Community & Environment

Outcomes of June meeting of Community, Services, and Environment Committee

Fourteen high-profile events will receive Hamilton City Council funding next financial year following yesterday’s (Tuesday 25 June) meeting of the Council’s Community, Services and Environment Committee.

The Council makes an annual Events Sponsorship Fund of $393,000 available for larger events meeting a set of criteria focussed on exposure for the city, economic benefits, and the promotion of pride and a sense of place for the city’s residents. At its meeting this week, the Committee opted to fund 14 different events, including the popular Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, Balloons over Waikato and the Boon Street Art Festival, plus cultural festivals, and sporting competitions and tournaments.

The Committee also received a detailed report on The Peak, a large indoor recreation and sports facility at Rototuna High Schools, and which the Council helps fund. The Peak is managed by a trust, and its Annual Report noted ongoing use of the facility by five different sports involving more than 300,000 participants since September 2017. The Peak’s trust is aiming to increase its capacity and bookings to generate more revenue, a key part of the business plan for the facility. Staff and the Committee identified opportunities to engage with ethnic communities and older citizens to get them involved in activities at the increasingly popular facility.

Staff presented a report on an approach received from a community group, Parents Place Trust, which had expressed an interest in a residential property the Council owns on Ruakiwi Rd. The property includes a 200sqm home previously connected to operation of the adjacent water reservoir. The Committee asked staff to assess whether the building is suitable for community group use, and if so, to commence an expressions of interest process for future occupancy – reliant on a community group agreeing to upgrade the building at its cost.

Ellie Wilkinson, the Operations Manager of Hamilton Multicultural Services Trust presented a verbal report. The Trust was initially formed in 1999 out of concern regarding the gaps in services for people from different cultural, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and it operates out of a Council-owned site on Boundary Rd – Settlement Centre Waikato, on the edge of Claudelands Park. The Trust has seen increasing awareness of Hamilton’s ethnic diversity following the terrorist attack in Christchurch in March, and continues to manage the growing demand for its support services.

The Parks, Domains and Reserves Bylaw Review process – a legal requirement for the Council – is nearing an end, with the Committee today receiving a revised version of the Draft Bylaw and recommending to the Council it be adopted. Fifteen submissions were received, the large majority supporting the need for a bylaw.  No major changes to the bylaw have been recommended by staff.

In her Chair’s Report, Cr Paula Southgate noted the numerous community events being held across the city, and the challenges for community organisations in finding appropriate spaces for their programmes and performances. She also urged the Committee and staff to stay aware of the need for the Council’s building assets to be properly maintained for the community groups’ use.

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