This section is subject to the following plan change- Proposed Plan Change 6- Regulatory Efficiency and Effectiveness Plan Change

​​​7.2 Objectives and Policies: Central City Zone

​​​​​All Central City

​Objective Policies​
The Hamilton Central City is the heart of the Waikato region acting as a diverse, vibrant and sustainable metropolitan centre.​
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Opportunities are provided within the Central City to live, work and play for people of varying ages, cultures, incomes and all levels of mobility. ​
Activities that assist in generating bustling city streets and distinctive public spaces (including public open space, esplanades and reserves) are encouraged, in a manner that is consistent with the role and function of each Central City precinct. 
Economic sustainability is promoted. ​
Key attractors and areas of interest within and surrounding the Central City are connected through attractive, efficient and safe passenger transport and pedestrian and cycle links.​
Visual and physical connections to the Waikato River are protected and enhanced to support increased residential and business development.​
Development within the Central City Zone should contribute to the restoration and protection of the Waikato Region’s communities’ economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships with the Waikato River.​
Housing densities are consistent with 50 dwellings per hectare in the Central City.​


If the Central City is to grow and prosper in a sustainable way and to be a fun, vibrant and high amenity place to live, work and socialise, and to ensure high-quality living environments and amenity, it is important to maintain and provide strong connections with public open space (including city streets), esplanades, reserves and specifically, the Waikato River.  Development along the Waikato River that contributes to the restoration and protection of communities’ economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships with the River will be encouraged.

The Regional Policy Statement sets out high density residential development within and close to the Central City. Residential activities within the Central City promote sustainable living environments through the concentrated use of the City’s resources. This approach ensures stability for established parts of the City, so higher density will not occur where it is not identified and provided for.

​Objective Policies​
The form, scale and diversity of activities support and facilitate the role of the Central City as the Regional Centre.​
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The multi-functional role of the Central City is protected by supporting investment and development in the Central City, and controlling the distribution, scale, character and cumulative effects of activities that could undermine this role. ​
The Central City is promoted as the preferred location for major retail, office, cultural, civic administration and entertainment activities.​
The design of public spaces and buildings ensures high levels of amenity, convenience and safety.​
Heritage resources are recognised and managed to contribute to local amenity values and anchor investment within the Central City.​
The revitalisation of the Central City is promoted and links facilitated with sporting and entertainment facilities and environmental features close to the central area by establishing precincts of key activities.​
Building height and the edge treatment of buildings is  managed to enhance the relationship to the public realm and improve public safety.​
The role of key development sites (refer Volume 2,  Appendix 5, Figure 5-9) in providing for the revitalisation of the Central City should be reflected in any development proposal and be in general accordance with the design guidance contained in this Plan.​
Future development will be undertaken in a manner that protects and appropriately integrates heritage values into the Central City to enhance social and cultural values and the overall attractiveness of the city.


The Central City seeks to be the preferred location for major activities which cements its place as the heart of the Waikato Region. Encouraging and facilitating high-quality development will ensure the Central City is attractive and well connected with strong local amenity values specific to the character of Hamilton.

​Objective Policies​
Amenity values within the Central City that encourage the growth of a sizeable, centrally located residential community.​
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Increased levels of residential accommodation within and close to the Central City is promoted and provided for.​
Mixed-use activity within the Central City is supported, where it is consistent with existing activities, to sustain the vitality of the central area and enable increased use of upper floor areas for business and residential activity.​
Residential development adjacent to or overlooking areas of existing or planned open space is encouraged.​


The interface between residential accommodation and other Central City activities creates a vibrant, safe and prosperous environment. Residential activities within the Central City promote sustainable living environments through the concentrated use of the City’s resources.

​Objective Policies​
Increased development opportunities are created by establishing a finer-grain street block pattern for pedestrian accessibility, emphasising links to key features and attractions.​
Redevelopment provides opportunities to introduce safe, vibrant lanes, arcades and pedestrian links that increase access and connectivity within the Central City.​


Enabling development to take place in accordance with key urban design principles, such as improved links, connectivity and convenience, provides for improvements to the design quality of Hamilton’s built environment.

​Objective Policies​
A pedestrian-oriented Central City.​
Pedestrian and cycle connections to the Waikato River, Hamilton Transport Centre, Wintec Campus and other destinations are enhanced.​
Entrances and corridors to the Central City are enhanced through increased activity, building design, streetscape treatment and traffic management to provide attractive and safe pedestrian environments.​
Traffic and transport corridors are managed to enhance passenger transport connectivity, prioritise safety and convenience for pedestrians and cyclists, and encourage the removal of unnecessary traffic from within the Central City.​
Recognise, protect and maintain the strategic transport function of the Hamilton Public Transport Centre.

