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