally, participants were in favour of those activities that added interest, atmosphere and fun to the area, or that provided a public good in some way. Things that caused an inconvenience in terms of restricting people from getting where they wanted to go or were overly intrusive were considered undesirable uses of public space.

The results will be used to inform the development of the Trading in Public Places policy and any additional guidelines that may be prepared as part of the implementation of any new bylaw. Once the Trading in Public Places bylaws and policy have been drafted, there will be a further period of consultation when the public will be invited to give feedback, before the proposals are adopted by Auckland Council.

 

Full report: People's Panel survey - Trading in Public Places (PDF 549KB)


TV recycling and end of year wrap up

When: December 2012. Respondents: 2925

The Auckland region changes from analogue television to digital television on the 1st December 2013. While most TVs are capable of receiving digital television with the right equipment, many residents will have older TVs they wish to dispose of. This survey was undertaken to assist with the development of the TV Takeback recycling scheme for unwanted TVs.

In addition the survey asked members for their feedback on the People's Panel itself and on the 2012 Unitary Plan online forum.

TV recycling results

  • On average, panellists had 2.2 TVs per household and 81 per cent had between one and three televisions. While 15 per cent of households had four or more televisions, 4 per cent had none.
  • 43 per cent of panellists plan to dispose of at least one TV between now and December and on average, panellists plan on disposing of 0.7 televisions per household.
  • 68 per cent were very interested in using a recycle centre and only 6 per cent felt that they would not be interested in taking their TV/s to a recycle centre.
  • 34 per cent felt TV recycling should be free to recyclers (funded by council or government), while 58 per cent felt there should be some level of user charge (from $2 to $25).
  • A number of participants felt that unless the recycling system was simple and/or free, people would simply put their old TVs on the kerb and wait for someone to pick them up.

These findings have been shared with the Ministry of Environment and other councils to help plan TV Takeback, the TV recycling programme provided by the Ministry to encourage people to recycle their old TVs in the lead up to digitisation.

TV Takeback is rolling out in phases nationwide, with the Auckland phase planned for mid-2013. Under the scheme a network of drop off points will be running throughout the Auckland region where people can bring their unwanted TVs. The scheme will be subsidised for a limited time. Auckland Council will support the scheme by:

  • assisting the Ministry to create awareness of TV Takeback when it kicks off in the Auckland region
  • offering a subsidy, for a limited time, to Aucklanders who take their old TVs to an e-cycle drop off point run by e-waste recycling company RCN.

In addition to the roll out of drop off locations, some retailers will be offering TV Takeback collection points nationally from as early as April 2013. Residents keen to find out more about the retailer programmes can go to the TV Takeback website: www.tvtakeback.govt.nz

Peoples Panel end of year review results

  • 64 per cent were satisfied with the way the panel has operated over the past year. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to have their say on the future direction of Auckland, contribute to the council’s decisions and be involved in the democratic/governance process.
  • 48 per cent of panellists had read the survey results and findings reports and of these 62 per cent were satisfied and 4 per cent were dissatisfied with the reporting.
  • By far the most frequently mentioned suggestion for improving the reports was a request to email participants the results (or at least a brief summary of them). Panellists commented that they did not have time to check the People’s Panel website and would like to receive the results via email.

As a result of this feedback we have introduced brief monthly results updates which also highlight some of the other opportunities to have give feedback to council.

Unitary Plan Online Forum review results

  • 43 per cent had visited the forum and either posted or read the comments on it and of these 85 per cent enjoyed being able to see and comment on the views of others.
  • 63 per cent felt that seeing the views of others made them think more about the issues that the Unitary Plan is addressing but only 9 per cent thought that their own views changed as a result.
  • 69 per cent would participate in another online forum, 23 per cent were not sure and 9 per cent would not participate again.

This feedback has informed the design and moderation of the second Unitary Plan online forum - open March – May 2013.

 

Full report: People's Panel survey - television recycling and end of year wrap up 2012: January 2013 (PDF 406KB)


Auckland Civil Defence Report

When: September 2012.  Number of responses: 3267. When: December 2012.  Number of responses: 2655. Respondents completing both surveys: 1719

 

Auckland Civil Defence conducted two surveys with the People’s Panel, with surveying timed to occur before and after the NZ ShakeOut exercise, to find out how prepared Aucklanders were to cope with a civil emergency. The December survey asked additional questions about information available from Auckland Civil Defence.

