Establishing the facts: Shaw's Bird Park

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Updated: 11 February 2022​​

Hamilton City Council is currently developing the Southern Links transport network within the Peacocke area. Caring for the environment was among the many aspects considered in an exhaustive decision process over many years. Peacocke is not just the city's biggest investment in growth, it's our biggest investment in the environment. Council remains committed to achieving high-quality environmental outcomes throughout its works in Peacocke and continues to work with all landowners as we deliver infrastructure needed to enable housing in the city's south. 

As part of that process, Council has now acquired, or reached agreement regarding, all the required land within the designated transport corridors. One such piece of land sits within a property on Hall Road, marketed as "Shaw's Bird Park'. 

The agreed route for the road crosses two sections of the property and avoids the majority of the ponds and planting.

The Shaws were part of the consultation process that decided where the future road was going to be.

They supported a road in this area in their submissions on a structure plan in 2007, and in 2014 wrote to the Council as part of their submission on the road, congratulating the project for its foresight. The Shaws submission noted this section of the road cut through their property and requested Council look at compensation and an underpass.

In November 2021 the Environment Court dismissed, in all respects, an objection by the Shaws under the Public Works Act. The Court was satisfied the initial evaluation process for the road was wide-ranging, comprehensive, and robust, and was in accordance with recognised good practice. Adequate consideration was given to ecological effects and optional routes. The Court was satisfied Council gave adequate and genuine consideration to alternatives, including an alternative later identifed by the Shaws, and observed the Council was clear in its desire to work in good faith through the process. A full copy of the decision is available here.

The road route and its associated designation has been finalised. Following the Environment Court process the land for the road was gazetted by proclamation of the Governor-General in early 2022 and is now owned by Council.

The Court confirmed that the acquisition of the land would not prevent the bird park from operating. Council has undertaken to provide access to parts of the land outside the road to allow the Shaws and the public to continue to enjoy the bird park.

During the consultation process a decade ago, the Shaws' submission on the proposal sought three key outcomes: that the future public-access park they envisaged could continue operating, that Council considered access from the new network to the park, and adequate compensation was provided.

Council is now working to achieve all these outcomes. If agreed compensation cannot be found through negotiation, there are statutory options for the Shaws and Council to seek an independent decision.

The Southern Links network is a critical piece of work to enable much-needed housing and connectivity in Peacocke. Council is working to successfully deliver this project in a way which works with landowners and the general public, provides safe working sites for our staff and contractors, achieves the best environmental outcomes and is fair on our wider ratepayers.

Council is aware that there is factually incorrect information circulating on social media which may create a false impression and mislead the community. Council wants to ensure that the public is properly informed about its process and has reliable information upon which to base community views. 

We all want the best for our environment, but we need to have the facts.

​​Stat​ements and assumptions

The facts

​The Council is destroying a bird park.


The Council has no intention of destroying the ‘Park’. Most of the planting and the ‘ponds’ on the property would be unaffected by the road designation.

​The Council needs to fill the ponds, remove the trees and destroy the homes for the birds.


The road alignment on this property will include a substantial area of landscape planting. The planned route of the road intersects only a section of one pond on the property. The Peacocke environmental programme includes more than 30 new wetlands across Peacocke, and 120,000 new native plants in the planned first stages of gully restoration work

​The property owners were opposed to the road.


In 2007 the property owners submitted in support of the first Structure Plan, successfully increasing the Stage 1 development area to include more of their land. This Structure Plan included an arterial road through their property which would benefit future subdivision of their property. In 2014 the current road alignment was not opposed by the property owners in their submission to the designation process. Their submission congratulated the Council for its forward thinking. They requested a discussion on compensation and a potential underpass on the property. The Council continues to seek a negotiated solution. 

​The property owners recently found out about the road.


The property owners have been aware for plans for the road for many years. They previously applied for a residential subdivision consent which, if progressed, would have been supported by the new road. The new road will also provide services that will enable subdivision of their other adjoining land.​

Other routes for the road have not been considered.


The Southern Links process started in 2011 and evaluated a wide range of network options, identified three broad networks, and narrowed these down over time to the preferred option. The process took more than four years and $4.5M jointly funded by the Council and NZ Transport Agency. Independent commissioners considered these issues and made their decision after full public consultation. The property owners were actively involved in this process.

