Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says an overview of the results show that the confidence of residents in our city is strong.
In all 402 people were surveyed, 50 per cent were residents while the other half were visitors to the city from the lower North Island. Visitors appeared to have less of an appreciation of what the city had to offer, although when compared with previous surveys there has been some improvement.
Both surveyed groups agreed the city is an easy place to live; has a great lifestyle; great parks and recreational facilities; is a great place for raising a family, cycling, and education and student life.
Jono Naylor says the results show we are doing well in some areas. However there are gaps and we need to continue telling people about what we're doing with sustainability, innovation, business friendliness and why we are a visitor destination so that more people are aware of what a great city this is. "The regional magazine 'The Page' is helping us do this and I look forward to the next edition which will be launched later this month."
Last year Council carried out an email panel survey of 400 residents. That survey asked: "If Palmerston North was a person, what sort of person would it be?" And: "What sort of person would you want it be?"
The results, while mixed, contained some common themes including: artistic, vibrant, multicultural, caring, prosperous and sensible, while others chose adjectives like conservative, lacking in confidence.
Interestingly, what came through quite strongly is that those surveyed want Palmerston North to be more confident, exciting, friendly, family oriented and artistic.
Mayor Naylor says the response about the future fits with our vision of where we want Palmerston North to be as a city, a city that is recognised as a vibrant, caring, innovative and sustainable.
Earlier this month international urban strategist Charles Landry was in Palmerston North. He indexed the city against 17 other international cities. His final report is still being compiled and will be made public later this month.
Mayor Naylor says he read both surveys with Charles Landry's words fresh on his mind.
"Charles Landry told us that easy, comfortable and relaxed are great adjectives however they can indicate complacency. We need to be alert, recognise threats at local, national and international levels and introduce specific actions to fulfil our vision."
"The results of the surveys show we are moving in the right direction and have also provided us with food for thought."