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Improving Maaori representation

I have supported a process which will see Hamilton City Council revisit the issue of establishing Maaori wards for our city. Council will discuss this issue again as part of the Long-Term Plan Council meeting on April 15th.  At that meeting, Council will consider a new resolution which considers putting Maaori wards in place by the next election, but only after engaging with the wider community.  This is a very complex issue and people understandably feel passionately so I want to tak...

April 6, 2021

Time to speak up, share your voice

My election as Mayor came with a promise to Hamilton. I promised people could have a far greater say, much more easily (and much earlier) on important decisions. That promise is important to me. I believe all people have the right to share their voice and shape their city. Our city is full of passion and diversity and all views should be heard. However getting people involved in what happens at Council is not always easy – I know that!  We all lead busy lives. But now, more than ever, Iâ€...

March 5, 2021

A momentous event for our city….

Hamilton was jam-packed with family-friendly action last weekend with the Christmas Parade, the rugby and more. But in the midst of it all, something momentous happened. On Saturday afternoon, I was thrilled to attend a ground-breaking ceremony that has been 20 long years in the making.  It was the first tangible step in building New Zealand’s first ever Pan Pacific Hub, right here in Kirikiriroa-Hamilton. The Hub has come about thanks to the work of the Hamilton-based K'aute Pasifika Tru...

December 8, 2020

Big decisions ahead based on five priorities

Next year your Council will complete a piece of work which will impact on Hamilton for decades to come. Our 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan will put the building blocks (and budgets) in place to strongly set the direction of our city for the next 10 years – and beyond. It will aim to help our city and people recover from Covid-19, as well maintain our existing assets and ensure we are well placed to cope with and leverage growth. It will also aim – where we can afford it –  to address the ch...

November 10, 2020

Twelve months into the job

Twelve months ago I was honoured to be elected Mayor of Hamilton. A year later, I feel more privileged than ever to lead one of New Zealand’s most wonderful cities, a place I have called home for more than 40 years....

November 4, 2020

Huge boost for Ruakura inland port

Today was a historic one for Hamilton with the government announcement that has pushed ‘go’ on the Ruakura inland port and industrial precinct. Minister for Urban Development and Transport Phil Twyford has confirmed government will invest $40 million in ‘shovel-ready’ projects to help fast-track Ruakura. The $40 million comprises a $20 million grant to Hamilton City Council and a $20 million loan to Tainui Group Holdings (TGH). The money will help fund transportation, bulk infrastructure...

October 7, 2020

Rapid rail investigation welcomed

Today I welcomed the announcement that government will investigate the potential for rapid rail between Hamilton and Auckland.Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the government intends investigating four possible scenarios, ranging from extending electrification of the existing route to building a new rail alignment, alongside the existing rail corridor.  Each scenario would connect both city centres....

August 25, 2020

Water: something must change

Last month I was asked by Local Government New Zealand to speak with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and others about the issue of three waters reform. Since then, I have addressed a number of Mayors, Councillors and senior staff from other councils about why I think we must change the way water and waste-water services are provided in New Zealand.  I want to share some of these thoughts. But firstly, some background…Over the past three years, central and local government have been con...

August 17, 2020

Rates dropped to 2.8 per cent

“Yesterday I chaired the very important meeting which saw our Council confirming  an annual average rates rise of 2.8 per cent for the coming 2020/21 year. The increase is one per cent lower than what had originally been proposed in our draft Annual Plan, and lower than what we had forecast in our 10-Year Plan. We received 198 formal submissions on the draft Plan, all of them very welcome. Thank you to those people who engaged with us, and provided important feedback.  Feedback doe...

July 24, 2020

Bounce Back: Let's Create a Stronger, More Vibrant City Together

Hamilton, we'll bounce back. And while we rebound, let's rebuild. We have talented people. We have innovative businesses. We have a strong education sector. We have resilient communities. We have generous givers. We have incredible volunteers. So let's build together to... Bolster local communitiesEnable affordable homesSupport growth to create jobsControl rates and council costsWork with key partnersInvolve you in decisions that shape our city Let's create a stronger, more vibrant city. Togethe...

July 24, 2020

A fantastic new asset for Hamilton

I had the privilege today to open yet another new asset for Hamilton. A wonderful 84-metre long ‘history wall’, celebrating the history of FMG Stadium Waikato has been installed.  The wall outside the venue runs along the Tristram St end of the stadium, and below the corporate boxes.  And its panels commemorate a fascinating, 100-year journey. ...

July 19, 2020

Hamilton Ready To Do Part & House Returnees to NZ

I know our city will do its part to help accommodate New Zealanders returning home and going into managed isolation. It has been announced that further hotels in Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch will be used to house returnees who have come home. The Hamilton hotels involved are secure, stand-alone facilities and are not open to other guests. I’m advised that returnees will begin arriving in the city over the coming week. It’s important we remember these are Kiwis coming home ...

