Community & Environment

Aspirational and inclusive vision for first Community Committee Meeting of 2020

A collaborative, inclusive and forward-thinking city were key themes at this month’s Hamilton City Council’s Community Committee Meeting.

Councillor Mark Bunting, Chair of the Committee, spoke to a packed public gallery on Thursday 20 February saying he looked forward to some great outcomes for the community over the next three years.

“I am very excited about what we are going to achieve as a group. I have a very clear and firm vision, shared by my very able Deputy, Cr Kesh [Naidoo-Rauf], on the community outcomes we can create for this wonderful place.”

K’aute Pasifika Trust moved one step closer to their vision of building a Pan Pasifika Hub in central Hamilton when the Committee voted unanimously to reclassify a section of Hinemoa Park from “recreation” to “local purpose”. The Committee also voted in favour of leasing part of the reclassified land to the Trust for up to 30 years.

The project, which has been three years in the making, will be a New Zealand first and aims to be a place of healing, learning and support for all community members who wish to access its services. The Trust’s proposal also aims to breathe life into a large part of the city’s West Town Belt – a 54-hectare network of parks and gully on the fringe of the city’s centre.

Cr Naidoo-Rauf, Deputy Chair of the Community Committee, said the benchmark project showcased a sense of belonging and inclusiveness to the community.

“Let’s show New Zealand that it’s okay to build a beacon which signals that multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion is the way of the future.”

A consultation process was undertaken from August to September last year, with 88 submissions later heard at the Hearings and Engagement Committee on 5 February 2020. An overwhelming majority of these (80) were in favour of a community centre being built.

The final proposal and lease agreement for the site will be reported back to the Community Committee by August 2020 for approval.

City Safe Unit Manager Kelvin Powell provided Committee Members with a quarterly update on the Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) report which covered the first full activation of our emergency operations in support of the Whakaari/White Island eruption.

Cr Bunting said the first Community meeting of the year was a brilliant way to showcase what could be achieved by Council.

“I was really proud of the committee who made some great decisions with their heads and their hearts for the wellbeing of the Hamilton community. I’m thrilled for K’aute Pasifika who can move on and work hard to find funders with the confidence that this Council is behind them.”

For the full agenda, reports and minutes, go to www.hamilton.govt.nz/agendas

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