Look­ing to­wards Greater Hamil­ton

Hamilton News - - NEWS - Tom Row­land

Hamil­ton City Coun­cil is look­ing for a more high-pow­ered ap­proach to have its say on what hap­pens out­side its city bound­aries, to plan for the next 100 years.

A new strategy, la­belled as Greater Hamil­ton in a re­port pre­pared by staff and pre­sented to coun­cil­lors, will take a four-way ap­proach to en­sur­ing Hamil­ton’s pros­per­ity in the fu­ture. These are:

■ Be­ing part of the Hamil­tonauck­land trans­port cor­ri­dor plan. The plan aims to bet­ter sup­port growth and in­crease con­nec­tiv­ity within the Hamil­ton to Auck­land cor­ri­dor while im­prov­ing hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity.

■ De­vel­op­ing its growth strategy by look­ing at what needs to hap­pen in the Greater Hamil­ton area in the fu­ture for the city to thrive.

■ Re­view­ing the Fu­ture Proof doc­u­ment which tar­gets growth strategy spe­cific to the Hamil­ton, Waipa¯ , and Waikato sub-re­gion and has been de­vel­oped jointly with Hamil­ton City Coun­cil.

■ Work­ing with neigh­bour­ing coun­cils, with po­ten­tial re­align­ments of ter­ri­to­rial bound­aries.

The re­port, pre­sented to the coun­cil on Oc­to­ber 11, said Hamil­ton is the fourth most pop­u­lous and one of the fastest grow­ing cities in New Zealand, but is the third small­est ter­ri­to­rial au­thor­ity by area.

In ap­prox­i­mately 50 years time, the Hamil­ton pop­u­la­tion will be be­tween 250,000 to 300,000.

Coun­cil staff brought the re­port be­fore coun­cil­lors to take ac­tion on the rapidly in­creas­ing growth of Hamil­ton. Mayor An­drew King said it is crit­i­cal that the city plans for the next 100 years.

“I do feel strongly about this — it is a 100 year plan and it is about be­ing re­spon­si­ble. It is im­por­tant that we do plan our city for the next 100 years,” Mayor King said.

Councillor Mark Bunting, who has been push­ing for a build up, not out strategy, said he fi­nally sup­ported look­ing out.

“Up not out, I still stand by that,” Mr Bunting said.

“How­ever, thank you staff — I now get where you are go­ing. Bound­aries are just a part of this dis­cus­sion.”

“A smart city is a bet­ter city within its en­vi­ron­ment.”

Councillor Rob Pas­coe was con­cerned that the strategy could be­come a talk­fest.

“It seems to me we are in the tent with cen­tral gov­ern­ment, but to get some suc­cess here we need to per­suade to get oth­ers in the tent with us,” Mr Pas­coe said.

“We need to work hard to show that we are not the big boys in the re­gion, be­cause that does work against us.”

Deputy Mayor Martin Gal­lagher said lo­cal gov­ern­ment must be on guard for an all-talk, no-ac­tion ap­proach.

“There seems to be a strategy of re­port af­ter re­port, a lot of talk, and then no ac­tion.”

Councillor Ge­off Tay­lor said the Hamil­ton to Auck­land cor­ri­dor plan will pro­vide Hamil­ton with a range of new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“I think this is re­ally ex­cit­ing, and it is go­ing to fast track some of the plan­ning we have been frus­trated and ag­o­nised by for some­time,” Mr Tay­lor said.

The coun­cil voted unan­i­mously to pro­ceed with the Greater Hamil­ton plan.

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Pea­cocke will be­come a new sub­urb to help with Hamil­ton’s grow­ing pop­u­la­tion.

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