  • 95 per cent of December participants thought that they should be prepared to look after themselves for three days or more in the event of a natural disaster (up slightly from 93 per cent in September).
  • Approximately 20 per cent of participants of both surveys had emergency items, three days water and an emergency plan - the three factors considered necessary to be ‘prepared’.
  • There were some changes in preparedness from September to December, in that more panellists felt they had a good understanding of the types of natural disasters (75 per cent compared to 72 per cent in September) and their effects (64 per cent up from 61 per cent) and slightly more had a survival plan (32 per cent up from 29 per cent). However there was less familiarity with the information in the Yellow Pages in December (50 per cent down from 54 per cent).
  • Half of those panellists who had completed both surveys had taken some kind of action between September and December to become more prepared – mostly in terms of updating their emergency supplies.
  • Just over a third of panellists (36 per cent) in the December survey felt it was unlikely that a major disaster would occur in Auckland in the next 20 years – down 4 per cent from those who thought this way in the September survey. The December survey showed a corresponding increase in those who thought a disaster was likely to occur (29 per cent compared to 24 per cent in September).
  • Recent events, disasters, weather patterns and geological activity had made a number of people feel that a disaster was more likely in Auckland than they had previously.
  • 14 per cent of panellists received one of Auckland Civil Defence’s information packs.
  • An additional 5-6 per cent had received the household emergency plan and checklist or the Get Ready Get Thru brochure.
  • Those who had received the information resources tended to use them, with 65 per cent having read and kept the information and a further 25 per cent reading but not keeping it. However, only 21 per cent of those who had received the DVD had watched all or part of it.
  • Around three quarters of those who had watched the DVD or read the printed information found the resources useful.
  • 14 per cent of panellists had visited one or both of the websites www.getthru.govt.nz  and www.aucklandcivildefence.org.nz.
  • In total, 37 per cent of panellists had received some type of Civil Defence information or visited one of the websites.
  • While readership of the information packs was not very high, those who had read the information or visited the websites tended to be more prepared for a disaster than those who had not.
  • In both surveys the most commonly made suggestions to encourage preparedness included further information and advertising campaigns to lift awareness, the availability of affordable or free supply kits / equipment, and more information in the community about what to do.

Auckland Civil Defence has used these results to find out how prepared Aucklanders are for a civil emergency and for comparison with findings of other surveys on this subject. The results also allow Auckland Civil Defence to assess the effectiveness of their information material and identify areas for improvement.

For more information about how to prepare for a civil emergency visit www.aucklandcivildefence.org.nz and www.getthru.govt.nz.

 

Full report: People's Panel Auckland Civil Defence Report - January 2013 (PDF 354KB)


Awareness of the Auckland Plan

When: November 2012.  Number of responses: 1103.

 

NB: this survey was sent to those panel members who had not participated in a recent survey which included information about the Auckland Plan.

  • 88 per cent of survey participants had heard at least a little about the Auckland Plan and 22 per cent said they had heard a lot about it.
  • Just under a quarter said they knew about the long-term goals of the Auckland Plan, while 54 per cent said they knew little about these.
  • Knowledge of the Auckland Plan's details was limited, with only 10 per cent of panellists saying they knew about these, and 69 per cent saying they knew little. However, 42 per cent of participants were able to identify at least one of the six transformational shifts proposed by the Auckland Plan. Those most commonly mentioned related to public transport (32 per cent) and environmental action (17 per cent).
  • 83 per cent agreed with the 'Move to outstanding public transport within one network' transformational shift.
  • Between two-thirds and three-quarters of panellists agreed with the transformational shifts around environmental action (75 per cent), children and young people (70 per cent), living standards (67 per cent) and urban living (72 per cent).
  • However, there was less agreement around the 'Significantly enhance Māori social and economic well-being' transformational shift, with 40 per cent agreeing and 34 per cent disagreeing.
  • In order to get more Aucklanders involved in implementing the Auckland Plan panellists suggested communicating the plan and its goals more widely so that Aucklanders knew what was being proposed, and increasing the level of community involvement/participation in setting the council's direction.

These results will be used for communications planning, and by the Auckland Plan team in determining how to involve more Aucklanders in the implementation of the Auckland Plan.

 

Full report: People's Panel Auckland Plan Awareness Survey - 22 November 2012 (PDF 292KB)


People's Panel Biodiversity Survey

When: October 2012. Number of responses: 2555.

