Community & Environment

Outcomes of September Community, Services and Environment meeting

Hamilton City Council’s Community Services and Environment Committee has voted in favour of progressing a K’aute Pasifika proposal to occupy the high-profile Stadium Bowling Club site.

The Council-owned site, on Mill St opposite FMG Stadium Waikato, sits on the city’s West Town Belt and became available after the bowling club opted to terminate its lease in May 2017.  The Council subsequently ran an Expressions of Interest process to determine the next suitable occupant organisation.

K’aute Pasifika is a social, health and education services organisation, and its proposal is to construct a Pasifika and cultural hub on the site, including construction of a large fale. The Council is currently developing the West Town Belt Masterplan, so K’aute Pasifika will work closely with the Council’s staff on the design of the hub to ensure consistency with the masterplan and its principles. The West Town Belt Masterplan is expected to be concluded in March 2019.

K’aute Pasifika becoming the future lessee is subject to all necessary approvals being obtained under the Reserves Act and Resource Management Act.

The Committee also received a report outlining a review of the Council’s Community Occupancy Policy, which outlines a framework for decision making on community occupancies. The report detailed two options for rental subsidies for organisations which occupy council owned land/building – one an 87.5% subsidy, the other a two-tiered rental subsidy which would see organisations with annual revenue of more than $2M, financial surplus of more than $100,000 and central government funding receive a reduced subsidy of 50%. The Committee voted in favour of adopting the two-tiered rental subsidy structure.

Annual Reports for two arts and culture organisations – the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, and Clarence St Theatre Trust – were presented. The Academy of Performing Arts exceeded a prescribed 25% of hours for community use, achieving 32%. The Clarence St Theatre Trust reported it has completed all its key performance indicators under a Deed of Gift through which the Council gifted it the building it occupies and manages. Audiences and occupancy of the theatre continue to grow.

A Community Assistance Policy item provided an overview of how a $50,000 Community Event Fund is distributed to 21 organisations, for the 2018/2019 financial year. The events include Christmas season and sporting initiatives, plus live music and cultural activities.

The Committee also received a report on recommendations relating to a review of the Council’s Community Development Unit, which includes discussions on how those staff can be used to assist with the Council’s engagement with the Hamilton community.

In her Chair’s Report, Cr Paula Southgate noted her recent involvement in a Government-led Policy Advisory Group discussion on issues relating to water supply, contamination and sea level rise, and also core priorities around housing (supply, social and community housing, and healthy homes).

The General Manager’s report, from Deputy Chief Executive Lance Vervoort, provided the Committee with updates on the slip at Kirikiriroa (below Bryce St) which has forced the closure of the river path for several months. The Council will receive a report on repair options and related costs at its 11 October meeting.

The Committee also received an update on the Community Assistance Policy which guides allocation of several of the Council’s grants, approved funding applications to Trust Waikato and WEL Energy Trust, in pursuit of funding toward playground developments.

Editor’s note: The summary is provided for information only, and should not be considered formal minutes of the meeting.

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