Our vision in action
Ka hua. Ka puaawai. Ka ora
'Dreams are realised when people take ownership for creating, fostering and giving life to the visions.'
Over the last year, Council has been working alongside our community to understand what people in our city want the future of Hamilton Kirikiriroa to look like.
We have, through a range of ways, gathered feedback on what people believe we should focus on to ensure Hamilton becomes one of the very best places in the world to live.
“Have more job opportunities so that young adults can stay in Hamilton after finishing university. More affordable homes.” Sarah, Hillcrest
“Bring the CBD to life, people need to live there. Lots of people. Businesses downstairs, accommodation upstairs.” Nona, Hillcrest
“Enhance the river path.It’s one of our best assets. Better cycle paths and wider footpaths for micro-mobility.” Dale, Hamilton Lake
“Create a walkable city with more focus on alternative modes of transport.” Nevada, Whitiora
“Have a huge, creative and diverse festival to celebrate the many cultures in Kirikiriroa: food, dance, people, music.” Suha, Dinsdale
“Focus on restoring the city’s gullies andimproving public access to them, looking into making them pest-free attractions.” Benjamin, St Andrews
Every day Council makes decisions that impact the future of our city and the wellbeing of Hamiltonians. Our decisions always take social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of people into account.
There’s a lot of things we have to do to keep the city running the way it should. We must provide and maintain water services, we must adequately plan for our growing city, we must maintain roads, we must make sure waste can be disposed of safely... and that’s just the start of it. These things are non-negotiable, especially for a city like Hamilton which more and more people are choosing to call home. That important work on essential services and infrastructure won’t stop. But, we do more than that.
With people at the heart of everything we do, we also make choices about how to make our great river city an even better place to be. Hamiltonians have told us the kind of city they want, and where they want Hamilton to be in the future.
We’ve used your feedback to help create five priorities for Hamilton Kirikiriroa. There’s lots of things we have to do, but alongside these there’s lots of opportunities.
Hamilton is small enough to enjoy a strong sense of community but big enough to be vibrant and interesting.
As we continue to evolve into a metropolitan centre, we have the
game-changing opportunity to become a 20-minute city.
A 20-minute city is about creating liveable neighbourhoods with local access to amenity that is important to residents.
It’s also about linking existing destinations, facilities, places of work and education with safe walking, cycling and public transport connections so our residents can safely access most of the things they need within 20 minutes.
We want our children to be able to cycle safely to school and for people of all ages and abilities to easily access different neighbourhoods, from one side of the Waikato River to the other – by whatever transport option we choose.
People in our city want to live in lively, safe communities with shared identities and public facilities such as libraries, playgrounds and community hubs accessible to everyone. It should be easy for us all to look after our mental and physical health by enjoying our city’s green and open spaces, including the Waikato River paths and stunning places like the Hamilton Gardens.
By investing in cyclepaths and accessways, and utilising our beautiful gully network, we will be able to create a city that our people can easily enjoy and explore. But we’ll also need improvements in public transport – so we’ll work with partners like Waikato Regional Council to get better bus services.
And we’ll need to focus on delivering the amenities and services that build strong communities, both in our existing neighbourhoods and for our new ones, as well as supporting a mix of housing types, including affordable housing.
It’s about finding the right balance between revitalising our established neighbourhoods with investing in new liveable suburbs required for the number of new people choosing to call Hamilton home.
We’ll prioritise building connected and safe walkways and cycleways that allow us to move around our city quickly and easily and bring neighbourhoods together.
We’ll revitalise our existing neighbourhoods and invest in the creation of our new neighbourhoods to make sure we have a liveable, sustainable city.
We’ll encourage new developments in Hamilton to include a mix of housing, including affordable housing options.
We’ll enable and support strong public transport connections which help Hamiltonians get easy access to essential services such as education, health centres and supermarkets.
We’ll put more focus on our neighbourhoods having a community identity and supporting community spaces across our city.
