6.1 Purpose

​​​​​​a) Business resources commonly group around a series of centres in Hamilton and include activities such as retailing, offices, business and financial services, manufacturing, warehousing and associated parking, storage and display areas. These areas and the infrastructure that serves them are significant public and private resources and influen​​​​ce the urban form and function of all parts of the City.​
​b)​The grouping of business activities into centres provides an environment that will draw in other business and facilities. This agglomeration results in productivity gains arising from economies of scale and efficiencies of inter-connectedness.
c)​ The focus of the business centres’ hierarchy is to manage existing centres to ensure they retain and enhance their function, vitality, viability and amenity as focal points for a diverse range of activities needed by the community. Ongoing public investment is a significant element in any centres-based strategy. ​
d)​ A centre is a cohesive or integrated set (cluster) of diverse land-use (business) activities, characterised by high pedestrian levels in a high-amenity public environment and supported by efficient and accessible passenger transport, infrastructure and services. ​
e)​ A business centres’ hierarchy has been developed that comprises six tiers. The overall aim being to re-establish the primacy of the Hamilton Central City and define its relationship with the sub-regional centres and suburban centres, in particular, with each centre comprising one or more of the following Business Zones.​
i.​ The Central City Zone (refer to Chapter 7: Central City Zone)​
Sub-regional centres being at The Base and Chartwell that generally comprise some or all the following business zones:
  • Business 3 (sub-regional centre ) Zone at The Base, the primary sub-regional cente
  • Business 3 (sub-regional centre) and Business 5 (suburban centre) Zone at Chartwell, the secondary sub-regional centre
Suburban centres distributed around the City’s residential neighbourhoods that comprise:
  • Business 5 (suburban centre ) Zone
  • Business 1 (commercial fringe) Zone
iv.​ Neighbourhood centres serving local residential areas that comprise the Business 6 (neighbourhood centre) Zone​
v.​ Localised commercial activity supporting major visitor facilities that comprise the Business 2 (events facilities) Zone​
​vi.​Commercial fringe areas where specific activities have conglomerated to create a particular enclave or precinct or related uses comprise the Business 1 (Commercial Fringe) and Business 7 (Frankton Commercial Fringe) Zones.
f)​ The approach taken in this plan is necessary to ensure that investment in infrastructure and services is programmed and used most efficiently. The approach will also support the primacy of the Central City and manage the range and scale of commercial development outside this area to ensure its function, vitality, viability and amenity is enhanced.​
g)​ Zoning and rule provisions provide for a range of activities, scales and formats appropriate to managing the effects of development of business centres, the principally retail role of the sub-regional centres, the community, mixed use and pedestrian focus of the suburban centres, the neighbourhood function of local facilities, the supporting role of commercial fringe areas and the peak visitor demands associated with visitor facilities.
h)​ The rule provisions reflect seven distinctive business environments, which operate either individually or in combination with each other. In each Business Zone the distribution of office and retail development, outside the Central City Zone, is controlled to ensure that adverse effects on the Central City are avoided. Rules are more permissive in relation to community activities while residential activity above ground floor as part of appropriate mixed use is encouraged in the suburban centre, neighbourhood centre and commercial fringe zones.​ The intention is to encourage the establishment of retail and office activities back to the Central City. The retention, re-development and return of office activities to the Central City is critically important to maintaining a sizeable day-time population to support retail and other activities.​
i)​ The approach also aims to consolidate people-focussed activities within cohesive and integrated business centres, supported by larger-format vehicle based activities in the fringes of these centres. This is reflected in the sub-regional centres zoning and in particular at Te Rapa North, where a grouping of large format activities has established within and on the edge of The Base retail centre.​
​j)​It is envisaged that future large format retail growth will be accommodated within existing centres and significant large format retail development beyond the identified out of centre zones is not envisaged for the Plan period. Large format retail zoning provides for out-of-centre development of​​ large format retail activities only in circumstances where their scale/floor area may not be appropriate in centres within the business hierarchy and it can be demonstrated that the primacy, function, vitality, viability and amenity of the Central City, the function, vitality, viability and amenity of the sub-regional centres and the function of lower order centres within the business hierarchy are not undermined. 

The Commercial fringe zoning also provides for those out of centre areas which have developed with a common character such as health care and hospitals, or building, automotive, and other wholesale retail and trade activities. Such common function-based precincts are unique and have been developed over time, outside of the city centre and suburban centre localities.​
​k)​The Commercial Fringe zone provides for a mix of uses and commercial activities in locations that are adjacent to nearby centres. It is anticipated business activities will complement and support the centres they are adjacent to without undermining the primacy, function, vitality and amenity of the Central City, sub-regional centres or suburban centres.
l) In some limited locations commercial development has occurred outside defined centres on large sites; Home Straight Park is one such example. It can be described as an integrated business park with a unique set of characteristics. These include being reliant on passing motor vehicle custom, shared access and common parking on site, common landscaping themes, and shared services supporting mixed use developments that include offices, small and large format retailing and commercial services. ​
​m)​ ​ Hamilton East is also recognised as having a unique character, being an important residential and employment area situated close to the Central City, readily accessible from a walkable residential catchment, yet well served by public transport. A greater commercial role for Hamilton East is envisaged as an ‘overflow’ or fringe commercial area to the Central City and as a stand alone suburban centre. 
​There are opportunities for sites on the fringe of the suburban centre to be developed to accommodate a range of residential and commercial activities.​​​
​n)​A defined area within Frankton has developed over time to establish a unique character largely functioning as a wholesale retail and trade commercial area, serving building, automotive and other industries. This area is characterised by smaller sites, showrooms, trade supply and limited general retail and office activity.​
o)​ The adoption of the business centres hierarchy is consistent with the commercial development framework promoted in the Regional Policy Statement. This recognises the Hamilton Central City as the primary commercial, civic and social centre in the region ahead of the sub-regional centres of The Base and Chartwell . See Figures 6.1a and 6.1b.​
Figure 6.1a: Chartwell Sub-regional Centre

Figure 6.1b: The Base Sub-regional Centre

Page reviewed: 01 Oct 2020 3:14pm