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You
told us

Hamiltonians have lots of ideas about what would improve our city. Here’s some of what they said.

“An active and expanding music and arts community with lots of central family events.” Steve

“Have a huge, creative and diverse festival to celebrate the many cultures in Kirikiriroa: Food, dance, people and music.” Suha, Dinsdale

“An active and expanding music and arts community with lots of central family events.” Steve

What we want

We want Hamilton Kirikiriroa to be an even better place for everyone to play, with things to do or see around every corner.

Our plans for the next 10 years


We’re continuing to invest in the places and spaces that make our city fun to live in and that attract others to come and spend time here.

You can see the list of projects we’ve included in our budget and will be funded by rates here.

There’s also projects we considered but haven’t included in our budgets. You can view this list here.

Is there a project you really want us to do, or not do? Let us know in the feedback form.

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Here are some of the ways that we’re investing in our city over the next 10 years

Around $81 million to keep looking after and upgrading our playgrounds, community parks, sports parks and open spaces
$4 million in 2021/22 to fund Council’s preferred option to demolish the Founders Theatre building and create a new vibrant park space (in line with our West Town Belt Masterplan)
$22 million in 2024/25 and $7 million in 2029/30 to secure land for sports parks and open spaces in the Peacocke community
Around $69 million on our stadium buildings to continue to make sure they are fit for purpose, including an upgrade to the lights at FMG Stadium Waikato and the air conditioning system at Claudelands Event Centre
$6 million to complete a shared entry area that links Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park in 2021/22 and 2022/23
$8 million to deliver new and improved animal enclosures and habitats at Hamilton Zoo across the next six years
$15 million for further development of themed gardens at the Hamilton Gardens (funded by the general rates instead of the current targeted rate)
$4 million to improve the Victoria Street entrance to the Waikato Museum in 2023/24 and $8 million to create an entrance from the Waikato River to the Museum in 2027/28

Share your voice.

There are some specific projects we would like your feedback on before we confirm our budget for the next 10 years.

The project

Second boat jetty at Hamilton Gardens

Hamiltonians love spending time in and around the Waikato River.

In particular, the section of the river next to Hamilton Gardens is incredibly popular with boat users and people swimming and jumping off the river banks.

There have been ongoing concerns about safety in the area so we want to improve this by building a second boat jetty. We have an amazing opportunity to make better use of our river and a second jetty will help us to achieve this by providing more river transport options.

The total cost of the new jetty is $3 million.

This will be funded by Council through debt (borrowed money) and will have an impact on rates.

pro 1
This is Council's
preferred option

The options

Option 1: Build the new jetty at Hamilton Gardens in 2026-28

Council is planning to build the new jetty in 2026/27 to 2027/28.

We’ve budgeted $3 million for this project which would include the construction of the second jetty and fully accessible pathways linking it to Hamilton Gardens facilities and carparks.

This will better open up Hamilton Gardens to the Waikato River and provide opportunities for people to easily, and safely, travel from the Gardens to our central city and beyond.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$6 per year from 2026/27
This option has been included in the proposed budget.

Option 2: Do it sooner

To improve safety quicker, we could build the new jetty sooner in 2021/22 to 2022/23.

While this option means the project would cost less (due to inflation), doing it sooner may mean we would have to increase rates earlier (from 2021/22) to help fund the upgrade.

The preferred option only includes this impact from 2026/27 onwards.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$4 per year from 2021/22
pro 2

The project

Increasing recreational swim space at Waterworld

Hamiltonians love to swim! Last year, more than 271,000 people visited our pools at Waterworld in Te Rapa and Gallagher Aquatic Centre in Melville. Our pools are jam-packed with people making the most of being able to cool off and have fun in a safe environment.

Our growing population is resulting in more demand all year round for recreational swimming space in our city and we’re expecting this to continue over the next 10 years. Both of our pool complexes have a mixture of indoor and outdoor pools. Outdoor pools are highly used in summer but not suitable for the cooler months. In short, we just don’t have enough recreational pool space to meet our needs.