Our city is welcoming and offers jobs and opportunities for everyone.
Hamilton already has many advantages and an economy that looks better placed than most to withstand some of the challenges facing other parts of New Zealand. We are located in the middle of the country’s ‘Golden Triangle’ between Auckland and Tauranga and we have plans well in place to become New Zealand’s most important logistics hub.
We are already working closely with central government, iwi and our neighbouring councils like Tauranga, Auckland, Waikato and Waipaa to make sure our region continues to flourish. When Hamilton thrives, our wider region thrives. So we’ll continue to advocate for Hamilton – and Hamiltonians – every chance we get.
We are already home to world-class businesses across a range of sectors, bringing opportunities, jobs and investment, including for our young people. We are a tech-savvy city, with the digital know-how to deliver research and development on the world stage.
Increasingly, our city is a place where people and businesses want to come, stay, and grow. Our attractive lifestyle, based upon a vibrant city that’s easy to live in, means more and more people want to be here.
Young people are now coming to our city (and in some cases, returning home) to find good jobs, buy homes, raise families and become part of our community. This, along with more than 160 ethnic groups making up our city, adds a valuable diversity to Hamilton which brings opportunities and benefits for all Hamiltonians.
We want Hamilton to continue to build on its growing reputation as a centre of excellence within innovation, training, smart and tech-sector industries. We need the infrastructure and support services in place to nurture and promote sustainable businesses that add value to our city.
We’ll work with partners like central government and other councils to specifically deliver fast and efficient transport connections to connect Hamilton quickly to places like Auckland and Tauranga.
We’ll look beyond our borders and work with our regional partners to maximise the opportunities from Hamilton being the hub of the Waikato region.
We’ll make sure our economic strength is further leveraged and that Hamilton is known as a great place to work and do business.
We’ll empower and enable our diverse communities to share their voice, and shape their city.
We’ll invest in the right infrastructure to make sure Hamilton is an attractive place for businesses to succeed.
We want our central city to be the vibrant heart of our cosmopolitan and diverse city. A city centre that is thoughtfully designed around people, culture and the natural environment. We want our city to be alive with hustle and bustle, with people happily living and playing in the central city.
Our central city should be accessible via different transport modes and enjoy easy access to the nearby Waikato River which is celebrated and treasured for the city taonga (treasure) it is.
Our restaurants and bars will offer Hamiltonians choice and entertainment, and draw people from outside of Hamilton who know that a visit to central Hamilton is a trip well worth making.
Our central city should support a thriving visual arts and performance scene through our iconic local theatres and bring the area around our Waikato Regional Theatre alive, further linking our city to the stunning Waikato River.
Inner-city dwellers will enjoy a range of apartment options, close to where they work or close to strong transport links that get them to where they need to be. But they will always be close to green open spaces, along the river and with parks like Victoria on the River nearby.
Local, national and international businesses will choose to base themselves in our central city which remains affordable and accessible, serviced by everything needed to live a full Hamilton life.
We’ll strengthen the connection and access between the city centre and the Waikato River.
We’ll promote daytime and evening activity.
We’ll create performance spaces such as the new regional theatre and leverage existing central city spaces to support arts and culture initiatives which offer something unique to our city.
We’ll support mixed inner-city living options which encourage people to live in Hamilton’s central city alongside vibrant retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors.
We’ll make it easy to get into and around the city through a range of alternative travel options.
We want to make sure our city provides opportunities for all our people to play and have fun - whether it be through organised sport, local playgrounds, events, or our visitor destinations.
A fun city should have something for everyone whether you want to join a local choir or the local quiz team - we want all of us to have something to do and be part of.
We want to build on our growing reputation for hosting outstanding events; events that bring economic benefit, that Hamiltonians love, and that bring people from all over New Zealand to our city.
