Auckland: Unsafe, polluted, discriminatory

25 Sep, 2017
Professor Charles Crothers, co-author of the Macro Auckland report and lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at AUT.

Aucklanders are significantly more likely than other New Zealanders to be the victims of burglary and vehicle offences and although Auckland’s overall crime rate is decreasing, too many Aucklanders continue to feel unsafe.

The vast majority (92%) of Aucklanders feel safe in their own homes. However, only 57% feel safe enough to walk alone in their own neighbourhood after dark, a rate significantly lower than in other major New Zealand centres a new report suggests.

The research

The Macro Auckland report, launched in March this year, looks at Auckland’s most pressing social issues and brings together information, research and data from more than 200 diverse sources.

Co-author of the report, AUT University’s Professor Charles Crothers along with fellow author Deb Schwarz from the Auckland Communities Foundation, says the report acts to inform interested Aucklanders about the areas of need, deprivation, resilience, activity and growth and also both the perceptions and the realities of being an Aucklander and living in Auckland.

“The report gives people an explicitly honest picture of Auckland and the way we live in it and how we feel about it. It charts issues where there’s consensus and where there is dissension and points of both concern and hope.

“We all want a good job and a safe home, however we’re far more wasteful than we should be if we want to achieve a sustainable city, and if we are to build more cohesive communities we will need to be more tolerant and accommodating of immigrants and others outside the mainstream,” Professor Crothers says.

Stand-out statistics

*    Reported crime in Auckland has declined since its peak in 2002/03. If you want to feel safe in your home after dark, move to the North Shore. Ninety per cent of North Shore residents reported they feel safe in their homes after the sun sets compared to 89% for Rodney followed by Waitakere (87%), Auckland (86%) and Manukau (80%).

Rodney and North Shore residents again feel the safest in their local neighbourhoods after dark with 80% and 77%, respectively, feeling safe. Only 59% of Manukau residents feel safe after dark in their neighbourhoods.

*    The average income was $694 per week in Auckland in 2010. However, while average earnings may be higher in Auckland than in other parts of New Zealand, the average hides considerable variability, and household expenditure is also higher.

*    Auckland’s range of parks, beaches and outdoor spaces provide opportunities for recreation and physical activity. However, Auckland is not meeting the national standards for air quality largely because of transport pollution and domestic fires during winter. Air quality is leading to up to 500 premature deaths per year.

The Macro Auckland Summary Report
The full report
The Auckland Communities Foundation
Languages and Social Sciences at AUT
Professor Charles Crothers

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