March 2012

In this issue:

Newsletter Images

Message from Bill Wasley, Future Proof Independent Chair

Bill WasleyThe Future Proof Strategy, adopted and launched in September 2009, is now well into its implementation phase.

Recently Waikato's Members of Parliament were briefed on the strategy and related implementation issues.

The Future Proof partners remain committed to implementing the strategy, and a review of its actions is currently being completed. It is proposed that the strategy be reviewed in 2014 once the Census results are available.

Strategy implementation is also proceeding on the basis of Upper North Island economic and long term land use planning.

At the February meeting of the Future Proof Implementation Committee there was a strong emphasis on:
  • how the Strategy partners will collectively prepare evidence for the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) hearings in May 2012. The RPS is the statutory framework for anchoring the Future Proof land use pattern.
  • supporting the recent decision made by the Waikato District Council on increasing the size of rural land subdivision to reduce the impact of rural residential subdivision close to Hamilton City
  • preparing a land use and transport corridor plan for the area between Hamilton and Auckland so the Waikato region can help inform the plans of the new Auckland Council. It will also provide a framework for the inclusion of the area that became part of Waikato District as a result of the Auckland local government reforms in 2010, into the Future Proof Strategy.
  • looking at how the Strategy partners can deliver future water, waste water and storm water services in the most efficient manner to reinforce the Future Proof land use pattern.

The committee also discussed and adopted submissions for:

  • the Productivity Commission Inquiry on Affordable Housing draft report which focused on the challenge of providing affordable housing in growth areas like the Waikato. The Future Proof submission also commented on the Commission's proposed solutions of zoning more land for urban development to lower the price. Future Proof believes that the costs of servicing new areas for development hadn't been taken into account.
  • the draft Waikato Regional Land Transport Programme, which is the key document for obtaining transport funding. The Future Proof emphasis is on supporting the key transport projects, such as the Waikato Expressway, as well as focusing on funding for integrating long term land use and transport planning.
The contents of this second newsletter reflect the Strategy's emphasis on:
  • the Waikato River
  • anchoring the long term land use pattern through the Regional Policy Statement (RPS) of the Waikato Regional Council, which is a key action
  • further development of land in the vicinity of the Hamilton International Airport
  • ongoing collaboration between the Strategy partners and the Auckland Council
  • progress on the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway, which is critical transport infrastructure for anchoring the Future Proof land use pattern.

Back to top >>

A vision for Waikato River

Waikato RiverThe management of waters within the Future Proof sub-region seeks to give effect to Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato - The Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

The vision is for a future where a healthy Waikato River sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who, in turn, are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River, and all it embraces, for generations to come.

Te Ture Whaimanais administered by the Waikato River Authority and is the primary direction-setting document for the Waikato River and activities within its catchments which affect the river, including the lower reaches of the Waipa River.

It was developed through a public consultation and submission process and contains objectives and strategies to achieve an overarching vision of Tooku awa koiora me oona pikonga he kura tangihia o te maataamuri - The river of life, each curve more beautiful than the last.

Te Ture Whaimana arises from the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 and Ngati Tuwharetoa, Raukawa and Te Arawa River Iwi Waikato River Act 2010.

Future Proof gives effect to Te Ture Whaimana through its draft Sub-Regional Three Waters Strategy, which sets out how water, wastewaters and stormwater will be managed over the next 60 years.

Sub-region partner councils are also reflecting the vision and strategy through key documents, such as the proposed Waikato Regional Policy Statement and district plans.

Future Proof also seeks to be consistent with the overarching purpose of the Maniapoto deed to restore and maintain the quality and integrity of the waters that flow into and form part of the Waipa River for present and future generations.

The Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Bill is going through the legislative phase with the third reading likely to occur in the next month or two.

Back to top >>

Future Proof hearing appearance on RPS submission

RPS LogoFuture Proof is among 200 submitters to the proposed Waikato Regional Policy Statement (RPS), with sub-regional representatives due to appear before the hearings committee in April.

The RPS, released in late 2010, provides a framework for the integrated management of the Waikato's natural and physical resources and is reviewed every 10 years, as required.

The proposed RPS attracted 4500 submission points, with Waikato Regional Council staff making recommendations on each ahead of hearings which began last month.

Future Proof implementation advisor Ken Tremaine said the sub-region's submission mainly dealt with an industrial land allocation table in the built environment section of the RPS.

"The Future Proof sub-region is seeking more land to be identified in the RPS as industrial nodes at Ruakura and Hautapu.

"Since initial industrial land allocations were made at Ruakura, Tainui Group Holdings has produced detailed plans for the area. These clearly show they need more land and earlier, which we support.

"In the Waipa district, the council has given further thought to their planning for commercial and industrial development. The council has now decided to use Carters Flat more for commercial development, and to move industrial development to Hautapu. This is a move also supported by the Future Proof sub-region."

The RPS hearings will run through to May/June and are being held in Hamilton, Thames and Taupo. Almost 170 submitters have indicated they wish to be heard.

The six member RPS hearings committee is chaired by Alan Watson, an independent commissioner with specialist Resource Management Act experience.

