While more than half of the Taranaki population who took part in a recent survey said they were happy, life has not been without its worries. (file photo)
Access to good health care worries people in Taranaki more than those living in other parts of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
While the cost of living was the number one concern across the country in last month’s local survey by Stuff NowNext, 55% of respondents in Taranaki expressed concerns about access to medical services.
In relation to the rest of New Zealand, 34% were concerned about access to good healthcare, as well as concerns about climate change and transport.
The top two national issues were rising cost of living, which reached 62%, and housing affordability, at 52%.
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The local poll Stuff NowNext ran online between August 12th and 28th. It reached more than 5,500 New Zealanders and the data was weighted to reflect nationally representative samples for gender, age and region.
On the whole, Taranaki residents seem fairly content with their property compared to other parts of New Zealand.
Across the country, 49% of all Kiwis said they were happy. Respondents in Nelson were the most satisfied at 64%, followed by those living in Hawke’s Bay at 60%.
Taranaki came up with 54% of smileys, while Aucklanders were the saddest, with only 42% of respondents expressing happiness.
The main reasons New Zealanders feel unhappy are the cost of living crisis, grievances about the government and rising crime rates.
Regarding other survey issues, respondents in Taranaki were less concerned about transport and personal safety than the rest of the country, but 8% more concerned than other Kiwis about access to quality education.
Voting opened in local elections last Friday, September 16, and the poll showed eight in 10 New Zealanders would vote before the October 8 noon deadline.
However, trust in local politicians reached 19%, in stark contrast to the professions respondents trust the most, with paramedics topping the list at 89%.
A question specifically asked of Taranaki residents was whether the three boroughs of New Plymouth, Stratford and South Taranaki should become one.
Two-thirds of respondents, or 61%, opposed the move, while 15% supported the merger. Those unsure about a merger stood at 24%.
Of the respondents to the survey, 52% were female, 48% male and 1% identified as gender specific.
The age range was evenly distributed, with 30% between 18-34, 38% in the 35-43 category, and 32% aged 55 or older.
The largest response to the survey among residents of New Zealand’s major cities came from Auckland at 33%, while regional insights from New Zealand, which includes Taranaki, accounted for 43% of the total.