We have a couple of options to address the need for recreational swim space and need to balance this with what’s affordable for our ratepayers. Our preferred option is to build a seasonal dome over the outdoor pool at Waterworld.

The total cost of the seasonal dome is $6 million.

This is funded by Council through debt (borrowed money) and will have an impact on rates.

pro 2
This is Council's
preferred option

The options

Option 1: Increase recreational swim space by putting a seasonal dome over the outdoor pool at Waterworld

Our preferred option involves increasing recreational swim space in our city by putting a seasonal dome over the outdoor pool (Lido Pool) at Waterworld, to be ready for use from 2023. A seasonal dome is a removable structure that covers the pool and means our outdoor pool will be useable in winter. We’ve budgeted $6 million for this option.

We’re aware that at some point we will need an additional pool to keep up with our growing population but due to budget constraints, we think the installation of a seasonable dome is a sensible solution. At this stage, there is no new pool planned for the next 10 years.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$13 per year from 2021/22
This option has been included in the proposed budget.

Option 2: Build a new leisure pool at Waterworld

This option means that instead of investing in a new seasonal dome, we would invest in a brand new indoor pool at Waterworld. This would provide the city with additional swimming space but is not our preferred option due to the high cost of the project.

This option would cost $26 million , funded by debt, and will have an impact on rates. Work on the new pool would begin in 2026/27. Building a new leisure pool at Waterworld means we would not need to borrow the money for the seasonal dome ($6 million), but instead we would need to borrow for the new pool ($26 million).

This option means for the first four years (2021/22 to 2024/25) the impact on the proposed rates would be $13 less than Option 1. However, from 2025/26 the impact on the proposed rates will be $50 per year.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$50 per year from 2025/26

The project

Charging for car parking at Hamilton Gardens

Regarded as one of our city’s jewels, Hamilton Gardens attracted more than 371,000 visitors to the enclosed gardens last year. While COVID-19 has had an obvious impact on the number of overseas visitors we receive, our local visitor numbers have remained steady.

As well as investing $15 million in new themed gardens, we’re also proposing to invest $500,000 per year on improving and adding new services and facilities. Services and facilities are things like directional signage, apps to give visitors more information, mobility options, shade structures etc – things that make the Gardens a more enjoyable and accessible place to be.

In recent years we have considered many ways to increase revenue at Hamilton Gardens to offset the costs to ratepayers and to enhance the services and facilities at the Gardens. This has included looking at options such as charging non-Hamiltonians a fee to visit the themed gardens and charging tour buses for parking.

In this Long-Term Plan, we’re proposing to charge for car parking to cover the $500,000 annual investment required to improve these services and facilities. The $15 million for the continued development of the Gardens would be funded out of the general rate rather than through a targeted rate.

The total revenue over 10 years is expected to be $4.75 million.

pro 3
This is Council's
preferred option

The options

Option 1: Charge for car parking at Hamilton Gardens

We’re proposing to charge for car parking at Hamilton Gardens from 1 January 2022. Each car would be charged $5 and each tour bus would be charged $20, bringing in an estimated $500,000 each year. This charge would not apply to designated disability car parks.

New parking technologies that recognise vehicle license plates would be used. For example, the technology could allow for those who have purchased goods at the Information Centre or food at the Gardens Café to be exempt from any parking charge.

Half of this revenue ($250,000) would be used to enhance the existing things that make visiting the gardens easier and more accessible and the other half ($250,000) would be used to fund new things that make visiting the gardens easier and more accessible.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$3 per year from 2021/22
This option has been included in the proposed budget.

Option 2: Keep as is

This option means we will continue to have free parking at Hamilton Gardens.

This means we will have $250,000 less to spend on the things that make visiting the gardens easier and more accessible but does not impact the overall Hamilton Gardens Development Plan.

What this means for your rates:
Amount included in your rates (average, incl GST)**
$0 per year from 2021/22