West Town Belt Masterplan

​​​​Hamilton's West Town Belt is an extensive tract of open space along the edge of the central business district, connecting the Lake Domain to the Waikato River.

Where it is

The 54ha band of green space was originally designated for recreation in the late 1870s, and Hamilton City Libraries has material noting the West Town Belt as far back at the early 1860s.

West Town Belt | Joining the Waikato River and Hamilton Lake Domain

The West Town Belt retains its public recreation use today, and includes the city's two international sports facilities – FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park – as well as several community sports facilities, the Founders Theatre, plus Norris Ward Park and Hamilton Girls' High School. Other sites within the West Town Belt include the Waitawhirirwhiri Gully, the historic Hamilton West Cemetery, Stadium Bowling Club facility, and a commercially operated golf driving range.

For the Council, and for the city's residents, the West Town Belt is an important public open space where events, community sports and what is known as "passive" recreation combine and intersect.

The masterplan

In June 2018, the Council's Community and Services Committee directed staff to produce a new masterplan for the West Town Belt. Masterplans are a common tool for the spatial management of parks and reserves across New Zealand. They inform improvements or changes to parks and their uses, as well as guiding the Council's various business units in their work managing and maintaining these areas on behalf of the community.

At its November meeting, the Council’s Community, Services and Environment Committee agreed to a deferral of the plan to June 2019. This is ensure consultation on the masterplan does not occur during the festive season, and staff can do the thorough job required on a significant piece of work. The Committee will then make a recommendation to Council regarding approval of the masterplan.​Have your say​​

Development of the West Town Belt Masterplan involves discussion and formal consultation with various key stakeholders – including mana whenua, community interest and advocacy groups, and the assortment of lease-holders occupying West Town Belt land – as well as providing information to the wider Hamilton community.

The Council recently held the Phase 1 Engagement which included stakeholder workshops, public open days and an online survey.  The key themes emerging from of these events included:

  • Improving safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling options throughout the West Town Belt
  • Protecting the West Town Belt as a green, open space asset for all Hamiltonians to use and enjoy
  • Improving facilities and amenities so that people can use the West Town Belt more
  • Providing destinations and holding temporary events to attract more positive use
  • Protecting the diverse types of open spaces that currently exist
  • Celebrating our local history and stories 
​​​​​​​​

The Council will hold Phase 2 Engagement later in the year. This will be another opportunity for you to have your say and see how the community feedback to date has been incorporated into the masterplan.

The West Town Belt is a significant and well-loved community asset and the Council is committed to keeping our public informed in the development of this important park management plan.​
Page reviewed: 07 Nov 2018 4:17pm