Gar­den Place re­de­vel­op­ment canned

Hamilton News - - Front Page - Tom Row­land

Mayor Andrew King la­belled Gar­den Place bro­ken, but that did not stop the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil­lors vot­ing its re­de­vel­op­ment out of the 10-year plan.

The Gar­den Place re­de­vel­op­ment was the most dis­liked project in the 10-year plan with 1205 sub­mit­ters vot­ing against it.

A mo­tion put for­ward by coun­cil­lors Dave Macpher­son and Angela O’leary with­drew all fund­ing from the plan, how­ever it ap­proved $100,000 per year for the next three years for the Hamil­ton Cen­tral Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion’s CBD Ac­ti­va­tion Plan.

It was chal­lenged by coun­cil­lor Garry Mal­lett, who put his own amend­ment up which with­drew all fund­ing from Gar­den Place com­pletely.

“This is an op­tion to with­draw some of the expenditure,” Cr Mal­lett said. “There has been sig­nif­i­cant angst amongst the public about yet an­other re­fur­bish­ment of Gar­den Place, that plus an­other sug­ges­tion ratepay­ers would be fund­ing more of it. We’ve flogged Gar­den Place to death.”

Cr James Cas­son sup­ported Cr Mal­lett’s amend­ment.

“A few months ago we voted down a mo­tion to spend $20,000 on ac­ti­va­tion at Vic­to­ria on the River, here we are look­ing at $100,000,” Cr Cas­son said.

“Un­less you have been asleep, in a coma or just not lis­ten­ing to the public. I’ll re­mind you the over­whelm­ing re­sponse from Hamil­to­ni­ans was no to a Gar­den Place re­vamp.”

Mayor King took aim at the peo­ple within Gar­den Place.

“Gar­den Place is bro­ken, it has got dis­count stores in it, two-dol­lar shop type stores, cell phone pi­rate shops, gam­ing stores in there and sand­wich shops.

“It has got very lit­tle to draw peo­ple with money in there, in fact it draws the op­po­site.”

The amend­ment was knocked back by coun­cil­lors with only Mayor King and coun­cil­lors Mal­lett, Cas­son, Leo Tooman sup­port­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Mark Bunt­ing said the mo­tion was lovely be­cause it was the brain­child of two of Hamil­ton’s longest-serv­ing coun­cil­lors.

“Gosh I love it when Mum and Dad play nice,” Cr Bunt­ing said.

“Peo­ple moan about Gar­den Place be­cause it is not work­ing, and peo­ple will de­stroy us if we do some­thing about it. This ac­ti­va­tion plan is cool, this puts peo­ple be­fore places.”

Coun­cil­lor Ryan Hamil­ton said he loved the new level of work­ing with new part­ners.

“One thing I cam­paigned on in my many campaigns was col­lab­o­ra­tions, and what I am lov­ing is this whole new level of col­lab­o­ra­tions,” Cr Hamil­ton said.

“I take Bunt­ing’s point that peo­ple are burnt on Gar­den Place but that is be­cause coun­cil stuffed it up three times. I think this is a tremen­dous win-win.”

Coun­cil­lors Tooman, Cas­son and Mal­lett voted against the mo­tion.

Mayor King, Deputy Mayor Martin Gal­lagher and coun­cil­lors Ge­off Tay­lor, Rob Pas­coe, Paula South­gate, Siggi Henry, O’leary, Macpher­son, Bunt­ing and Hamil­ton sup­ported it.

Photo / Tom Row­land

A book ex­change was one of the com­mu­nity driven events held at Gar­den Place.

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