The five other members of the hearing committee are Waikato regional councillors Paula Southgate, Simon Friar and Phillip Legg, independent commissioner Anthony Olsen, who has a particular expertise in matters of significance to Maori, and Waikato River Authority nominee Andra Neeley.

The committee's decisions will be released in November 2012.

Back to top >>

Titanium Park: A vibrant commercial hub

Titanium ParkThe sale of 12 hectares of land in Hamilton International Airport's Titanium Park has been heralded as tremendous news for the future development of both the airport and Waikato economy by Waipa Mayor Alan Livingston.

Internet e-commerce retailer and logistics company Torpedo 7 has bought the land that it will use to base its Australasian business operation.

Torpedo 7 plans to build a number of buildings at Titanium Park. Stage 1 includes a 12,000 square metre warehouse and 3500 square metre office, followed by a further two over the next 3-4 years.

Titanium Park is creating a vibrant commercial hub for the region and is an ideal location for major freight and logistics businesses to base themselves.

There is also a significant area of existing residential growth in the area around the airport and Titanium Park, particularly in Tamahere and Ohaupo, as well as planned future residential growth in the Peacocke area.

The addition of a new local shopping centre, around 4200 square metres, was part of a plan change at the airport to provide retailing opportunities for nearby residents and for the expected expansion of a business park and air passenger functions.

The plan change was fundamental in helping form the district's growth strategy Waipa 2050, which was developed in accord with Future Proof principles.

Back to top >>

Auckland-Waikato collaboration important

Auckland cityAuckland's local government politicians have heard details around the importance of good collaboration between Waikato and Auckland in a submission on the Draft Auckland Plan.

Implementation advisor Ken Tremaine backed up the written submission during a presentation to an Auckland Council hearings panel in December last year on behalf of the Future Proof partnership.

Future Proof sub-region partners have taken a keen interest in the Draft Auckland Plan, which sets out a long-term strategic direction for Auckland. Future Proof's interest in this plan is to:

  • make sure there is good collaboration between Auckland and its neighbours
  • acknowledge the Waikato region's role as a freight hub
  • support Auckland city being as compact as possible so it doesn't use up any more agricultural land than it needs to and doesn't put undue pressure on Waikato's land resource.

During the presentation at last year's hearing the Future Proof partnership asked Auckland Council to think about how we better link inter-regional transport connections.

The Future Proof submission also encouraged Auckland Council to consider how we work together to take account of all the development activity in the southern part of the new Auckland City (eg Drury) so it doesn't impact on the northern part of the Waikato.

And councillors also heard why we should take a ‘whole of corridor' land use and transport approach in the area between Auckland and Hamilton.

We also asked the Auckland Council to take account of:

  • how Auckland, the Waikato and Bay of Plenty will fit together in the long-term
  • the economic development opportunities that exist between Auckland and the Waikato. For example, the Waikato as a primary production area and logistics hub and Auckland as New Zealand's largest city and home to the Port of Auckland.
  • the role of the Waikato when making provision for further industrial land in the new Auckland city
  • the benefits of the Waikato Expressway when it is completed in 2019. This motorway will cut half an hour off the travel time between the Bombay Hills and Cambridge.

Mr Tremaine said the Future Proof submission was positively received, with councillors interested in the role of the Waikato in relation to Auckland, the Hamilton-Auckland land use and transport corridor, and how to make housing more affordable.

Back to top >>

Progress on Te Rapa section of Expressway

Waikato ExpresswayConstruction is continuing at a rapid pace along several sections of the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway on State Highway 1.

The Waikato Expressway is one of seven Roads of National Significance for New Zealand and its Te Rapa section begins in Avalon Drive in the north-western corner of Hamilton City. It extends into Waikato district and will connect with the existing SH1 and the future Ngaruawahia section to the north of Bern Rd, Horotiu.

The NZ Transport Agency's desire to protect communities and important sites through close liaison with local landowners and iwi groups is at the heart of the Waikato Expressway Project. Strong liaison with councils and communities will deliver solid planning outcomes to retain and enhance community connectivity, both now and for the future growth of Rotokauri. This integrated planning approach will take effect through the development of a walking and cycling strategy and consideration of Public Transport initiatives.

The Waikato Expressway project overall also involves environmental efforts which include the monitoring of noise levels and efforts to keep contractors' vehicles away from main roads and sensitive residential areas. Visual impacts are considered through landscaping and other environmental measures, while careful consideration is given to native wildlife and habitats, in order to minimise impact and disruption. Culverts are being used and plans are being developed to manage natural water flows and drainage.

The most recent milestones in the Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway project include the removal of a section of the old SH1 in the area of the new Horotiu interchange. Landscaping around the new Horotiu bridge construction site has also significantly improved the visual appearance of the area, attracting a number of admiring comments from motorists.

The construction of the new Gilchrist Interchange is also nearing completion at the northern end of Avalon Drive, with pavement works to be completed in March. Work on the connections from the new Gilchrist Interchange onto Avalon Drive is also timed to begin in early March.

When complete, the Waikato Expressway will connect Auckland to the agricultural and business centres of Waikato and Bay of Plenty. It will also improve economic growth and productivity through more efficient movement of people and freight while at the same time, improve safety, reduce travel times, fuel costs, congestion and driver frustration on SH1.

Back to top >>