The Waikato region is generally doing well across a range of economic, social and environmental indicators but could do significantly better on a number of fronts.
That’s the thrust of a new report presented to the regional council’s strategy and policy committee today.
The Waikato Progress Indicators – Tupuranga Waikato (WPI) report is part of a regular council series which takes the region’s pulse across a wide variety of issues.
WPI measures 32 key economic, social and environmental indicators which are regularly up-dated and analysed to identify changes and trends over time.
“The results show that over recent years we have experienced modest economic growth, but social and environmental progress has been limited,” said the committee’s deputy chair Theresa Stark.
The most recent positive and negative trends are:
Some of the other positive trends from the latest report include growing use of public transport, lower per capita costs associated with road accidents, reduced criminal offending, and better educational outcomes.
However, other negative trends include:
The reports’s author, council sustainable projects advisor Beat Huser, said that generally the Waikato region is similar to the national average on many of the measured indicators.
“However, despite significant improvements in recent years, road safety is still worse than the national average.
“Recycling remains considerably below the national average and, despite reduced offending recently, crime rates are higher than the national average,” said Mr Huser.
Regional GDP per capita, while increasing since 2007, is still slightly lower than the national average, he added.
Cr Stark said the data would contribute to debate about priorities for action by various parties across the region. “A key for our future in the Waikato will be how we can develop economically while also addressing social issues and maintain the natural resources we need for continued growth.”
More information is available at www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Community/Waikato-Progress-Indicators-Tupuranga-Waikato/