June 26, 2020

Ruakura Project will Unlock Colossal Benefits for our City

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Te Whakakitenga o Waikato Chair Parekawhia McLean and I at the announcement this morning....

June 9, 2020

Community funds more than 19,000 plants for Waiwhakareke

From left to right: Hamilton City Council Community Planting Coordinator Gerard Kelly, Environment Committee Deputy Chair Sarah Thomson, Wintec Kaumatua Tame Pokaia, Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate, Dr Kiri Wallace of the University of Waikato, Tui 2000 President Lynne Garnham and the Council’s General Manager Community, Lance Vervoort, at the 2020 Arbor Day commemorative planting at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park....

June 5, 2020

Positive Environmental Outcomes for Hamilton

Hamilton City Council has ensured that sustainability and strong environmental outcomes are front and centre as we push to secure a share of the Government stimulus package aimed at creating jobs and keeping New Zealand's economy moving. One project we are promoting is the fast-tracking of  25 hectares of gully-planting and stormwater improvements at Peacocke.  This would include turning wastewater pipes across gullies into dual-purpose cycling and pedestrian bridges. We’re also aski...

May 12, 2020

COVID-19 : We are working hard to support Hamilton through lockdown and beyond.

Hamilton City Council recently announced phase one of a two-phase recovery plan for our city so we can support and rebuild Hamilton after COVID-19. Phase one provided $1 million for social services, authorised early payments to suppliers, approved consent fees relief and refunds and signed off on development contributions relief and support for small to medium size businesses. We also agreed to fund an emergency response effort and to waive rent for community groups, sports clubs and other busin...

April 11, 2020

End of year reflections and Seasons Greetings!

It has certainly been a very busy two months since I was elected as Mayor but also a very productive time. My first focus was on establishing a strong team to represent you. Working alongside my elected colleagues, I established five committees with Chairs and Deputy Chairs who are excited to get stuck into their work alongside you. I am excited about what the 12 community leaders that you elected can achieve, and invite you to contact them with your ideas and issues.  Most of them have fac...

December 19, 2019

Love & care for our natural environment

I love our natural environment; the river corridor, our gullies, parks and special green spaces. I believe green spaces are vital to the wellbeing of a city. That does not make me a 'greenie', whatever that means. It does make me someone who cares about both the environment and the wellbeing of our city. International studies show that cities that have green spaces are healthier and more liveable cities. I am not asking for lots of money to find extra green space for the city. I am suggesting we...

October 3, 2019

Hamilton: A cycle city?

Hamilton is a relatively flat city with reasonable weather. On the face of it, ideal for cycling? Interestingly, global studies show that weather is not a key issue in determining the popularity of cycling in a city. In Ubrecht there is a saying: 'you are not made of sugar', meaning you won’t melt, so can ride in the rain. The key factors are infrastructure and safety. Having dedicated cycle lanes is a start, but protected cycle lanes are best practice. Surface, lighting and safe places to loc...

October 3, 2019

Working hard in Wellington for Hamilton and NZ.

Here is a snap shot of the work I do in Wellington for Local Government NZ and Hamilton.1. Policy advisory group selected by the National Council (including President of Local Government). This group of senior elected members provides guidance and policy on issues such as; water, housing, climate, productivity to both Government and the Local Government across the country. 2. I chaired the organising committee that designs and runs the Local Government Conference. We recently had a very successf...

September 28, 2019

Hamilton: A great place to work

My vision is to see both Hamilton and the wider Waikato thrive. Hamilton has a huge location advantage. With key transport routes, links to ports and strong access to natural resources we are ideally placed to develop further as a key economic hub for NZ and a great place to work, live, and play.  All three aspects are important to attract and retain the talented workforce we need. Employment, incomes, access to education, housing, transport, technology and natural resources determine ...

September 24, 2019

"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life"

Quite simply, the arts are life-enhancing, entertaining and define our personal and local identities. Research shows that cities that emphasise art possess more civic and social engagement and better community wellbeing. The arts create social offerings - openness and places for people to meet each other, creating a feeling that people in the community care about each other. It is part of placemaking. Art gets people talking. It is also good for the economy. Locals support theatres, galleries an...

September 24, 2019

Encouraging and embracing women for council

As a woman who has been in local government politics for over 18 years, I am 100% behind the movement to get more women in council. This does not diminish the contribution of my male colleagues, it complements it. In my time, I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of being a woman in this predominantly male-orientated career. When I began, I had young children and faced the same expressed concerns as I hear on the campaign trail this time: “can you manage your family (children) and ...

September 19, 2019

Enabling affordable, quality housing for all

Like other fast-growing cities, Hamilton continues to feel the effects of a housing shortage. In July the median house price was $590,000 and 280 sold. None, of course, sold under $300,000. Compared to when I bought my first wee home 28 years ago, it is much harder for people to step into their first home and it is difficult to find rentals. Both my mum and daughter moved houses last weekend. Several times, my daughter has faced the struggles of high-demand rentals and has grappled with the...

September 19, 2019 Posts 1-24 of 24 | Page
 

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