Community & Environment

Outcomes of August meeting of Community, Services and Environment Committee

Hamilton City Council’s Community, Services and Environment Committee met yesterday (22 August), for the final time this triennium.

The Committee has been chaired by Cr Paula Southgate, and yesterday’s meeting covered items relating to community occupancies in the city’s parks, a plan for the West Town Belt, central city safety, Civil Defence and the Local Indigenous Biodiversity Project.

Over the last 14 months staff have been developing and refining the West Town Belt Masterplan, a document intended to guide the future use of the 54ha stretch of land from Hamilton Girls’ High School to the Waikato River. The West Town Belt includes Seddon Park, FMG Stadium Waikato, several parks and the Founders Theatre site. The 30-year ‘big picture’ Masterplan presents a vision, outcomes and design strategies for the site as well as a range of potential projects the Council could explore. The Committee recommended to the Council the Masterplan be adopted, and as part of the resolution passed it also recommended future exploration of options for pedestrian crossings on Mill St, possible future car parking on the old V8 Supercars event pit lane site, and the inclusion of options for skate parks and playgrounds.

The Committee also endorsed a staff recommendation to commence public consultation to seek the communities view on the reclassification of land on two of the city’s parks. The reclassification processes stem from proposals by two organisations Kaute Pasifika (for a Pan Pacifica Hub on Hinemoa Park) and Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust (for an expansion of its building on Claudelands Park). The proposed reclassification of specific parts of the parks is to ensure the classifications align with the services offered by both organisations. The consultation process allows people or organisations to make objections and provide comments on the reclassification process.

The General Manager’s Report from Deputy Chief Executive Lance Vervoort included an update on a vacant Council building in Hamilton Lake Domain, adjacent to the Ruakiwi Rd reservoir. Indicative costs to upgrade the building –  to a condition in which it could be used by a community group – are expected in late September. Other updates included information on the Waikato Regional Sports Facilities Plan (which looks at capacity and assets for sports and recreation in the region), and the Council’s Biodiversity Strategy, which requires further community engagement and alignment to the Government’s National Policy Statement on Biodiversity, expected in October.

A report on the Local Indigenous Biodiversity Pilot Project gave an update on the tools and processes planned for implementation of the Project, which aims to increase Hamilton’s biodiversity from 2% to 10%.

The Committee also received a Hamilton Central City Safety Strategy Report, which showed improved perceptions of safety in central Hamilton based on surveys of business owners and the public, the quarterly Civil Defence Emergency Management Update, and a submission to be made to the Ministry of Transport’s Discussion Papers on Clean Car Standard and the Clean Car: Moving the Light Vehicle Fleet to Low Emissions.

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