  • 79 per cent of survey participants said they knew ‘a lot’ or ‘a bit’ about biodiversity and 75 per cent were interested in Auckland’s indigenous biodiversity.
  • 87 per cent agreed that it is important to protect indigenous biodiversity for future generations and 82 per cent felt that indigenous biodiversity is good for tourism.
  • 78 per cent agreed that indigenous biodiversity underpins our prosperity - 72 per cent felt it gives people a sense of well-being.
  • 72 per cent of participants were concerned about the decline of indigenous biodiversity in Auckland, 8 per cent were not concerned.
  • 65 per cent felt that protecting existing areas of native bush was a priority to improve indigenous biodiversity. Over half also felt that controlling weeds (55 per cent) and pest animals (53 per cent) was important, and 51 per cent said improving water quality was important.
  • 72 per cent of participants were aware of at least one of a number of listed council initiatives to promote biodiversity, 28 per cent were not aware of any these initiatives.
  • 15 per cent of participants had received council assistance to protect and encourage Auckland’s indigenous biodiversity – mostly in the form of personal advice or assistance, free plants and/or information.
  • 22 per cent felt Auckland Council protects and encourages Auckland’s indigenous biodiversity well, while 16 per cent felt council does not do this well. Most did not have strong views either way.
  • Many suggestions for how council could do more to protect biodiversity focused on ways in which the council can facilitate and encourage the community to get involved – including providing information and advice, running competitions, promoting urban gardens, developing partnerships with community groups to encourage further ownership, etc. In addition, people mentioned the need for regulation to support native species and limit the impact of weeds and pests, and the need for council to lead by example in the types of trees and plants it uses in Auckland’s parks and open spaces.
  • Most panellists do a number of things to protect and encourage biodiversity, such as removing weeds, living more sustainably, picking up rubbish, etc, and only 3 per cent said they do not do anything to encourage biodiversity.
  • 62 per cent would like to do more to protect and encourage indigenous biodiversity in Auckland, while a quarter were not sure – only 12 per cent did not want to do more. Initiatives in which people can work independently in their own property and/or as part of a local group were the most popular.
  • There were a large number of different ideas for a possible mascot, and little consensus between participants, however, a tui (or a tui / plant combination) was the most frequently mentioned suggestion.
  • These results will be used to enable Auckland Council to improve engagement with community groups across Auckland on a range of biodiversity issues. It will also serve as a benchmark against which changes, in response to Council initiatives, can be gauged. The survey indicated a need for improved communications – many of the concerns expressed are already being addressed through the Biodiversity Communications Plan.

 

Full report: People's Panel Biodiversity Survey - 7 November 2012 (PDF 527KB)


Unitary Plan Online Discussion Forum

When: 26 October - 7 November 2012. Active Participants: 172. Posts: 864. Forum visitors: 1914.

The purpose of the online forum was to provide an innovative, interactive way for Aucklanders to discuss key directions and proposals being considered early on in the development of Auckland’s Unitary Plan. Together with other feedback, the forum discussion provided guidance to the Unitary Plan team on the key issues and hot topics for Auckland residents.

The discussion was wide ranging making it difficult to identify any key findings; however, the report summarises some of the themes that emerged.

 

Full report: People’s Panel Unitary Plan Online Discussion Forum - November 2012 (PDF 441KB)

The Unitary Plan webpage provides more information about the plan.


Auckland Libraries Future Directions Survey

When: August 2012. Number of responses: 3338.

  • 90 per cent of survey participants had visited a library in person this year, and almost two-thirds had visited the Auckland Libraries website.
  • 88 per cent said that in future they would like to visit the library in person. Almost 70 per cent said they would like contact the library by email and through the website.
  • Over 70 per cent of panellists supported a focus on services for preschool children to ensure early literacy, focusing services on those parts of Auckland in most need, and partnering with school libraries to deliver after school homework support. There was less support for providing more specialist libraries for young people (48 per cent agreed with this idea).
  • 59 per cent supported the idea of an Auckland Libraries heritage centre and felt it was important for Auckland to preserve and celebrate its history, and make heritage information accessible and interesting. 49 per cent would be potentially interested in visiting a heritage centre in the city centre.
  • 59 per cent of participants supported the idea of a Hi-tech “open till late” library as it allowed Auckland Libraries to keep pace with modern technology, and allowed customers to visit the library when it suited. 33 per cent would be potentially interested in visiting such a facility in the city centre.
  • In order to accommodate population growth and increased demand for library services, 55 per cent of participants thought Auckland Libraries should first expand existing libraries, provide more online services, use mobile libraries and only build new libraries in areas where these measures cannot meet demand. 24 per cent favoured building new libraries where services could not meet demand.
  • 78 per cent agreed with the idea of locating new libraries in community hubs or in places people visit regularly.
  • 76 per cent supported maintaining and developing the Mobile Library service. 63 per cent were in favour of tailoring the services offered by each library to the needs of the community it serves rather than providing the same services throughout the region.

These results are being used to inform the Libraries Future Directions Plan, which will provide a 10 year outlook for the development of library services and facilities.

 

Full report: People’s Panel Auckland Libraries Future Directions Survey Report – September 2012 (PDF 1.2MB)


Rates Information Campaign Survey

When: July 2012. Number of responses: 3243.