But small events also have a role in the life of our city. We’re keen to support more arts and cultural events and make sure we have the right indoor and outdoor facilities in place to support local community sports events that people of all ages can get involved in. All of these things add to the sense of community we all value about Hamilton.
We have already invested in world-class stadium and event facilities like Seddon Park, Claudelands Event Centre and FMG Stadium Waikato and are home to key visitor destinations such as Hamilton Zoo, Hamilton Gardens, and Waikato Museum.
And we’ll continue to embrace the outdoors, not just the Waikato River but places like Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, our destination playgrounds and Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake). These facilities provide locals and visitors with memories and experiences that keep people entertained and wanting more. They drive interest and appreciation in our city. They make living here fun.
There’s lots to do in Hamilton, but there’s also quiet spaces for our community. Whether it’s lying under a tree in a local park, taking in the views of the Waikato River or discovering our past at Waikato Museum, we invest in spaces where our people can relax, rest and reflect.
We’ll develop open community spaces, like Korikori Park in Rototuna and Minogue Park in Forrest Lake that are accessible to everyone to enjoy and be part of.
We’ll invest in and enhance Waikato Museum, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park to create new and unique experiences for our people and visitors.
We’ll host and celebrate city events like the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival and Balloons over Waikato.
We’ll actively celebrate and promote a city where residents have the opportunity to have fun with their friends and family.
We’ll support local sports events by investing in play spaces and we’ll work hard to attract national and international sports events to our city.
We’ll promote becoming a sustainable city by challenging the way we grow our city and how we live within our city. We love our environment and we’re all committed to protecting it for future generations.
We embrace our individual and collective roles as kaitiaki (caretakers) of our land, water and air. Together, we honour, enhance and protect taonga (treasures) like the Waikato River, and our city’s extensive and unique gully system.
We are proud of our green, clean city and we’re taking a thoughtful and city-wide partnership approach between businesses, organisations and community groups to tackle how our city responds to climate change.
We need to look after what we already have by embracing the sustainable use of natural resources such as our water. We want to enhance our beautiful open green spaces like Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, the West Town Belt and Taitua Arboretum which are valued so highly by Hamiltonians. And it’s important we continue to minimise our impact on the land by leading the country in waste minimisation practices.
We want to continue to plan well for the future so we can strongly focus on designing new neighbourhoods like Peacocke in a way where our natural environment can exist in harmony with new homes and services. That means we’ll need a stronger, safer network of alternative transport which offer people real choice and also offer ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
We’ll protect and restore our natural gully network and the biodiversity of the city to increase how green our city is making it healthier and stronger.
We’ll reduce the carbon footprint of the city and build a city that is resilient to the effects of climate change.
We’ll mitigate the impact of the city on the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River and Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton Lake).
We’ll encourage and enable alternative ways to move safely and quickly around our city.
We’ll plan our future as a sustainable city - balancing the natural and built environments so they can live in harmony.
Shaping a city and doing it well can only be done together with people who live here and by working with groups that have a stake in our success. So we have purposefully put people at the heart of our thinking and at the heart of the priorities we have outlined here. In fact, it’s the people of Hamilton who so far have shaped these priorities for us.
We also acknowledge that we have a specific obligation to achieve the economic, environmental, cultural and social aspirations of taangata whenua (indigenous people of the land) of our city.
We acknowledge the special place of Maaori in Hamilton’s history and the important role Maaori will play in building our city’s future. Maaori are taangata whenua with kaitiakitanga (guardianship) status. This is important for our city and by keeping open minds, and open hearts, these mana-enhancing relationships with Maaori offer all of us opportunities.
Young people also have a huge role to play. We’re a young city, full of the promise arising from talented and well-educated young people who have a huge amount to offer. We need to support them so, in turn, they can contribute in a meaningful way to our future.
Finally, as we move ahead, we should respect and honour all our partners in central government, local government, the wider community, the philanthropic sector and others who have already contributed so much and will continue to shape Hamilton for years to come.