Parking evidence

“If restraints on the parking supply really did limit economic vitality, one would expect to find some evidence, but there is none” Page 558 Christchurch – Central City Technical Appendices E-P01

If increased parking supply really did attract more pedestrians, one would expect to find some evidence, but there is none. (Page 35-ref.1)

It is then suggested that “increased commercial car park capacity indicates a shift from pedestrian to car-based access to and around the centre” (Page 35-ref.1.) One would expect to find some evidence, but there is none (the Vehicle Count is in the Hamilton central area only).

Maybe a 6-lane road (4 for car movement lanes plus 2 lanes for car parking) on a sunny day would make an attractive place. One would expect to see some evidence.

If free parking at competing retail locations stopped people going to places where they pay upfront for parking, one would expect to see some evidence. Here I’m suggesting the 2007/08 GFC reduced car use, which reduced CBD parking revenue.

Sorry, one more graph:  below we see the effect of changing retail locations. Note: only the CBD charges parking as a separate cost, so in 2005/06, Rototuna and the Base came alive but the CBD didn’t have a step change in sales until about 2010, as The Base was investing in more retail space.

To finish, here is a link to a report titled ‘Hamilton’s retail economic effects associated with the Base’ (Page34-Ref:2)

“13.33) [Paul P Keane] view is that a large proportion of the sales would have been lost to Hamilton. They would either not have been made at all – that is, households would simply spend less on retail – or they would have been made in other cities instead, such as Auckland, Tauranga or Rotorua, resulting in outwards leakage.

13.34) By creating The Base as a regional centre, Chartwell as a community (or sub-regional) centre, and Centre Place as the retail heart of the CBD, the opportunity for customers to do their shopping in Hamilton was far more likely than those sales going elsewhere, or not going anywhere.”

Ref: 1 – EPA Ruakura Economics Philip McDermott

Ref: 2 – Hamilton PODP Hearing Business Zones Mon4Nov2013 P Keane Evidence TGHL


Category: CBD, News, parking

Hamilton Population Projections

Many of Hamilton City Council’s past population projections have been within one percent of the current 2018-31 projection linear line (p42&p119), excluding the 2012-22 prediction:

2006-16 Long Term Plan (LTP) 2016 prediction of 159,600 (NZ census estimate 161,400): -1,800 [1.1%]

2009-19 LTP 2019 prediction of 166,500 (p34) current prediction 167,909 (p114): -1,409 [0.8%]

2009-19 LTP 2051 prediction of 242,000 (p34) is above current projection line

2012-22 LTP 2021 prediction of 150,000 (current prediction 171,606): -21,606 fail [14.4%]

2015-25 LTP 2045 prediction of 210,000 (p20) is below current projection line

The 2015-25 LTP also has predictions for rateable units:

2016 projected 56,600 units (p143), above actual 55,995* (p119) +605[1.0%]

2017 projected 57,053 units (p143), above actual 56,706* (p119) +347[0.8%]

*(all excluding not-rated) on Historical Benchmarking (p119) would expect this to be the same for 2015-25 LTP for benchmarking between plans.

Former 10-year Plans  10-year plan 2015-25

Draft 10-year plan 2018-28 from council agenda Dec 2017 (in Italic)


Looking back at council’s first District Scheme in 1963, it missed how attractive Hamilton was to new people. This was corrected with the 1973 District Scheme getting the 1981 projection bang on, while 1986 was 14% over. The 1991 Town Plan came closer at 5% below actual levels for 1996. The 2012 district plan (p26), which was based on 2001 census figures, estimated 2026 levels just below the census data projection line. The 2017 district plan uses Statistics NZ estimates dated June 2013 (p9) to estimate its 2031 population, which lands on the census date line.


Looking forward, the 2018-28 LTP does give warning on the long term risks of planning to the higher line Page 203

“External factors … there has been a modest downward revision to net migration and population growth forecasts nationwide, and this had a small effect on estimated underlying demand for new dwellings. … Over the longer term, if growth was to slow, this could present risks to Council, … all scenarios are based on University of Waikato’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis (NIDEA) Low which is a conservative growth projection when compared with the medium projection.

To conclude, city populations can and do change. Both New York’s Manhattan Island and Houston’s population grew from about 200,000 to 1,000,000 in a 50 year period, regardless of whether that growth was outwards or upwards in terms of actual building.


1963 – City of Hamilton District Scheme – NZ711-409-931-151-HAM (70-page A5 format)

1973 – City of Hamilton District Scheme – REF-S-711-409-931-151-HAM (37-page A5 format)

1981 – City of Hamilton District Scheme  – REF-S-711-409-931-151-HAM (89-page A4 format)

1991 – City of Hamilton Town Plan – REF-S-711-409-931-151-HAM (315-page A4 format plus appendices)