Growing up: Hamilton's response to Government direction for growth and the changes we must make to the District Plan (our rule book for development.)
Hamilton is growing and growing fast. In the past few years, we've seen more and more people choose to call our great river city home. We're expecting that number to keep increasing, and we need to plan now for where those people will go and how they will get around.
Central Government has reset the rules for how big cities can grow and these are broadly set out in the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD). Amongst other things, the NPS-UD requires cities like Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and Hamilton to grow up, not just out.
To do this, we need to make some changes to Hamilton's District Plan (our rule book for development). This means there will be changes to the rules around how you can develop your property and your neighbourhood. For example, in some areas we'll see smaller section sizes, more apartments and townhouses and no requirement to provide car parking.
But it also means it puts homes closer to all the things we need like shops, parks and public transport. It also provides a greater variety of homes in our city, to help make it more affordable for everyone who calls Hamilton/Kirikiriroa home.
The changes set out in the NPS-UD are not optional. We have to make changes to our plan to reflect the new rules.
However, making those changes provides a fantastic opportunity for our community to influence what our city looks like in the future, while still aligning with the Government's growth strategy.
We know this may impact you and your property, so we'll be giving all Hamiltonians the chance to have their say and make their mark on the new rules from Government as much as we can.
Afterall, it's our place, Hamilton Kirikiriroa!
Over the next 12 months, we'll be working with our community, stakeholders and tangata whenua to find out what's important to them and what they wish to see for their own neighbourhoods.
This will be an opportunity to express your views about what's important to you as a resident of Hamilton Kirikiriroa.
We'll keep you posted ahead of time about how you can have your say.
Sign up to receive updates on the District Plan changes
What does that mean for your area?
Government has directed a new way of managing growth in major cities across the country. Its aim is to remove some of the red tape for New Zealand's largest cities to grow 'up', allowing greater heights and greater density in locations with good access to services, jobs and amenity (like shops, parks, and public transport).
This provides for more homes, and a greater variety of homes in our city, to help make it more affordable for everyone.
We're starting to investigate what this might mean in Hamilton and will require a significant amount of engagement with our communities, tangata whenua and stakeholders before any decisions are made.