  • 31 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Auckland Council’s overall performance over the past 12 months and 24 per cent were dissatisfied.
  • 41 per cent of panellists felt they had a good understanding of how rates are used, 21 per cent felt they had a poor understanding and 36 per cent were neutral.
  • 69 per cent knew that Auckland’s rating system was changing in July.
  • 53 per cent of panellists had seen the council’s print and/or online information campaign about the changes to the rating system.
  • 11 per cent had heard the radio advertising and 7 per cent had seen the video.
  • 22 per cent felt the council’s campaign had been effective at informing ratepayers, while 38 per cent felt it had been ineffective and 34 per cent were neutral.
  • The information campaign helped 13 per cent of panellists “a lot” and 24 per cent “a little, but there are still things I am not clear about”. While 17 per cent already knew about most of the changes, 9 per cent still didn’t understand the changes.

These results allowed Auckland Council to understand residents' awareness of significant changes to the rating system introduced in 2012 and measure the effectiveness of the publicity campaign informing the public about the changes. Panel feedback will be used to improve future information campaigns.

 

Full report: People’s Panel Rates Information Campaign Survey Report – August 2012 (PDF 828KB)


Auckland's Air Quality Survey

When: June 2012. Number of responses: 3123

  • The environmental issues in Auckland of most concern to participants were water pollution (92 per cent concerned), loss of streams and wetlands (84 per cent), and loss of native animals and plants (81 per cent).
  • Participants were least concerned about and climate change (54 per cent concerned) air pollution from rubbish fires (51 per cent) and air pollution from concerned about domestic heating fires (39 per cent).
  • 73 per cent rated the air quality in their neighbourhood as good or very good.
  • Most respondents were rarely affected by odours, dust or smoke, but 11 per cent said they were often affected by smoke, 11 per cent affected by dust and 7 per cent affected by annoying odours.
  • 41 per cent of panellists were satisfied with the council’s attempts to limit air pollution in Auckland and 10 per cent were dissatisfied. Almost a quarter of respondents did not know.
  • 24 per cent felt that vehicular traffic was a major cause of air pollution and that the council could do more to reduce vehicle emissions by reducing traffic volumes, allowing it to move more freely, improving public transport and monitoring emissions.
  • Vehicle exhaust emissions rarely affect 58 per cent of panellists, but they are a frequent issue for 22 per cent of respondents.
  • Most respondents felt it was important for the council or other government departments to reduce vehicle emissions, either by varying registration fees or providing other incentives for low emission vehicles.
  • The majority of respondents felt that the following were important initiatives to reduce high emission vehicle numbers:
    • 85 per cent felt it was important to require bus service operators to upgrade their fleets to emission design standards. 68 per cent agreed with the idea of introducing emission controls on Auckland’s bus fleet, even if this meant public transport costs might rise.
    • 72 per cent felt it was important to provide more education on how to reduce emissions.
    • 70 per cent thought it was important to reintroduce the 0800 Smokey hotline.
  • Panellists considered the following initiatives important in reducing the number of vehicle journeys:
    • 91 per cent felt there should be better integration between rail, road and ferry services.
    • 91 per cent thought the public transport network should reflect the needs of users.
    • 86 per cent felt more transport services, more routes and more frequent services were important.
    • 83 per cent thought it was important for public transport to be cheaper.
    • 74 per cent thought better cycling and walking facilities were important.
  • There was less support for congesting charging - 37 per cent thought congestion charging was important and 39 per cent felt it wasn’t important.
  • 58 per cent agreed with requiring Auckland vehicles to have an exhaust emissions test every two years approximately. 75 per cent would be willing to take their vehicle for a free emissions test at a specialist testing station and 61 per cent would be prepared to pay $20 for a bi-annual emissions test.

 

Full report: People's Panel Air Quality Survey Report - 5 July 2012 (PDF 450KB)


Community Funding Policy Consultation

When: May 2012. Number of responses: 911.

  • 80 per cent of respondents agreed with the types of community funding proposals included and excluded from the draft policy
  • 84 per cent agreed with the proposal to align local funding to the priorities of local board plans
  • 79 per cent agreed with the proposed approach for community funding applications that benefit multiple local board areas
  • 77 per cent agreed with aligning regional funding to the priorities and outcomes of the Auckland Plan
  • 77 per cent agreed that community funding should be provided based on the outcomes a group delivers
  • 82 per cent agreed with the proposed assessment process for community funding applications
  • 65 per cent agreed with the proposed number of funding rounds for both local and regional funding applications
  • 90 per cent agreed with the proposed accountability measures for community funding recipients

The People’s Panel findings, together with other feedback from the public, showed considerable support for the different features of the proposed funding policy. However, other consultation showed that the process and timing to deliver the policy was generally unsupported. Stakeholders felt the development of the policy was rushed and that the policies did not take into account the views of community groups. The community funding policy will be amended to address these issues, and will be adopted prior to the start of the 2013 / 2014 financial year.

 

Full report: Community Funding Policy report, May 2012 (PDF 450KB)


Crimestoppers Survey

When: April 2012. Number of responses: 2091.

