Street poll: Wellingtonians love their healthy and safe city, but…
TWO-THIRDS of people surveyed on Wellington’s sunny streets this week agree locals are healthier and safer than the rest of the country.
However the numbers were not quite as supportive as a quality of life survey which found nine out of 10 Wellingtonians love living in the capital.
Of the 92 people surveyed by Whitireia Journalism students, 67% agreed the city was a healthy and safe place to live.
Visitor Caroline Ridd (56) likes what she sees in Wellington.
“I’d say that’s probably pretty true. I mean, walking along the boardwalk everybody looks happy,” says the Palmerston North farmer.
The national survey was jointly funded by participating councils, and involved more than 5000 people across the country.
Almost half of those spoken to in the street poll favourably compared Wellington’s safety to Auckland, New Plymouth, Australia, Ireland, England, Scotland, South Africa and Vietnam.
Student Laura Middleton (18), compared it with the other side of the Tasman: “OMG, that’s so true, you don’t have to watch out for mafia here like in Australia.”
Chau Tia (35) is an impressed tourist: “Yes I was born in Vietnam and this morning my friend and I said we are never going back. It is a better life here for young kids.”
Traffic was a safety issue for some in Wellington. For example retiree John Dommett (75) says: “The driving around Wellington is appalling. But I can’t say anything; I’m part of the mob”.
Solicitor Rebecca Stickney (32) of Strathmore, like many of those spoken to likes the healthy outdoors: “On sunny days people definitely make the most out of the outdoor areas and facilities.”
However these is not enough sun for cinema manager Chantel Wakely (25): “I’m from the Mount [Maunganui] and when I moved down here I had to be out on vitamin D tablets because there was no sun” – photo
Of those spoken to 51 (57%) were men and 41 women (43%).
Other survey responses were:
Meghan Wayne (22) Ottawa Canada, tourist: “Wellington is a cool place and I feel safe walking round”.
Cara Griffith (22) and Freddie Simpson (22) Auckland, students: “We have only been down for two hours but it seems safe enough. The public transport is awesome though.” Both say they haven’t been out in Wellington at night so it is hard to compare.
Hyrum Reynolds, 28, Lyall Bay, marketing: That’s a wide generalisation on an arrogate level.”
Josh Borland, 20, Brooklyn, café assistant: “Well I haven’t been beaten up in Wellington yet, so that’s good. I guess I am healthier. I’m drinking more coffee.”
Kate Butler, 24, Newtown, graphic student: “I wouldn’t say it’s completely wrong but not completely right. There’s a good vibe around here.”
Daniel Latu (20) Lyall Bay, student: The Pacific Island Institute: “Don’t like standing round town. Not a town person.” Photo
Astuiad Schrammed (69) Kelburn: “When I’m here I feel safe. I’m a tourist from Germany and moved back to Wellington recently after being away for 25 years. It was safer back then. There are some areas I wouldn’t walk alone. 25 years ago you could go anywhere.”
Micol Nicholson (31) central Wellington, unemployed: “It’s really quiet. I’m not from New Zealand but I feel safe living here.”
Susan Robertson (46) unemployed: “Yeah, I feel safe. There are definitely places I wouldn’t go. I feel healthy this is a great place.”
Matt Boyce (40), right, central Wellington, police sergeant: “Yes, I feel safe. I’ve worked in this community for five years. I know the people and am comfortable with the community. We promote a message of safety. I need to be confident that Wellington is safe and healthy when promoting this message at Universities and schools.
Greg Couper (39), banker: “It seems like it’s safer, more so than South Auckland.”
Aaron Richardson (27), delivery specialist: “I definitely think Wellingtonians are probably healthier, there are just so many activities to be done. You’ve mountain biking, and the harbour right in front of you. When I’m walking to work in the morning its always… people out rowing, running and walking about, cycling. So healthier? Yes. Safer? Depends on the day really, I dunno about safer, anything can happen these days.”
Roz Pahi (39) Hastings, caregiver: “I don’t really know, it’s really just my personal view, I think Hastings is safer, but it’s my first stay here, and it really depends on where you are.”
Margarete Douglas (65) Avalon: “I can’t really comment on that because I actually stick to the outdoors, and decent places. I wouldn’t think it was any safer than anywhere else”
Jess Hollis (18) student: “I feel safe but there are weirdos like anywhere else and J-walking is so bad here.”
Thomas Clarke-Puia (17) student: “It’s not safer than New Plymouth because that’s a small place.”
Karri Shaw (18) student: “New Plymouth is a lot safer than Wellington but Auckland would be the worst.”
Ruby Harrison (19) student: “There are a lot of people exercising around so it sounds right. It’s great that people feel safe, I do.”
