Nature in the City

We're restoring nature in our city. Together, we'll cover hundreds of Hamilton's hectares with native vegetation. One plant at a time.

Nature is our most powerful taonga. It makes our city healthier and stronger for generations to come. Hamilton City Council's new Nature in the City strategy is our city's 30-year strategy and direction for biodiversity. It sets a vision for restoring and enhancing Hamilton's natural environment.

We know more native vegetation will make our city – and its people – stronger and healthier.

So, we've set a goal to increase Hamilton's less than 2% native vegetation cover to 10% by 2050. That's hundreds of thousands of plants across more than 1000 hectares to be restored.

Now we need at least 1000 nature-loving volunteers to help us bring this vision to life.

Can you help us with planting? Visit here to become part of the journey.

If you have a question or you'd like to be kept updated, email

Our vision

Te toto o te tangata he kai, te oranga o te tangata, he whenua, he oneone.

While food provides the blood in our veins, our health is drawn from the land and soil.

Our vision is that nature thrives in Hamilton Kirikiriroa and nurtures us where we are. 

We want to shape a healthy, vibrant and green city that future generations can protect and enjoy. Through the 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan, we have committed $29 million to help make this happen.

To read our full strategy, visit here.

Of the 11,000 hectares in Hamilton Kirikiriroa, only 168 hectares are covered by native vegetation. Over the next 30 years, we'll add over one thousand more, revitalising and transforming our gullies and reserves. Council worked with mana whenua to develop the vision of an environment sustaining life and ensuring people are nurtured by nature, incorporating the concept of kaitiakitanga (guardianship).

What we're doing now

We're looking at the bigger picture – this can't be a quick fix.

In November 2021, we launched our first programme plan outlining how we'll kickstart our vision – starting with the next three years. This includes what we'll do and the natural areas we'll focus on.

Here is what we will focus on achieving over the next ten years:

  • Increase native vegetation cover in Hamilton Kirikiriroa by 3%
  • No net loss in our significant natural areas from 2021.
  • No decline in native species occupying our natural areas from 2022.
  • An increase in native birds and other wildlife in Hamilton Kirikiriroa.
  • A 100% increase in hectares treated for pests in our natural areas by 2031.
  • A 100% increase to our community accessing restored natural areas by 2031.
  • Participation in volunteer restoration will increase by 20% each year from 2022.

Over the next three years we will:

  • Enhance nature at Donny Park and create better access to it.
  • Begin pest control and plant restoration at Te awa o Katipaki.
  • Begin pest control and plant restoration at Mangakotukutuku.
  • Start baseline monitoring in our natural areas, to measure progress.
  • Launch a multi-agency working group for expert guidance.
  • Identify new planting opportunities.
  • Educate Hamiltonians on the importance of nurturing nature in our city.
  • Increase our number of nature-loving volunteers.

We know being around nature can be magic for people's wellbeing. By shaping a greener city, we can help improve the wellbeing of Hamiltonians.

Why native plants?

Many of our plants and animals are only found in New Zealand and have adapted to this environment over millions of years. This is the only place they call home.

To put it simply, restoring native plants are the most effective way of supporting a strong and healthy eco-system. While an oak tree might live up to 150 years, you'll find 800-year-old totara trees.

Achieving more together

We have exciting and bold plans, but we need your help to bring it to life. Let's protect and nurture our taonga (treasures), together.

If you are interested in helping to nurture nature in Hamilton, visit here or email

Page reviewed: 30 Nov 2021 7:47am