By Gurbir Singh:
Nearly 16 of those wanting a seat at Hamilton City Council today took the host’s offer to ‘get on the bus’ for the sake of the city.
This morning, the Council’s Chief Executive, Richard Briggs led an exclusive bus tour of this group of people hoping to stand in the city elections, and was part of the council’s plans “to be as transparent and open as we can.”
According to the CEO, “These tours are an opportunity for candidates to really understand what’s ahead, and the role the city’s elected members have in making decisions that will impact Hamilton for 30-40 years to come.”
Accompanied by senior officials of the council, the potential candidates started off this morning on a tour that lasted nearly three hours, after receiving key election information at the council’s office.
NewsViews accompanied this group on the tiki-tour of the important projects of the city.
In his address before departure, Briggs outlined and highlighted the challenges, priorities and opportunities facing the city.
Potential candidates were then taken on the tour covering various core infrastructures. First stop over was at the city’s biggest growth project, Peacocke. This development in the city’s southwest is supported by $290.4m of government funding through the housing infrastructure fund. This has the capacity for 3750 homes to be built within the next decade, and will be a home for more than 20,000 Hamiltonians.
Would-be candidates were also taken to the city’s wastewater treatment plant at Pukete and briefed about its planned $24m upgrade in the years, 2019-20 and 2021-22.
Among other significant stoppages was the Hamilton Zoo where the Council’s focus is on increasing the visitor numbers by giving a face lift to the entrance, etc and making it as iconic as the Hamilton Gardens for the tourists visiting the city.
Enroute the tour on the bus and at sites, the council staff provided an overview of council’s plans relating to some of these projects and its relationships with iwi.
Judging from the enthusiasm and the probing questions that were put to the accompanying council staff, the tour appeared to be a success, and an eye-opener for some.
Nominations close at 12 noon on 16 August 2019.