By James Casson:
There is, no doubt, a lot happening in our great city of Hamilton at present and which is one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand. We are, in what is known as, “The Golden Triangle” (Auckland, Tauranga & Hamilton).
When I first moved to Hamilton in 1992, the population here was barely 88,000 people. Roll on 2019, and our population has hit 170,000. This increase of 82,000 in 27 years period, has essentially doubled our resident numbers.
Governing our Hamilton is a challenging role that sometimes requires some hard-nosed business acumen, and a large degree of compassion and care for our residents.
Being a first term Councillor as I am, it has had its challenges but being involved in making our city one to be proud of is something I am passionate about, but there is a lot of work still to be done.
It is an exciting time in the North East of the city as the final plans for the Rototuna Village on Borman/North City Road are not far away, and the roading system is already being developed.
I am very proud to have been one of the Councillors behind this development as in this part of the city currently there are very limited facilities.
There will be a Library/Community Centre, a Town Square, a transport exchange for buses, retail including cafes and maybe accommodation above the retail stores. This will be a great asset to the city and all community groups will be able to use the Community area for meetings, displays, and events
As well as this, there will be a Countdown Supermarket and possibly a Community swimming pool if we can get a private organisation to run it. Sports fields are already being developed behind where the Village will be.
An interesting fact in Hamilton is that approximately 55% of our current building consents city-wide are for infill housing, where developers are purchasing existing houses, removing them and re-building. This is sometimes preferable for developers as the infrastructure is already in the ground (pipes, water electricity, gas, etc).
However, infill housing does cause concerns. In some cases there have been as many as 4x Duplex Units built on one section, meaning eight dwellings on a section that previously had only one house. That means those increased units now use sewerage and water pipes that were originally designed for only one house which puts extreme pressure on those pipes. There is also the increased number of vehicles on one section. This is a problem we are constantly dealing with.
We are fortunate to have a number of places to be proud of in Hamilton. Firstly, we have a world class Gardens, which is set to increase in size/ shape. The great thing it entry is still free. If you have never visited, I encourage you to go to have a look at all the theme gardens which are quite spectacular.
We hold some fantastic events at Claudelands show grounds ranging from “The Home and Garden Show” to music events, sports events, concerts and expos.
To add to this, we will have a new Waikato Regional Theatre to be built in the centre of town which will attract some fantastic world class shows that we currently miss out on.
FMG Stadium is now the home of the World Rugby Sevens, New Zealand tournament which attracts a huge number of people and international teams and media to Hamilton. The All Blacks are also playing Tonga this September in Hamilton as their last game prior to the Rugby World Cup.
Our very own Seddon Park is a premier International Cricket ground in New Zealand where our Black Caps have a proud win history. The ground being purpose-built for cricket makes it the ideal ground for both player and spectator experience.
So to wrap up, Hamilton is booming, attracting visitors, major events and new enterprises such as the new inland port being built by Tainui in Ruakura which will also lead to huge employment opportunities.
Therefore, Hamilton is now the place to be. Let’s all join hands in the positive growth of our city.
Being your representative in the Council, I am always available if you have concerns, enquiries or just want to talk over a matter that you want discussed. If you recognise me in the street, please come up and say ‘hello’ – it is always great meeting new people.
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