By: Paula Southgate
Soon Hamilton City Council will release its vision for Hamilton.
Our vision has been driven by everyday Hamiltonians. The people of Hamilton, through a variety of means, have told us very clearly what will make our city better for those who live here.
Your Council has listened carefully to what people have said – that’s important to me. We’ve also taken important financial issues into account including capital investment and debt. In doing so, we’ve come up with five priorities to guide long-term funding decisions
Our first priority is shaping a city that’s easy to live in. We want Hamilton to retain its strong sense of community but be vibrant and interesting. So we will focus on things like providing safe walkways and cycleways with a strong emphasis on investing in our existing neighbourhoods. We also want to encourage mix of housing options, including affordable housing. People in our city deserve must be well-housed.
“I’m proud we have listened to our community before setting these priorities. I look forward to seeing this improve the wellbeing of all Hamiltonians,” says Hamilton Mayor Southgate in this exclusive opinion column of NewsViews.
Priority two is about shaping a city where our people thrive. This is about creating opportunities for people by being focussed on job opportunities, cultural wellbeing, homes and by building strong connections within different communities. We want everyone to leverage the wonderful lifestyle and opportunities Hamilton has to offer.
Priority three is around making our central city a place where people love to be. We want our CBD to be the vibrant heart of a cosmopolitan centre that celebrates people, culture and the natural environment. We will be prioritising projects which strengthen the connection and access between the city centre and Waikato River. Plus we will be encouraging inner-city living so more people are in our central city, all the time.
Our fourth priority is shaping a fun city with lots to do. We want to provide choices to help people enjoy Hamilton. Let’s build on our growing reputation for hosting outstanding events that bring economic benefit and that Hamiltonians love. We’re also keen on community-based events that help us utilise our wonderful outdoor places like Lake Whakareke and the Hamilton Gardens.
Our fifth priority is about shaping a green city. I’m proud my Council is putting a stake in the ground on this. All of us want to protect our city environment for future generations. That means planning well for the future when designing new neighbourhoods. And it means focusing on things like protecting the city’s natural gully network.
Council will of course, continue to invest in critical infrastructure. We must provide and maintain water services, plan for growth, maintain roads and make sure waste can be disposed of safety. Those things, and others, are non-negotiable.
I’m proud we have listened to our community before setting these priorities. I look forward to seeing this improve the wellbeing of all Hamiltonians. From October 22, you can find out more at www.futurehamilton.co.nz
Paula Southgate, Hamilton Mayor. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org