2.1 Survey methodology
In October 2006, all organisations that had signed up to the Protocol before 1 February 2006, as well as two more recent signatories who also chose to take part in monitoring, were given the opportunity to complete an electronic survey. The survey comprised two parts: a questionnaire on overall experience in implementing action plans (to be completed by all respondents); and a questionnaire to be completed on progress for each action undertaken (this was not required to be completed by respondents who had not yet submitted action plans). The questionnaires asked for information about progress made in implementing the action plans, evaluation of the level of success achieved, factors contributing to or hindering progress, and any lessons learnt from the experience. A copy of the questionnaires is attached as Appendix 1. Signatories were given two weeks to submit their responses, and a reminder was sent to them three days before this time had elapsed.
After initial analysis of responses, a cross-section of respondents was invited to participate in a follow-up interview to focus in more detail on aspects of their experience. Matters canvassed included respondents’ views on the impact of the action plan on urban design processes (particularly organisational processes and decision-making), as well as their thoughts about the future direction that should be taken by the Ministry for the Environment to assist signatories to achieve the objectives of the Protocol. Twelve interviews were carried out with signatories representing the range of sectors and geographic locations. They included large and small organisations, and both those that are nationally focused and those that work in a more local context.
This monitoring report provides the signatories’ own evaluation of their experience and the level of success they have achieved. Further investigation, including discussion with other stakeholders, would be required to determine whether this evaluation is consistent with perceptions of other people who have been involved with, or are affected by, the actions being implemented by signatories.
2.2 Overview of responses
Of the 106 signatories who were sent the survey, only 68 (or 64 percent) submitted responses. A breakdown of response rates from different types of organisation is shown in Figure 1. While half of the respondents are based in either Auckland or Wellington, organisations in centres from Kaikohe to Invercargill were represented.
Figure 1: Survey responses
The highest response rates were obtained from the developer/investor and local government sectors, and the lowest from educational and professional institutes and sector organisations. While it is not possible to draw definitive conclusions about the reason for this, the relative extent to which respondents see themselves as dealing with urban design issues as a core part of their day-to-day work might be a contributing factor. In the case of sector organisations and professional institutes, some respondents are carrying out their roles in addition to other fulltime employment.
Of the 68 signatories who responded to the survey, 59 (87 percent) had submitted action plans to the Ministry for the Environment. Of the nine who had not submitted action plans, two thirds indicated that they were close to completion and all anticipated submitting their plans before the end of 2007. The factors hindering completion of action plans are discussed later in this report.
All respondents except one completed the questionnaire on overall experience in implementing action plans, with the remaining respondent completing only the part of the survey seeking information about individual actions. However, 16 respondents who had submitted action plans did not complete the questionnaire on individual actions. In some cases these respondents had only recently begun to implement actions; in others it is not clear why this part of the survey was not completed.
No professional institutes and only one developer completed the questionnaire on individual actions. However, signatories in these sectors did provide some information about individual actions in their responses on overall experience. In the other sectors, respondents reporting on individual actions were representative of both the geographic spread of signatories and the range of large and small organisations.