The Environment Court has confirmed Council's planning and consultation approach has been robust and well thought out.

The Council is building a motorway. 


The East-West Rd is a normal suburban road, one lane each way, like Te Aroha St or Borman Rd, but with improved pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. 

The road is 60 metres wide.


The road will be approximately 26m wide. That includes around 10m for one traffic lane each way and a painted median to provide space for turning and pedestrian refuge islands, 5m each side for shared paths and berms, and 2m each side for on-road cyclists. In cuttings and embankments, the footprint is wider and can include landscape planting and stormwater devices. 

The Council’s plan required removal of 800 trees on the Shaw property. 


The road passes through a small portion of the property. Planting on the wider property is not impacted. Since the Structure Plan was initially proposed in 2007 and the separate designation started in 2011, lodged in 2013 and confirmed in 2014 the property owners have planted many new shrubs and trees on the planned route for the road which will now have to be removed during construction. 

Moving the road south would save money for ratepayers.


The designation process was thorough and robust because critical decisions are based on it. Land has been purchased, construction on roads has begun and agreements are in place with developers. Changing now would cost substantially more and create construction delays that potentially put the Council's $290M agreement with Government at risk. It would also impact other landowners in the area who have made plans based on the approved designation, including some with construction underway. Such a change would likely have a major negative impact on the city's ratepayers. 

The Environment Court has confirmed Council's planning and consultation approach has been robust and well thought out.

The Council has not been in discussion with the property owners. 


Council representatives have been in contact with the property owners or their representatives many, many times in the past few years. The Council has paid for the property owners to obtain their own valuations and legal advice. The Environment Court decision acknowledged Council's effort to work constructively with the property owners. Council continues to seek a negotiated solution.

Thousands of people have signed a petition about the property.

​The online petition carries some of the incorrect statements listed above. The petition wording has changed several times since it was started. It is not clear how many of the signatories signed the current version or are aware information they were reacting to was not correct. 

The property is an environmental treasure. 


Council's advice from ecologists is that the ponds compromise the Mangakootukutuku gully habitat. It is unclear whether the ponds, dams, weirs, and other structures established on the property have the necessary resource consents from Waikato Regional Council. Water quality and impact on existing native aquatic habitat is not known in detail. 

​Council doesn't care about the environment​.

False. ​​​​

Our work in Peacocke is not only Hamilton's biggest investment in growth, but it's also the city's biggest-ever investment in the environment. The environment is at the heart of everything we do. When Peacocke is complete it will include a multi-million-dollar investment to protect and enhance our natural taonga, green spaces and biodiversity. There’s more information here.

Council is just putting money in developers' pockets.​


Hamilton is experiencing very high growth and projections show the city is well on its way to having more than 200,000 people living there.

Peacocke was officially included within Hamilton's boundary in 1989 and has long been planned as a key growth area for the city, along with Rototuna and Rotokauri.

​Over the next 1​0 years, Peacocke is projected to deliver a third of Hamilton's medium-term housing needs and 26% of Hamilton's long-term housing needs. Our work is about making sure we have the right infrastructure in place (like roads and water pipes) to support this growth and help develop an attractive and sustainable community that our city can be proud of. Developers pay their share of this infrastructure through Development Contributions.

Council has not consulted with iwi over the road designation in Peacocke.​


The Council is absolutely committed to working with mandated iwi organisations including Waikato-Tainui and the five local hapuu in the area. All the Council's work in the area is done with an understanding of cultural and heritage issues and follows significant research, approvals and protocol agreements with iwi organisations.

Council are destroying an urupaa​.


Council and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency included mandated mana whenua and Waikato-Tainui in the assessment of Southern Links route options. This process led to a designated network that avoided significant sites, including known urupaa, and paa such as Whatukoruru Paa, Kairokiroki Paa and Nukuhau Paa.

​Council are bullying the Shaws.


The Shaws were involved in the planning process for the road many years ago and the designation was established in 2014 after consultation with them. Council are following a Public Works Act process. This is a formal, structured process which protects all parties and we are ​committed to working with the Shaws to find a solution.

Page reviewed: 11 Feb 2022 3:33pm