  • 63 per cent were aware of Crimestoppers – 43 per cent had heard it advertised and 39 per cent had seen it advertised
  • However only a small proportion (4 per cent of the panel / 6 per cent of those who were aware of Crimestoppers) could correctly recall the freephone number
  • 19 per cent had seen the “Tell us what you know not who you are” campaign, with bus ads, library posters and newspaper communications being the most effective channels
  • 21 per cent had heard the radio advertisement
  • 4 per cent of panellists had contacted Crimestoppers in the past
  • The most important features of the Crimestoppers service were making it easy for people to leave information and providing a confidential service. Providing the ability to report suspicious behaviour and making the service anonymous were also important for many people
  • 54 per cent indicated they would be likely to use the freephone number to contact Crimestoppers and 44 per cent said they would be likely to use the website
  • From the comments received, some would prefer to contact the police, but others thought Crimestoppers sounded like a good, simple and effective service. The comments highlighted the importance of having both a freephone and web service as some panellists preferred one contact channel over the other
  • 61 per cent were somewhat concerned about crime in their community.

The information gathered from this survey has assisted Auckland Council to assess the level of awareness of Crimestoppers, the effectiveness of the publicity campaign and the value of council partnering with this organisation for the future.

 

Full report: Crimestoppers Survey Report, April 2012 (PDF 672KB)


End of Year Review

When: December 2011. Number of responses: 2017.

Feedback on the People's Panel

  • 64 per cent of panellists felt satisfied with the way the panel has operated and 53 per cent would be likely to recommend it to family and friends
  • Most think they receive the right number of survey invitations, however a quarter feel they don't receive result updates often enough, and just under a third feel they don't get sufficient information on other opportunities to participate
  • 67 per cent would be interested in receiving invitations to take part in focus groups
  • Panellists say they like the panel because it provides an opportunity for people to have a voice, express their needs and perspectives and influence council's decisions
  • Panellists would like more evidence that their views have been used to inform or change council's ideas, plans or policies
  • Other suggested improvements were:
    • providing more information and context about the projects and surveys
    • making surveys simpler and shorter
    • allowing more space for open ended comments
    • providing simpler more direct reports with better visuals, and
    • making the panel more representative of Auckland's diverse communities through further promotion / advertising and by providing financial incentives to take part

Regarding council's consultation processes generally:

  • 46 per cent had seen some form of newspaper or magazine coverage relating to the council's planning documents and their associated consultation processes. A smaller proportion of panellists had seen or heard similar coverage and marketing activity online, through radio ads, social media, bus advertising and outdoor advertising.
  • 62 per cent of panellists had provided feedback on one or more of the council's plans - with the Auckland Plan and the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan receiving the most feedback.
  • 52 per cent were satisfied with the opportunities Auckland Council provides to participate in decision-making processes, but only 20 per cent felt confident that their input would influence council's decisions.

Panellists' comments that they would like survey results to be clearer and easier to access has led to key findings of each survey being included on the People's Panel webpage, along with the full report. The overall findings will be used to guide further improvements to the People's Panel and Auckland Council's wider consultation processes and practices.

 

Full report: End of year review survey report, February 2011 (PDF 400KB)


Rugby World Cup

When: November 2011. Number of responses: 1975.

Awareness:

  • On all three modes of transport and across the fan zones, around half of respondents were aware of the liquor bans, but only around a third had seen the liquor ban signs.

Effectiveness ratings:

  • Ratings of how well the police enforced the liquor bans on public transport were more positive than negative.
  • Likewise, at the fan zones, over half of visitors to the waterfront and fan trail felt the ban had been enforced effectively. Those visiting the Albany fan zone were more positive, with 79 per cent rating the police enforcement effective.
  • Perceptions of the effectiveness of the liquor ban itself differed slightly across the different transport modes and fan zones. Around half of those using North Shore Park & Ride facilities or visiting the suburban fan zones (Albany, Henderson, Mangere and Onewa) rated the bans as effective, and only a small proportion found them ineffective.
  • Visitors to the waterfront and fan trail, and those using public transport or Britomart were less positive. While around 40 per cent rated the liquor bans as effective, there were several people who rated them as ineffective (e.g. 20 per cent for the waterfront and 16 per cent among Britomart users).
  • Overall however, effectiveness ratings were more positive than negative, and there was a fairly high proportion of people giving neutral ratings or saying they didn’t know how effective the bans were.

