May 2012

In this issue:

 

Cambridge drainageHamilton drainSouthern Links 1Southern Links 2Hautapu Fonterra

Message from Bill Wasley, Future Proof Independent Chair

Bill Wasley

Welcome to our third Future Proof newsletter, which will give you an update on the latest activities being undertaken to implement our strategy for the sub-region.

At the start of the month, Future Proof was involved in presenting some key evidence to Waikato Regional Council on its proposed Regional Policy Statement (RPS).

This is the most significant task the partners have undertaken since Future Proof was launched by Prime Minister John Key in late 2009. Certainly, there is no other work we will undertake this year which will match it in time and resources, and having the key elements of Future Proof in the RPS is a fundamental foundation for strategy implementation. In a similar vein, the Future Proof is also anchored in the Regional Land Transport Strategy which has a 30 year horizon.

Our RPS evidence focused on anchoring a 50 year land use pattern across Hamilton city, Waikato and Waipa districts for where people will live, work and play in the future. This pattern clearly defines areas that are to be developed and those that should remain productive rural land.

The RPS is an important tool for helping to guide the district plans of the Future Proof partners and other key statutory planning documents, and we expect the outcome of the hearings to be available later this year.

The next meeting of the Future Proof Implementation Committee will be on 14 June. The May meeting had to be rescheduled due to our RPS evidence commitments. Just a reminder that these are public meetings, which you are welcome to attend, and agendas are available through our website in the week before the meeting.

The June meeting has a focus on reviewing all of the implementation activities to see how well we have performed since it was completed. The committee is also expected to adopt the draft Three Waters Strategy, which will go out for public consultation.

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Have your say on ‘three waters' strategy

Cambridge drainage 
 Hamilton drain
 Wasterwater plant
Managing stormwater and wastewater and protecting the freshwater resource for future generations are the key aspects of a draft strategy to be released for public feedback.

An important part of the Future Proof sub-regional growth strategy, the draft Three Waters Strategy encompasses three local councils - Waikato District, Hamilton City, and Waipa District.

With the region's population expected to grow to an estimated 500,000-plus by 2062, planning for future water use is vital. The draft Three Waters Strategy covers all council water, wastewater and stormwater services and infrastructure, plus council-owned and operated land drainage schemes. It aims to deliver integrated, sustainable and well-managed water resources across the three councils' areas, and improve environment quality.

Nine issues have informed the development of the draft strategy:

  • protection and improvement of public health and providing appropriate water sanitary services
  • meeting future growth demands
  • planning for and adapting to climate change 
  • ensuring decisions relating to the ‘three waters' are underpinned by best practice, research and knowledge
  • ensuring quality, efficient and sustainable infrastructure
  • integration of relevant council functions, inter-council departments and the Three Waters Land use and water planning and management
  • availability and allocation of water
  • ensuring iwi and hapu are involved in the management of ‘three waters' and tangata whenua values, aspirations and interests are identified and reflected
  • ensuring protection and where possible the enhancement of the natural environment.

The draft Three Waters Strategy has also identified some key actions and plans to ensure the goals and aims are met. These would see the three councils ensuring best practice and consistent approaches in managing the water resource - including codes of practice, water demands and conservation - as well as resource-sharing and cost-effective education materials.

The three councils involved will be tasked with developing Three Waters Action Plans to ensure that current and proposed work programmes address strategic water issues. A robust monitoring and reporting system is also viewed as crucial to future management of the resource.

The draft Three Waters Strategy is important to the future of the region, and public input will be sought in the next month.

Keep an eye on the home page of our website to find out when and how you can make a submission.

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Open days for Southern Links project

River and land
Waikato River and land. 

 Peacockes Rd and Weston Lea Dr
Peacockes Rd and Weston Lea Dr.

Three information days are being held this month to update the community and other stakeholders on the proposed Southern Links Investigation Project.

This approximately $450 million NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) initiative in partnership with the Hamilton City Council, also lies within part of the ‘Future Proof' sub-region (a separate, joint project between partner councils which focuses on future development in Hamilton, Waipa, Waikato district and Morrinsville).

The Southern Links project involves approximately 21km of state highway, three new river crossings and 11km of urban arterial roads inside Hamilton's Peacocke growth area.

The long term aim of the project is to develop an effective network of well connected state highway and urban routes linking: SH1 from Kaihikatea Drive in Hamilton to the Waikato Expressway at Tamahere in the southeast; and SH3 from Hamilton international Airport to central and east Hamilton. The purpose of this joint investigation is to identify and protect the routes which could connect these points and provide the corridors for future construction.