Integrating transport planning and development within the Central City will improve accessibility, safety and convenience for pedestrians and cyclists. Improving connections and alternative modes of transport, such as innovative passenger transport services including rail and extensive walking and cycling networks, combined with improved building design, will ensure attractive and safe pedestrian environments are developed. In turn, this will make the Central City a safer, more attractive place to be for people of all levels of mobility. This includes retaining the options to access the Central City Rail Station for future use.

Downtown Precinct

​Objective Policies​
Continued development and growth which enhances the commercial heart of Hamilton as an attractive and vibrant pedestrian orientated City centre that is accessible to all levels of mobility and has a strong relationship with the Waikato River.​
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Retail, dining and other pedestrian-oriented activities are encouraged to locate within the Downtown Precinct, particularly at ground level​.
Commercial, offices and residential activities are encouraged to be provided at upper levels.​
Local amenities and a quality of environment that attracts workers, residents and visitors to the Downtown area are provided for. ​
A range of activities, including events to reinforce the area’s vitality, excitement and interest, that encourage people to visit, live and work in the City are provided for.​
Built form which enhances the integrity and amenity of Garden Place is encouraged. ​
Developments within the Riverfront Overlay are required to contribute to opening up the western riverbank area by providing public open space, plaza areas or the promenade, supported by retail, dining and entertainment activities at ground-floor level.​
Diversity in building form and height is encouraged, subject to enhancing and protecting public amenity values and minimising adverse effects on adjoining sites and the public realm. ​

7.2.6h High-quality living environments are encouraged through appropriately sized and located internal living spaces with adequate external outlook space


Protecting and enhancing the character of the City’s core is essential for Hamilton’s continued positive development and growth. An important challenge is to ensure that new developments add positively to the overall character of the City, and contribute to an attractive, vibrant and accessible Downtown. The structure and layout of Hamilton is crucial to ensuring the Downtown is the heart of the City. Development that has strong connections to passenger transport and the City’s facilities and amenities, as well as to the Waikato River, will provide for this.

City Living Precinct

​Objective Policies​
High-density, sustainable, residential mixed-use development, supporting commercial activities and small to medium scale offices, within a high amenity environment appropriate to attract and retain a significant resident and working population.​
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Safe, legible pedestrian connections are provided to surrounding areas, existing open spaces and local amenities.​
A network of public open spaces (including pocket parks and squares) is provided alongside existing and future pedestrian routes and close to high-density residential and working environments.​
Residential development is close to existing amenities, including open spaces (such as opposite the north Tristram Street parks), passenger transport, supermarkets and sporting facilities.​
Development is required to contribute to fostering a high-amenity public and private environment to assist in establishing a sense of community within the inner City.​
High-quality living environments are encouraged through appropriately sized and located internal living spaces with adequate external outlook space.​
Commercial office, retail, service activities and amenities that complement (rather than compete with) the primary retail and office function of the Downtown Precinct are encouraged.​
The establishment of a diverse range of fringe, start-up and creative small businesses with an appropriate level of commercial activities and residential development is enabled.​
Flexible and adaptive floor space capable of accommodating different uses over time is required.​


The City Living Precinct is an area with the greatest potential for transformation. Currently, a number of uses would be more appropriately located to industrial areas outside the Central City. Facilitating development to provide for a new mixed-use environment with an emphasis on establishing higher-density commercial and residential activity within the City Living Precinct will improve existing streetscapes and amenity in the area. Combined with this, providing better connections to existing open space and local amenities will attract and retain a high resident and working population.

Ferrybank Precinct

​Objective Policies​
Continued development of the cultural and tourism core of Hamilton, including development and activities that promote social and cultural wellbeing.​
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A variety of activities with an emphasis on cultural, entertainment, small-scale retail, recreation and tourist activities, and including provision for office and medium-density residential and supporting land uses (e.g. local supermarket shopping) are provided for.​
Tourism facilities and public amenities, including club facilities close to the Waikato River, are provided for.​
A range of activities that encourage people to visit and spend time in the City should be allowed, including events which will reinforce the area’s vitality, excitement and interest.​
Quality urban design that respects the form, scale, architecture and heritage value of existing character buildings within the Ferrybank Precinct is encouraged.​

7.2.8e High-quality living environments are encouraged through appropriately sized and located internal living spaces with adequate external outlook space


The Ferrybank Precinct is an area rich in character that needs to be protected, enhanced and celebrated. Located close to the Downtown Precinct, the Ferrybank Precinct is an area that is well connected and can provide for a range of activities. Respecting the existing character of this area and providing for its growth and development will ensure that it remains as the cultural and tourism heart of Hamilton.

Page reviewed: 19 Jul 2019 3:30pm