Perceptions of safety:

  • The majority of respondents were not aware of any disorderly behaviour relating to people drinking on public transport or at the fan zones. However, around one in five public transport and Britomart Transport Centre users did notice disorderly behaviour, as did a third of visitors to the waterfront.
  • Those travelling or going to fan zones only during the day were less likely to notice disorderly behaviour than those who visited both before and after dark.
  • Regardless of whether people noticed issues or thought the bans had worked, the vast majority of respondents felt safe using public transport and at the fan zones during the RWC.
  • Those who went to the Albany fan zone and most of those who travelled before dark felt particularly safe, however those visiting the waterfront before and after dark were more likely to feel unsafe.
  • Those who went to the Albany fan zone and most of those who travelled before dark felt particularly safe, however those visiting the waterfront before and after dark were more likely to feel unsafe.
  • Further analysis of results showed no significant difference between men and women in perceptions of safety or attitudes to effectiveness of the liquor bans.

Overall, while a number of people did notice liquor ban breaches both on the way to the events and at the fan zones themselves, most people had no issues, more people found the bans effective than ineffective, and the vast majority of people felt safe wherever they were.

 

Full report: Rugby World Cup Liquor Ban survey report, November 2011 (PDF 312KB)


Communicating With Council - Customer Experience Survey

When: October 2011. Number of responses: 2465.

Auckland Council interacts with many thousands of customers each day by providing information, answering queries, completing requests for service, and receiving feedback. To help Auckland Council improve the service it provides to Auckland residents, People's Panel members were asked about the experiences they have had interacting with council.

67 per cent of panellists had interacted or contacted the Auckland Council in the last three months.

Of the panellists who had interacted or contacted the Auckland Council in the last three months:

  • 76 per cent had interacted or contacted the council twice or more in the last three months.
  • Most common methods for contacting or interacting with the council:
    • 59 per cent - visiting the website
    • 50 per cent - ringing the call centre
    • 33 per cent - email
    • 30 per cent - phoning a specific department or council staff member
  • 64 per cent had contacted or interacted with the council to obtain some information.
  • 71 per cent felt that their most recent interaction or contact with the council was relatively straightforward.
  • Over 80 per cent were satisfied or more than satisfied with their most recent interaction with council.
  • 71 per cent of panellists had used their preferred method to contact council.
  • Of those panellists who had not used their preferred method to contact council, 69 per cent did so because the nature of the matter meant that they had to interact with council via this particular method.
  • Suggested areas for improvement were:
    • Council to give feedback and follow up
    • A more user friendly and up-to-date website
    • Faster response times
  • Single preferred method for contacting or interacting with council (all panellists)
    • 26 per cent - ringing the call centre
    • 24 per cent - email
    • 21 per cent - visiting the website
    • 17 per cent phoning a specific department or council staff member.

 

Full report: Communicating With Council - Customer Experience Survey, November 2011 (PDF 352KB)


Auckland Libraries' Website Survey

When: October 2011. Number of responses: 1871.

The purpose of the survey was to develop a better understanding of current customer usage and attitudes towards the existing Auckland Libraries' website, in order to inform development of the new website. The survey was completed by 1,742 members of the People's Panel and 129 respondents contacted through Auckland Libraries social network sites.

  • 86 per cent of those who completed the survey were members of Auckland Libraries.
  • 49 per cent visited the library between once a week and once or twice a month.
  • 68 per cent were infrequent users of the Auckland Libraries' website, or had never used it.
  • 92 per cent spent 3 or more hours online a week.
  • 61 per cent visit the Auckland Libraries' website to search for books, check reviews and to see if books are available.
  • 43 per cent find the Auckland Libraries' website reliable, generally easy to use and to navigate.
  • 23 per cent suggested making the Auckland Libraries' website more user friendly with better navigation, less clutter (especially the home page), plain language and simple headings.
  • 75 per cent are likely to recommend Auckland Libraries to others.

The results helped Libraries better understand how their customers are using the Libraries websites and have identified areas of strength and weakness.

Auckland Libraries will seek further customer input as the new website project develops.

 

Full report: Auckland Libraries' Website Survey Report, November 2011 (PDF 233KB)


Auckland's Historic Heritage Survey

When: October 2011. Number of responses: 1963.

Auckland Council is working on a plan to provide a proactive approach to the management of historic heritage of the region. Panellists' views on historic heritage and its management in the Auckland region were sought to inform the drafting of this plan.

  • 88 per cent believe that protection of historic heritage is important
  • 78 per cent have visited a historic heritage site in the last 6 months, 76 per cent of those visits were to a museum
  • 54 per cent think historic heritage is not well understood in their area
  • The highest ranking proposed council initiative was for giving historic heritage more protection in Auckland's plans, (includes scheduling more historic sites, structures, places and areas; archaeological sites; and, sites of significance to Maori).
  • The next most supported initiative was improving public access to historic heritage.
  • Most panellists believe the role for caring for historic heritage is the responsibility of a number of parties

Once completed, the Historic Heritage Plan will provide clear goals to maximise the potential of historic heritage in Auckland. There will be opportunities to give feedback on the draft plan when it is released in mid 2012.

