Category Archives: Projects

Waitawhiriwhiri to Ward, Town Belt – land use

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This post is a measure of land use in the breathing place known as Hamilton’s western town belt (WTB) area between Frankton, the central city, Waitawhiriwhiri stream and Ward Street. I’m still finding John Claudius Loudon’s writing on breathing zones a helpful reference. This is my reading of his writing (my emphasis):

“ In the country zones we should permit individuals, on proper conditions of rent and regulations, to establish all manner of rural coffee-houses, and every description of harmless amusement we would lay out as park and pleasure-ground scenery, and introduce in it all the plants, trees, shrubs which would grow in the open air, with innumerable seats, covered and uncovered, in the sun and in the shade … and other natural-looking scenes, with walks and roads, straight and winding, shady and open .. Breathing ground should be marked out as not being built on, for the sake of the health of the poorer part of the inhabitants … Breathing places will be found to present advantages which no other form or disposition of breathing places could produce … we hope, also, that the legislature may not think it unworthy of their attention to take into consideration the subject of breathing places, on some systematic plan, calculated for the benefit of all ranks in all parts of the British metropolis”

The green belt this post is looking at is about 35 hectares in total; I’ve measured 56% as not built on or enclosed. A third is enclosed/fenced, mostly for rugby (5 ha), followed by cricket (3.5 ha), golf (2.2 ha), bowls (1.1 ha), and tennis (0.4 ha). These uses do fit the description of “on proper conditions of rent and regulations, to establish all manner … of harmless amusement”. Sealed car parking areas (3 ha or 8%) don’t fit the “we would lay out as park and pleasure-ground scenery … natural-looking scenes”. Sadly, parking areas are irresistible to people who travel primarily by car and are involved in decision making, but they are not good for “plants, trees, shrubs which would grow in the open air”.

To finish I’ll have a short rant.

Every new enclosure within the green belt involves the infringement of somebody’s personal liberty, in a reverse way. Here it’s not entirely a question of taking something away from the public. Having paid events and organised sports is good for the city. But the risk to open spaces reappears in the form of ‘fouling our nest’ by needing to pipe away run-off because of large impervious surfaces, starving trees of water, and also creating delays in returning under-used fenced spaces to open public use.


Hamilton water to wastewater spend 2018/19

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Disclaimer: the numbers used in this post come from council fund project lists. It looks to me that the way people analyse the counting changes, also my data is copy and type, not copy and paste. So please do a check;

In the briefing note for the Council meeting on Wed 6th Dec 2017 – 2018-28 10-year Plan – page 172: The funded Capital Programme spend on wastewater and water for the plan for 2018-28 was $457,508,506. The 27 March Council Report Attachment 8 Draft Capital Projects List 12-3-18 (D2625967) spend totals $592,820,000; a 29% increase in just 3 months.

The 10-Year Plan 2018-28 Consultation Document (page 11) puts water at $285m & wastewater at $358m, totalling $643,000,000. This post uses funded project lists for benchmarking, see end of post for examples from 1999-2019, 2009-19 & 2012-12.

Back last century, Hamilton’s Strategic plan 1999-2019 budget for year 2018/19 (page 70 & 71) approved a budget for water $4,274,000, wastewater $2,954,000: total $7,228,000 ($10,788,392 inflation added).
Looking back a decade, in the 2009-19 long term plan the spending for year 2018/19 on wastewater and water was $20,167,000 ($23,252,760 inflation added) compared to the latest plan for year 2018/19 of $72,319,000 which is an increase of over 200%.

Year 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22 2018-25
Long Term Plan $000 $000 $000 $000 $000
1999-19 $10,788
2009/19 $23,253
2012/22 $31,894 $31,740 $32,654 $24,494
2015/25 $243,781 75% Increase
2018/28 $72,319 $90,311 $73,974 $58,923 $427,917

The numbers above shown as single years don’t give a balanced picture, as long term plans are rewritten  and projects’ funding dates change, so below I’ve graphed each long term plan’s budgeted total 10 year spend on Water and Wastewater as single $k values along with population data, and the future population council is planning for as stated in the 2018/28 long term plan.

What I’m seeing is a growth plan that pulls the trend line up away from population growth, but even more concerning is the accelerating cost of adding new water/wastewater infrastructure.

The challenge of ‘Deciding where our next big housing area will be’ should not be about pushing the city wider and wider; it is about when do we start looking at slimming existing properties that are close to existing shopping and service centres, so that they are used more frequently and their efficiency will rise.

Link to Former 10-Year Plans

Examples of project list I’m using for benchmarking.