Rebecca Bonnevie (28) Churton Park, unemployed: “It’s a great place to live, I think because there are heaps of outdoor places people are definitely healthier”
Kirstie Mclean (18) Te Puni, student: “I feel much safer, there are so many people and I can walk home at night on my own without feeling scared.”
Rick Parry (56) homeless: “I’ve been in Wellington for 30 years so I can’t really comment on that one, as I haven’t lived anywhere else. I feel safe in Wellington. I sometimes have the police ask if I have seen any trouble, and I always say none at all.”
Summer George (17) Island Bay: “I think I do, just because I don’t really know other places in New Zealand, so Wellington’s like all I know. I know where to go to be safe. I don’t really feel safe in Porirua or the Hutt, but Wellington City I feel safe.”
Bex Djentuh (26) Wellington central; “I would agree with that, because I’ve lived in Auckland and some places in the South Island. They are really. I haven’t lived in Porirua or Lower Hutt, but I know friends that do. They feel safer walking home in Wellington than catching a bus in Lower Hutt.”
Penny Ronald (18), student: “I just got here a week ago. I felt safer on the farm to be honest, too many people around.”
Allan Simpson (70), Manchester, retired: “We compare everything to England not to New Zealand. It’s a lot safer.”
Mike Bell (44), project manager: “I’ve just moved here on Wednesday from the UK so it’s a bit difficult for me to answer that one. I think it’s healthier than the UK.”
Ferne Cheetam (20) student: “I’m from a small town but it’s got a small town feel. I reckon it is.”
Bert Wilson (71) Wellington, retired: “It’s always been the same. After a few beers it was always safe to walk home, but now you need to be careful. Its drugs, young men especially, young girls. In the 60s, 70s and 80s there was no fear. But Wellington is far safer than Invercargill.”
Andrew McNaught (40) manager: “My personal view is I feel safer here than most other large cities. When I go out in larger cities it’s out of control”.
Jade Marriott (20) Victoria, student: “Id agree with that. I have walked around here at night and in Auckland and I feel safer here.”
Paul Mitchener (63) Lambton Quay, I.T: “I wouldn’t agree with that because of earthquake hazards”.
Tim Kwant (25) Glasgow, tourist: “It’s very safe but haven’t felt otherwise since I’ve been here.”
Jason Bartlett (41) Palmerston North, project manager: “It’s definitely a lot more interesting over here. Walking around is convenient, close to everything and easy to do things like mountain biking, walks, go running and get active.”
Lena Walton (45) Wellington, insurance manager: “Not necessarily, lived all my life in the city and I don’t think so. Generally speaking it’s a matter of personal choice.”
Maria Pederson (58) Wellington, receptionist: “Maybe. There is still crime and people still get hurt. I don’t know if there is a perfect city.” She says the environment and café culture encourages people to get out more. “There’s always a hill to walk up.”
Tom Hoarder (28) Wellington, project developer: “I don’t know how to respond to that. To answer that you would need to look at the facts and figures. On an intuitive level, yes I feel like that somewhat. I’ve lived Dunedin and lived here and I don’t feel like one is safer or healthier than the other. I’m just basing it on the fact I haven’t been stabbed in either city. It’s a nice place to be outside.”
Dewi Tanner (32) UK, video game producer: “Certainly. I agree.” “Other cities are known more for an active lifestyle such as Queenstown, not as active as I like but yes I think so.”
Al Norman (41) Social Worker/Musician: “I find all the office workers scarier on a weekend than the homeless people I work with. The testosterone filled people behind the desk all week.”
Damon Rusden (19): “With the binge drinking culture in today’s youth, it is relatively safe until you hit the weekend where they come out in force and it is quite intimidating.”
Allan Stuart Cunningham (45): “I have never had any problems so far. Compared to other cities, much smaller, much more creative, more inviting.”
Alex Fensome (29) reporter: – It’s a bit easier to cycle and walk around in Invercargill because it is smaller, but saying that I think people in Wellington are healthier.
Ro Tierney (32), left, Dublin, freelance videographer: “I have a totally contrasting view, coming from Ireland. It’s opposite sides of the spectrum in the two cities. Over in Dublin we mostly just sit at home and drink because it rains all the time.”
Adam Kendell (24): “The city is quite accessible and compact which is good for people with disabilities.”
Emily Rita Mwila (23), busker: “I always feel safe but that maybe just naivety. Only felt worried as a busker during the [rugby] sevens.”
Vera Hempel: “I felt safe in Central Wellington, but maybe Porirua, and when I am on the train to Upper Hutt and I get off at Naenae I don’t feel safe.”
Lilli Rorvik (30), IT, Norway: “Yeah, I do feel that way. Not scared at all around Wellington.” She has travelled quite a lot around New Zealand, including living in Queenstown for a while. She likes the markets and cheap vegetables available. Photo