 

Full report: Auckland's Historic Heritage Survey Report, December 2011 (PDF 421KB)

View our Heritage section for more information about Auckland's historic heritage.


Zoo Music Survey

When: August 2011. Number of responses: 2398.

Auckland Zoo asked the People's Panel for feedback to assist planning of future series of Zoo Music - evening concerts at the zoo which have been held since 2004.

  • 23 per cent of panellists had attended a Zoo Music concert in the past. Reported attendance at concerts peaked at 31 per cent in 2010, but dropped to 8 per cent in 2011
  • 86 per cent of those who had attended a concert were satisfied or very satisfied with their Zoo Music experience
  • Panellists were mostly to come and see "Flight of the Conchords", the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra and Anika Moa
  • 46 per cent of panellists said they were likely to attend in future
  • The maximum entry price most panellists were willing to pay was $20 for adults and $10 for children.

This information, together with other research carried out by the zoo, enabled Auckland Zoo to determine whether it could proceed with a profitable series and the decision was made not to present Zoo Music concerts in 2012.

Key contributing factors were the limited number of suitable artists that were interested, available and had not performed at the Zoo in recent years, and the costs associated with performances by those artists.

Auckland Zoo has not ruled out Zoo Music or a similar event for future years.

 

Full report: Zoo Music Survey Report, September 2011 (PDF 279KB)

Visit the Auckland Zoo website for more information about the zoo.


Long-term Plan Survey

When: September 2011. Number of responses: 2029.

The Long Term Plan (LTP) is a ten year strategic plan, which describes the activities and priority projects that Auckland over the next 10 years and how these will be funded. Panellists' were asked for their views on how council's activities should be funded.

  • Opinion was divided on how to fund costs associated with Auckland's growth. 38 per cent thought property developers should mainly fund the upgrades. 34 per cent thought these costs should be shared between ratepayers and property developers and 13 per cent thought they should be mainly funded by the users of services.
  • At Least 60 per cent of respondents thought general rates should fund services seen as benefitting the wider community, such as rubbish and recycling, libraries and park and beach management. 50 per cent or more thought facilities and services benefiting specific members of the community such as sports and recreational facilities, the Arts and events, should be funded either by a combination of rates and user fees or through user fees and charges alone.
  • At least 47 per cent of respondents thought general rates should be used to fund improvements to existing community facilities and swimming pools, and parks and open spaces (both new and existing).
  • There was no clear preference how other new facilities such as swimming pools and sports facilities should be funded. General rates, targeted rates and development contributions or a combination all received support.
  • At least 53 per cent of respondents thought user-fees should be used to fund information and monitoring for licensing, building consents and resource consents.

The People's Panel survey was part of a wider consultation process to ensure different perspectives were considered during the development of the Draft Long Term Plan.

There will be opportunities to give feedback on the draft Long-term Plan from 24th of February and 23rd of March and it will be adopted in June 2012.

 

Full report: Long-term Plan Survey Report, September 2011 (PDF 349KB)

View our Long-term Plan section for more information about this plan.


Resource Management Document Survey

When: August 2011. Number of responses: 2505.

Feedback on the comprehensive resource management document and how panellists preferred to receive and respond to information about council plans.

  • 60 per cent preferred Auckland Resource Management Plan as the name for the new resource management document.
  • 92 per cent wanted to know about any proposed changes that would affect them in their homes.
  • 71 per cent wanted access information about council plans on the council website. 55 per cent wanted key features of plans posted to all residents. 44 per cent were interested in attending public meetings attending public meetings or other face-to-face activities to learn more about the plans
  • 95 per cent wanted to be able to give feedback on draft plans online.

Auckland Council has used these results when planning communication and consultation activities for council plans.

Although panellists' preferred name was Auckland Resource Management Plan, existing familiarity of key stakeholders with the working title "The Unitary Plan led to the name "Auckland Unitary Plan" being chosen for the resource management document.

 

Full report: Resource Management Document Survey Report, August 2011 (PDF 279KB)

View the Auckland Unitary Plan section for more information about this plan and the Have your say section for information about other consultation opportunities.


Auckland Library Regional Borrowing Survey

When: April 2011. Number of responses: 2086.

When the new Auckland Council was created in November 2011, a region wide library service also was established, giving residents to access books, CDs and other items in all 56 library locations regardless of where they lived within the region.

This survey investigated how often panel members requested books from other locations.

  • 86 per cent of those who responded were library members and selected all but one of the Auckland Library's 56 different locations (including the mobile library) as their main library.
  • 58 per cent had requested books or other item from another location since 1 November 2011.

Auckland Library will use these results when planning future services.

 

Full report: Auckland Library Regional Borrowing Survey Report, July 2011 (PDF 386KB)

Visit the Auckland Libraries website for information about Auckland Libraries and their services.