NZTA state highway manager, Kaye Clark, says the benefits of this initiative would see better linkage and access across and in and out of Hamilton city and surrounding districts for all motorists, which supports the region's growth strategy by enabling more efficient movement of people and freight. "Those benefits would include enabling economic growth, reducing travel times, improving road safety, reducing congestion and creating further opportunities for Waikato communities."

Mrs Clark says the information days, which build upon those held in April and November/December last year, provide a further opportunity for people to talk directly to the project team and give feedback on the details of the preferred network.

"The project team has been consulting with Waipa and Waikato District Council staff and the airport to refine the preferred network. A key aim is to ensure the connectivity of the local road network for residents and businesses continues to operate well into the future and supports links with state highways. These refinements to the Southern Links network will be explained at the information days.

"There'll also be more detail available around the location of the network, including the width of the proposed project, the properties that will be affected and the types of measures that could be employed to mitigate effects such as noise. Display material will show how the various interchanges and intersections will look," says Mrs Clark.

Hamilton Mayor, Julie Hardaker, says the project is important because it gives the community the opportunity to participate in planning for roads through one of Hamilton's growth areas. "The city is growing and development of this link to the south of the city has been talked about for many years. It's important we make sure we have the transport routes that work for the benefit of the city."

"We'd encourage as many people as possible to come along and take advantage of this chance to talk to the project team directly," adds Kaye Clark. "The project team has been very aware throughout the investigation process of the need to build certainty for affected communities. These information days are an important step in that process. They are also a key part of ensuring our project team receives comprehensive feedback from all parties with an interest in the Southern Links project."

Southern Links information days

• Tuesday 22 May: 2-7pm, Glenview Club, 211 Peacockes Road, Hamilton
• Thursday 24 May: 2-7pm, Tamahere Community Centre, Devine Road, Tamahere
• Saturday 26 May: 10am-2pm, Rukuhia Community Hall, Rukuhia Road, Rukuhia

Further information about this project is available online. You can also email southern.links@aecom.com or phone 0508 STHNLINK (0508 7846 5465).

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Hautapu prime location for industrial development

Hautapu Fonterra 
Fonterra's Hautapu site close to the
railway line.
 Hautapu
Hautapu
Industrial development at Hautapu, 4km north-west of the Cambridge town centre, has the potential to increase the number of jobs for locals.

That's why Future Proof partners have asked Waikato Regional Council to allow for an allocation of industrial land in the Regional Policy Statement at Hautapu of 20 hectares by 2021, increasing to a total of 96 hectares by 2061.

A report prepared by Castalia Strategic advisors for Waipa District Council found that locating industrial activity at Hautapu makes sense due to existing road and rail networks.

The development would also support Waipa District Council's aim of increasing local employment options. The Castalia report says industrial jobs currently account for about 30 per cent of total jobs in the area, but that could grow with development of the industrial sector.

Relocating an expanding industrial sector from Carters Flat to Hautapu increases its distance from the Cambridge town centre and makes room for large-scale retailers.

Future Proof implementation advisor Ken Tremaine said this was important to protect the unique amenity of the current town centre.

"As the town centre grows, particularly once the Waikato Expressway is completed in 2019 wiping off 30 minutes travel time from Bombay, there is a real challenge to protect the town centre's natural character.

"One way of doing this is to make sure there is room for large-scale retailers to locate close to town, but not detract from the town centre," he said.

Higher future levels of industrial land demand from 2041-2061 may also be justified by the following:

  • As more firms in related industries cluster together, the costs of production from the centralised location can decline significantly. The requested industrial land allocation at Hautapu is close to existing industrial sites, such as Fonterra's Hautapu dairy factory. If complementary businesses, like other primary industry businesses, seek to locate to the area, then the efficiencies achieved may attract further demand, increasing the overall need for industrial land.
  • Hautapu is already well-positioned in relation to existing transport infrastructure, with nearby rail and road links. The development of improved inter-city and inter-regional links, like the Waikato Expressway, will enable industrial businesses located at Hautapu to more competitively access needed inputs (including labour) from neighbouring areas. As a result, demand for industrial land in the area may increase at a faster rate.

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What Future Proof has to say

Since the launch in September 2009, Future Proof has made 19 submissions - including further submissions - on a number of documents affecting the area.

We make submissions to support implementation of the Future Proof strategy. For example, last year we submitted on the Draft Auckland Plan to make sure the new council recognises the important economic links between our two regions.

All our submissions have now been uploaded to our website so you can read what we've had to say about how the work of others may affect the Future Proof sub-region.

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Share our news

Know anyone who might be interested in Future Proof's work? Maybe you've got a friend or colleagues who live and work in the Future Proof sub-region. Our work has the potential to affect them, so please forward this newsletter so they can subscribe to hear the latest on what's happening in the sub-region.

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