Community & Environment

Outcomes of December’s Community, Services and Environment Committee meeting

Guiding and fulfilling planned developments at Hamilton Gardens was a key topic at the final meeting for 2018 of Hamilton City Council’s Community, Services and Environment Committee this week.

The Committee received two reports relating to the popular visitor attraction – one dealing with a proposal from the Hamilton Gardens Development Trust (HGDT) and the other outlining a Reserves Act planning process which enables the organisation to incorporate a well-developed masterplan for the gardens. The committee voted in favour of a proposal from the HGDT , which will see the formation of a Project Governance Group (PGG) to oversee planned expansion and construction at the expansive public park.  Potential members of the PGG will be nominated to the Council by a working party which will include Mayor Andrew King, Cr Paula Southgate as Chair of Community, Services and Environment Committee and two members of the HGDT.  The PGG will also have a role to play in securing funding for continuing an extensive garden development, and will include the Council’s Deputy Chief Executive Lance Vervoort, who has responsibility for Hamilton Gardens.

The second item relating to Hamilton Gardens was the three-yearly Management Plan review, a statutory requirement under the Reserves Act. The review provides the organisation with an opportunity to introduce the Hamilton Gardens Masterplan into a new Management Plan – a recommendation the Committee endorsed. The draft Management Plan will be prepared by staff and will be presented for community feedback during a two-month public consultation period.

The Committee also dealt with four new community occupancy applications, for sites owned by the Council. The New Zealand Model Powerboat Association was granted a five-year licence for storage at the old miniature train tunnel at Hamilton Lake Domain, while Shinjokai Karate-do Incorporated was given a three-year lease for the historic Frankton Railway Hall. The Committee granted 10-year leases for two Victoria St sites adjacent to one another – Citizens Advice Bureau Hamilton for the former Reid Studio building and Waikato Dance Performance Trust for the Old St Peter’s Hall immediately next door.

A Strategic Plan for the Council’s Community Development Unit was also approved by the Committee. The plan was developed with participation from Dr Bev Gatenby, councillors and the relevant staff, and will inform the work of the unit’s staff and result in increased frequency of reporting of its roles in the organisation and the community.

A report on the Council’s Environmental Sustainability Initiatives Stocktake provided both an overview and some extensive detail on a range of work the organisation is undertaking to reduce its environmental impact. The Council has 11 Sustainability Principles which cover mitigating environmental degradation, responding to climate change and protecting waterways and biodiversity, among other risks and opportunities. Two of the highlights identified were ongoing replacement of Hamilton’s streetlights with new energy efficient LED lanterns, and adoption of Hamilton’s second Waste Management and Minimisation Plan in April 2018, which includes a key focus on education and improving the kerbside rubbish and recycling service.

Mr Vervoort’s General Manager’s Report presented updates on assessments and related methodology on the quality of Lake Rotoroa, within Hamilton Lake Domain, and also the Hamilton Central City Safety Perceptions Survey.

In her Chair’s Report, Councillor  Southgate noted the successful opening of the Mansfield Garden at Hamilton Gardens, upcoming work to engage with the community on playground improvements in Hillcrest, unveiling of the Toia Mai artwork in the central city, and the reopening of refurbished Waterworld.

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