Wednesday 28 February 2018
Hamilton is one step closer to being recognised as New Zealand’s first ‘age-friendly’ city following the first meeting of Hamilton City Council’s Community and Services Committee for 2018.
The Committee met yesterday Tuesday, 27 February, and endorsed the Draft Age Friendly Plan for the city. The draft plan has been produced by a steering group led by noted gerontologist Emeritus Professor Dame Peggy Koopman-Boyden, and outlines a range of actions to ensure the city caters to the needs and wellbeing of older residents. Actions in the plan are shared across several city organisations and community groups. The committee endorsed the draft plan, which will be submitted to the World Health Organisation. If approved, Hamilton will become the first New Zealand city to join the global age-friendly cities network.
Refurbishment of the corner of Worley Pl and Ward St was also agreed to, with up to $50,000 to be spent on the project complementing the installation of a bronze statue commemorating Dame Hilda Ross. Dame Hilda was a significant Hamiltonian and the statue of her is a project led by public art group TOTI. The refurbishment of the area around the site of the statue was one of three options presented by staff. Work is expected to start later this year, once detailed planning and design are completed.
The committee also resolved to support a staff recommendation to progress to public consultation with a Draft Open Space Provision Policy. The draft policy gives strategic direction on how the Council will ensure the delivery of a high-quality open space network to meet the needs of current and future residents. As part of the consultation process, staff will also seek the views of the property development community.
In her Chair’s Report, Cr Paula Southgate noted Cr James Casson’s desire to incorporate environmental services into the terms of reference for the committee. This will be discussed during the Council’s mid-term review of its committee structure.
Cr Southgate also noted pressure on some of the Council’s Community Grant funds and suggested further discussion on that once the 10-Year Plan process has been concluded.
Lance Vervoort, the Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, provided the committee with updates on a range of projects in the Community Group, including refurbishment of Waterworld and seismic strengthening of the Central Library. The committee also gave approval for staff to make applications to the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund for development projects at either Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park and/or Hamilton Gardens.
The Committee also approved the Central City Safety Strategy, and new community occupancies for three Council-owned properties - Fairfield Hall, Celebrating Age Centre and Bristol Park. The committee received a report outlining the situation with the bowls and croquet clubs which lease land and buildings from the Council.
Editor’s note: This Media Advisory is for information only, and does not constitute formal meeting minutes.