Hood Street Hamilton

How will the region look?

The aim of the strategy is to create more compact urban areas based around a strong and vibrant heart in Hamilton and around existing rural townships and villages. This will mean increased densities in new residential developments and more intensive redevelopment of existing urban areas that will reduce dependence on cars. Towns and villages will keep their individual characters and have thriving business centres that create local employment opportunities.

The costs of infrastructure will be a factor in determining settlement patterns.

Future Proof recognises the unique relationship Tangata Whenua have with their whenua, awa, moana, maunga, taiao katoa and other people. This encompasses a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and metaphysical relationship that may be unique to the tikanga (practices) and kawa (guiding principles) of each marae, hapu or iwi.

In order to protect productive rural land, sensitive natural environments and mineral resources, dispersed ad hoc development will be discouraged and tighter controls over rural residential development will be put in place. Definite boundaries between urban and rural environments will be created using green space. Strong links will be made between the provision of transport services and land use. There will be improved public transport options and well planned management of transport corridors.

Large scale, dispersed retail areas will be discouraged where it undermines the city heart. Business and industrial land will be set aside to meet the Hamilton, Waikato and Waipa region’s future needs. Ruakura will specifically develop as a high tech innovation precinct and general employment area.

Forecast growth rates

The state of the international economy has raised questions around the rates of growth forecasted in the Future Proof strategy. It is to be expected that over the next few years development levels may not be met within the timeframes originally anticipated. As the Future Proof strategy covers a period of 50 years, fluctuations and market downturns have been accounted for. Given that the growth projections are for the long term, shorter term variations such as the current economic recession are unlikely to materially affect them in the longer term. It is understood that some revised population forecasts have been used in council long term plans. However, the long term plans cover a period of 10 years and are much shorter in outlook than the Future Proof strategy. Once the results from the 2013 Census are available in early 2014, Future Proof will take these into account in the strategy update. It will also utilise Statistics NZ 50 year national forecasts along with any relevant regional forecasts.