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Masterton residents not so satisfied

Masterton District Council [MDC] has released the results of its three-yearly customer satisfaction survey, with the mayor saying the results are disappointing but not surprising.

Done by the company Key Research, it’s based on responses from 490 residents, with results sliding across a wide range of indicators.

People were asked how satisfied they are with MDC’s performance in areas including services and facilities, the mayor and councillors, value for money, and reputation.

The ‘2023 survey of residents report’ shows the perception of MDC’s overall performance has decreased over the past three years from 52 per cent satisfaction in 2020 to 41 per cent in 2023.

The report found significantly decreased satisfaction scores across the key indicators since 2020, with value for money having the strongest impact on the overall perception of performance.

Satisfaction with reputation dropped from 54 per cent to 46 per cent, the services and facilities score was down from 64 per cent to 57 per cent, and value for money was down from 45 per cent to 34 per cent.

“Nearly half of all respondents are satisfied with council staff [48 per cent], which is significantly lower than in 2020. Urban residents evaluated this aspect significantly lower in 2023 [49 per cent] compared to 2020 [59 per cent],” the report said.

While satisfaction with parks and reserves remains high at 74 per cent [76 in 2020], the same can not be said of roads and footpaths, down to 31 per cent [48 per cent in 2020].

Masterton Mayor Gary Caffell said the council is committed to looking at how improvements can be made.

“Given everything that has happened in the three years since we last took this survey, it’s really not surprising to see results come in a little lower,” Caffell said.

“The previous survey took place in early 2020. Since then, we’ve been through a pandemic, massive increases in the cost of living, a local election, robust discussion about local public amenities such as a civic facility, and a raft of issues arising from various cyclones and
other wet-weather events.

“I’m hopeful that as we progress plans for our town hall and library sites in coming months, as we get into the consultation for the long-term plan and the levels of service we offer, and as we continue our work in addressing pressing local issues such as flooding, we can see these numbers trend toward the positive.”

Caffell is pleased with community responses about parks and recreation spaces, and the approach to waste management.

“We are committed to continuing to be a council that is transparent and that listens to its community,” he said.

“I encourage people to get involved in things like our future consultation around our Long Term Plan, providing feedback to the council through the appropriate channels when something needs sorting or if they think we’re doing really well, or coming to have a chat with me in person.”

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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