Mostly missed in recent days by the media and commentators was the release of a fifty page document as a result of a major survey organised by Enterprise Miramar. It’s interesting from an Eastern Ward perspective, but also because it shows some strong themes around what residents think is important in this upcoming election.
Nearly a thousand people filled in the survey with just over two-thirds living on the Peninsula itself. That makes for a rich set of data, not perfect (surveys never are), and the questions covered a wide array of content.
The purpose of the survey was to gather ideas and views from the community (the local Miramar community as well as the wider Wellington City community and beyond) on the issues facing the Peninsula and what a vision for its future should encompass and the priority issues to be addressed.
The overall aim was to gather as many views and ideas as possible to help support and inform further discussions, planning and the development of projects and programmes of investment on the Peninsula that can benefit the local community and the city more broadly.
The survey also provided a useful way of reinvigorating community interest in thinking about the future of the Peninsula as a whole.Miramar Community Survey Report
You should read the entire report yourself, especially you Council candidates, you’ve just been gifted the kind of data that political candidates can only dream of. But, here are some interesting out takes.
The top three reasons that people live on the Peninsula are because of the coastline & beaches, scenic beauty & natural environment, and strong community. You could arguably roll the first two together, call it the physical environment.
As Wellingtonians, we love our environment and we tend to view any disruption to that with great prejudice. Couple that with a strong community and when the city activates it does so strongly. Takeaway here is that our environment and community strength is why we choose to live in this city.
The relatively high proportion of responses who attributed their reasons for working on the Peninsula to the film industry / creative culture is indicative of the significant presence of this sector on the Peninsula and the large number of people working within it.
Over a third of people who work on the Peninsula are working in and around the film industry. This is evidenced by the vast array of infrastructure that quite literally stretches from the southern boundary of Miramar all the way to the northern.
It’s not just Miramar. There are facilities that stretch across the city from Eastern Suburbs to the Hutt. We are deeply reliant on that industry and some diversification strategy is probably a good idea. Particularly when the industry is not only seasonal, but also quite vulnerable to global economic conditions. Right now while there is a strong pipeline of work with Avatars’ remaining movies and the potential of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings, things could change rapidly.
Reasons for visiting the Peninsula again mirrored why people live here. The natural environment came to the fore strongly and were followed up the area’s vibrant entertainment offerings. It took a long time for the cafe culture to reach the suburbs, but it has made it.
Then there are the things that the residents least like about the area…
Traffic, traffic, traffic. Safety issues for cyclists and kids, congestion, poor public transport, the comments were many. Again, this is likely mirroring the entire city thoughts as we have seen. It will be the top issue this election and candidates avoid it at their peril.
Quickly following that were issues around housing, lack thereof, and affordability. Again, something that is being seen right across the city and probably the second highest ranking issue on the election campaign trail.
Distinctly local issues included the “creeping” airport growth and you guessed it, Shelly Bay.
Both are Achilles heels in the WCC portfolio and will not go away anytime soon.
The airport continues to increase it’s footprint in a time of “Climate Emergency” with the WCC a major stakeholder in that development. Most candidates refused to answer questions or give any opinion on the continuing issues and they are going to have to find a way around that because residents here are over the lack of silence.
As to Shelly Bay… We’ve covered it enough, but again, candidates can be expected to have to find a position and stand on it as they are going to be asked again, again, and again.
All and all the information is interesting, unsurprising, and gives residents a base from which to determine what is important for the community while candidates have a source of information that shows what the community wants.