Auckland Plan Survey

When: May 2011. Number of responses: 1399.

Feedback on the proposals in Auckland Unleashed - the Auckland Plan discussion document.

These responses comprised a significant part of the total feedback given on Auckland Unleashed which was used to inform the writing of the draft Auckland (Spatial) Plan.

This survey covered many different and important areas making it difficult identify a few key findings. Aucklanders had further opportunities to give feedback on the draft Auckland Plan, which will adopted in March 2012.

 

Full report: Auckland Plan Survey Report, June 2011 (PDF 520KB)

View the Auckland Plan section for more information about this plan.


OurAuckland Survey

When: June 2011.Number of responses: 1862.

Views on the council's publication OurAuckland.

  • 64 per cent had seen or read at least one of the four editions of OurAuckland.
  • 70 per cent were not aware that OurAuckland is also available online on the council's website.
  • The most popular sections in OurAuckland were: What's on events/activities/things to do 80 per cent; Auckland wide issues, news and council plans 75 per cent;Local news 74 per cent; Walkways and parks of the month 63 per cent.
  • 69 per cent think the level of detail in OurAuckland is about right but 20 per cent would prefer more detailed information.
  • Panellists would like to see improvements in distribution (15 per cent), more factual information and transparency on council projects and spending (13 per cent) and for the text to be easier to read (13 per cent).

These results will be used when planning future editions of OurAuckland.

 

Full report: OurAuckland Report, June 2011 (PDF 1.2MB)

View OurAuckland section.


Waste Management Survey

When: May-June 2011. Number of responses: 1914.

Auckland Council is required by law to develop a single Waste Management and Minimisation Plan to replace the seven different plans inherited from the former legacy councils.

The People's Panel survey was part of the public consultation process carried out to inform the early stages of writing the draft plan.

  • 88 per cent aware of what to put in their recycling bin.
  • 70 per cent prefer wheelie bins for general household waste.
  • 57 per cent would be interested in a separate organic collection for food and waste.
  • 54 per cent think there should be uniform charge for general household waste.
  • 41 per cent think general household waste should be user-pays.
  • 96 per cent think a "no junk mail" notice on their letterbox should be adhered to.

These results, together with other feedback, informed the writing of the draft Auckland Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.

Aucklanders had further opportunities to give feed back on this draft plan from November 2011 to January 2012 . The final plan is due to be adopted by June 2012

 

Full report: Waste Management Survey Report, June 2011 (PDF 459KB)

View the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan section for more information about this plan.


Auckland Council Print Publication Survey

When: February 2011. Number of responses: 1044.

Feedback on the new Auckland Council print publication.

  • 83 per cent said they were likely to read the print publication.
  • 70 per cent preferred the title Our Auckland.
  • Information about events (local and regional), transport and roads, parks, rubbish and recycling, and how rates are spent were the topics panellists most wanted to read about in Our Auckland.

Panellists' feedback led to OurAuckland being chosen as the title of the council publication and also influenced the choice of the front cover format.

 

Full report: Auckland Council Print Publication Survey, February 2011 (PDF 394KB)

View OurAuckland section.


Liveable City Perceptions Survey

When: January 2011. Number of responses: 1806.

In the first People's Panel survey, members gave their views on living in Auckland, what they liked most and what is important to them.

  • The vast majority of responding panellists (85 per cent) were happy (very happy + happy) living in their local neighbourhood, their wider local area (78 per cent), and Auckland as a whole (70 per cent).
  • Likes: Sense of community, good neighbours, a "village-like feeling" were what panellists liked most about their neighbourhood. Wider local area and in Auckland as a whole - easy access to beaches, walkways, the waterfront and other recreational areas; The distinctive features of Auckland - its volcanoes, harbours, panoramic views, leafy suburbs and climate - and the variety of things to do in the region, were also valued.
  • Dislikes: Traffic! The top dislike for neighbourhoods, local areas and Auckland as a whole were traffic related - congestion, ongoing road works, poor traffic behaviour, the expense of travel and the difficulties faced by cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Improvements suggested: In neighbourhoods: panellists wanted safer streets: better roads, improved road layout and signage, lower speed limits and more pedestrian friendly footpaths. In the wider region and Auckland as a whole there was a desire for improved and cheaper public transport, integrated ticketing, better park and ride options, and alternatives to private vehicle use.

The results from this survey informed the drafting of the Auckland (Spatial) Plan and local board plans which Aucklanders had further opportunities to give feed back on. The Auckland (Spatial) Plan will adopted in March 2012.

 

Full report: Liveable City Perceptions Survey, February 2011 (PDF 531KB)

Visit the Local Board Plans section and the Auckland Plan section for more information about these plans.

Your feedback helps us to improve our website. If you have feedback about our services (not the website), please contact us.