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Dollars and Sense? The Finances behind the Long Term Plan

There is nothing like a big rates rise, much like Mayor King’s proposed 15.5% increase, to open the eyes of ratepayers as to how the city funds its activities. Quite rightly, Ratepayers are demanding answers as to how we got into this mess – myself included! Key messages included in the plan, and conversations I have had, indicate: 1. We have been living off debt and this can't continue; 2. Debt was "masked" by the money developers pay us to help put water and roads into new development area...

December 4, 2017

Hamilton bigger versus better? Or can we have both?

When Mayor King proposed the consideration of a 12% rates increase within months of being elected the people of Hamilton reacted with alarm. No one likes rates increases especially unexpected rates hikes. However, the truth is ratepayers and citizens have some big decisions to make about the size and quality of the City and how to fund it. The City IS growing, housing IS less affordable. While houses ARE being built, unemployment rates have decreased, and economic growth is positive, the pressur...

May 11, 2017

The HALO Project

The Halo Project was established 8 years ago by John Innes, Kevin Collins and I with the objective of improving our biodiversity here in Hamilton. John believed, quite rightly as we have seen, that we would be able to bring Tui back to the city if we introduced effective pest management within a 20km radius of Hamilton. We worked collaboratively with landowners towards Raglan and in the first year saw a notable increase in breeding success. Eight years down the path and we are now seeing the w...

September 28, 2016

Rates and Affordability

Rates are always a tough issue; who should pay and how much? I am a strong believer that every dollar the council spends is a dollar that we have collected from our constituents, and we should treat it as such. Spending and investment should be supported by thorough business case analysis, be transparent, and costs should be keep under control. Cost over-runs are simply not acceptable and should not be tolerated. We should also be looking to partner with business and the wider community wherever...

September 13, 2016

Transport and Parking

Parking: When it comes to parking in the CBD Hamilton needs change, and I don't mean the kind you put in the meter. To be clear, I'm not necessarily advocating for free parking in the city, I'm advocating for better parking. What that looks like needs to be determined in consultation with residents. Popular options that have been suggested range from free parking to simply making it easier to pay. I'll be the first one to put my hand up and say I never have coins when I need them so would b...

September 12, 2016

Let's not just build a bigger city, let's build a better city

While affordable housing, timely infrastructure and a strong economy are vital for our city growth, let's not forget that it is our strong and vibrant communities that make Hamilton a great place to live. Over my many years in Hamilton I have seen how people value our green spaces and meeting places. Community hubs are where people can connect with each other to enjoy sport, art, culture or a conversation with a neighbour. Not all projects need to be large or expensive. Sometimes it's the smal...

September 12, 2016

It's time for Special Housing Areas in Hamilton

Now is the time to act: The housing situation in Hamilton needs urgent attention with house prices increasing over 30% in the past 12 months. We are now reaching a point where many of our young people are being priced out of the market, families are spending an increasing percentage of their income on accommodation and our elderly, many of whom are on fixed incomes, are seeing their rates rapidly increase. I believe that we have a responsibility to look after our most vulnerable resident and s...

September 12, 2016

Paula says NO to water meters

I absolutely DO NOT support water meters for residential houses in Hamilton as it is my clear understanding that there is no strong business case. I am aware that the focus is on leak detection, a Smartwater education programme and a upgrade to the City's water treatment plant..I firmly support that approach to ensure safe, and sufficient water supply for the City for well into the future. For more information click here: ...

September 7, 2016

Let's get positive about retail in Hamilton

For too long there has been a clear disconnect between the perceptions Hamiltonians have of our CBD and the facts. As a city we need to celebrate success and become better storytellers. The GDP of our CBD is leading the country at 8.1%, retail spending in the city is up 4.3% and while occupancy continues to be an issue things are improving with over 80 new retail, hospitality and corporate businesses taking up new leases in the CBD in the past year. The shoppers are returning to the central cit...

September 7, 2016 Posts 1-9 of 9 | Page

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