Opotiki residents should not be surprised if they get a phone call in coming days seeking their opinion on a range of council activities and services.
National Research Bureau has been engaged to conduct the council's annual residents’ survey.
NRB is an independent company with extensive experience carrying resident surveys for councils throughout the country.
Opotiki District Council chief executive Aileen Lawrie says the Community Satisfaction Survey is a key part of the council's commitment to actively seek public opinion and involvement.
“These survey results play an important role in our decision-making across the board.
“It is a really useful tool for understanding where a wide range of our ratepayers sit on certain topics. It captures many of the people who might otherwise not make their voice heard – perhaps because they haven’t had a strong reason to contact council recently or feel that their issues are voiced by other people.
“It certainly doesn’t replace our other avenues for feedback like the Long Term Plan consultation or feedback provided directly on an issue. But it does add a new perspective – almost the opposite to the squeaky wheel.”
Lawrie says it has been a productive year with plenty of new funding flowing into the district through central government grants for new footpaths, Te Tahuhu o Te Rangi, a new digital hub, a plan for a revitalised town centre and a new-look skatepark, rose gardens and bike trails.
“We have been planning many of these projects for years and it has been incredible to be able to really speed up delivery on these projects because of the funding from central government. It will be interesting to see what all this new activity means for our local community and how that is reflected in the survey feedback.
“So if people do get a call, I really encourage them to find the time to provide their thoughts and feedback to the NRB as it is really valuable to council.”
To ensure a broad cross-section of community responses, people living in all three wards of the Opotiki district will be telephoned using a randomised selection method and asked their opinions on a wide range of council issues and the services it delivers to residents.
“The process is random, but there are often a few people who would really like to provide council with their feedback even if they didn’t get selected through NRB.
“It’s great people feel engaged and want to provide feedback, and we welcome that any time, either through our Have your say page our website, in person at the customer services desk, or through the Antenno app.”
Responses from the NRB survey, expected to be completed by Tuesday, February 16, will form part of the results for council's Annual Report to June 30, 2021.