Our commitment to all Hamiltonians
- We will work to maximise the democratic process and community engagement in all aspects of the Hamilton City Council’s (Council’s) operations,
- We commit to, and affirm that, Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) remains a living and fundamental constitutional document.
- We will work to achieve accountability and transparency for all council business. Council businesses must work closely with local communities through every possible means.
- We will try to ensure that the various units of Council communicate and cooperate in the most effective manner.
- We acknowledge the needs of diverse and marginalised communities. We recognise that different groups require different services and facilities. All our communities will get their fair share of resources.
- We will commit to responsible financial management while recognising the value of investing in a range of quality services to support local communities, city infrastructure and local amenities.
We want a dynamic, democratic, diverse and caring city. To achieve that aim we require the candidates we endorse to work for:
- Strong democracy
- Public control and ownership of strategic assets
- Fairness in rates and service charges
- Transport solutions
- Access solutions
- A sustainable environment
- Economic wellbeing
- Community development
- Opportunities for leisure and recreation
- The Council must be open and accountable to the community.
- Our elected representatives will act in accordance with the values and policies they were elected on.
- Elected representatives will actively engage with all their constituent communities and be accountable to them.
- We support the right of tangata whenua to have elected representation at Council level. We will promote initiatives that will build Maori participation and engagement.
- We support the move to the STV (Single Transferrable Vote) voting system.
- We support a minimum of two wards.
- The Council will seek out the opinions of and listen to those communities who do not have a voice.
- We will consult with and prioritise the views of local communities around key social issues, particularly those involving liquor licences and gambling.
Public Control and Ownership of Strategic Assets
- Community assets that provide essential services or generate major income must be retained in Council ownership and control and be openly accountable.
- Water is a basic human right and should be provided as a publicly owned, controlled and delivered service. It must be a sustainable and quality service that is consistent with achieving and maintaining appropriate environmental standards. We do not support residential water metering and the privatisation of water. We strongly support the implementation of sustainable water conservation initiatives.
- We will uphold the principles of public service in our Council and Council businesses through responsible and sustainable social, financial and environmental approaches to the management of the city.
- Wherever appropriate, we support a policy of Council work being done by Council staff, rather than contracting out to private companies. Where it is necessary to use outside contractors and consultants, it is important that Council retains sufficient in-house expertise to evaluate and audit their work.
- Where there is no other option to contracting out, we will insist on an open and transparent process for awarding Council contracts without the use of “commercial sensitivity” to obscure the allocation process.
- We will ensure significant trees and buildings are protected.
Fairness in Rates and Service Charges
- We will be responsible guardians of Hamilton’s public accounts.
- A rating system must be fair and take account of people’s ability to pay.
- To help fund critical infrastructure and moderate the rates impact on low/middle income residents, we will continue a business rate differential.
- We will avoid uniform charges, so that important Council services are available to all Hamiltonians.
- We will develop a fair and equitable funding formula to allocate funds to local communities and Council amenities. The formula must recognise the greater needs of communities with a lower socio-economic profile.
- People and goods need to be able to move easily and safely around Hamilton.
- We need a better balance between private and public transport. We will encourage walking, cycling and the use of passenger transport and in doing so, cater for vulnerable road users.
- Quality provision for walking and cycling and public places is an important component of an enjoyable, liveable city.
- Development should maximise opportunities for people to live, work and play within their local area minimising the need for private vehicle use and thus reducing costs, energy use and carbon emissions.
- Council should advocate strongly to central government to lift their funding freeze on passenger transport in the city and press the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to address “hotspots” where pedestrians struggle to cross the state highway network through the city.
- We should look to the future in dealing with an ageing population and volatile fuel prices, and lobby for all future transport planning to include rail.
- We do not support toll funding of major roads or public private partnerships.
- All planning for infrastructure, amenities, facilities and services will be designed in a way that will allow participation by all residents, including those with disabilities.
- Council will make access for all residents a priority when upgrading infrastructure, amenities, facilities and services.
- Council will consider language issues and cultural inclusiveness when providing services.
- Council will communicate in plain English, so information can be understood by all residents.
A Sustainable Environment
- We will promote the principles of ecological sustainability, enhancing the natural environment, and minimising the impact of human activity on local ecosystems. We believe that Hamilton has an obligation to respond to global issues including climate change, and will work towards developing a strong, resilient and connected community. We will engage with, and work alongside local communities to fulfil this objective, and ensure adequate monitoring is undertaken.
- We recognise the environmental and social costs of human activities and, using quality urban design concepts in the city’s planning, will work to mitigate these costs. We will work towards efficient safe transport options, well-connected communities, energy efficient buildings, sustainable gardens and foods supplies, and encourage practices that reduce pollution and waste.
- We will work to improve the water quality of our waterways in partnership with Tainui, Waikato River Authority, and all other users. We will work actively with businesses and the community to improve wastewater disposal practices.
- We will conserve and enhance our natural environment by taking on the guardianship of Hamilton’s features: our river, green spaces, lakes, and gully systems.
- We will ensure public access to the riverbanks and lakesides, through walkways and cycle ways.
- We will ensure that environmental and recreational values are not compromised through inappropriate development.
- We will continue to provide and support educational initiatives that promote the environmental Sustainability of the city.
- We will work to build communities with a sense of place and self-reliance, high employment and reduced inequality, where everyone can prosper. We will do this through support for business enterprise and innovation, environmental sustainability, affordable accommodation and employment in the region’s economy.
- We will actively promote employment opportunities in Hamilton.
- The Council will actively engage with Central Government to advocate for, and provide resources and services to maximise the economic and social well-being of the city and its residents.
- We will work to ensure Hamilton’s infrastructure meets Hamilton’s needs now and into the future
- We will encourage the provision of employment opportunities close to where people live to reduce the need for long commutes and to strengthen local communities.
- We commit to working with the business, horticulture and farming sectors to identify and facilitate opportunities for Hamilton.
- Council will only commit to supporting events and/or development projects that have undergone comprehensive cost-benefit analysis with thorough and transparent public consultation.
- We will work to ensure that Council is a progressive, fair, and responsible employer.
- We will work towards the reduction of Council debt.
- We will actively work with community groups to build up strong and well-connected communities.
- We will ensure that Council will provide a range of services and facilities that support a safe and secure city for all residents, including the most vulnerable and marginalised, to live and move around in. Community safety, litter control, well-maintained footpaths and effective public transport are essential aspects of council service provision. We recognise that well-being also requires the provision of a vibrant and diverse range of community services, facilities and events.
- We support a diverse city that welcomes new migrants and refugees. We will provide opportunities for participation and belonging for people from a wide range of abilities and social, economic and ethnic backgrounds.
- Urban design and good maintenance of our shopping hubs, main streets and suburbs play a large part in people feeling confident about participating in city life. We will support business associations, Maori Wardens and other organisations that work to enhance safety and security in our public areas.
- We support a forum approach to social issues, with elected representatives working in partnership with voluntary social service and community agencies.
- We are committed to alleviating homelessness and continuing to be a leading provider of quality social housing, in partnership with community organisations and Central Government.
Opportunities for Leisure and Recreation
- The city is fortunate to have a comprehensive network of parks, reserves and open spaces that will meet its future needs as it grows. We will ensure that these are retained, continue free access and will not sell them. Future developments will be required to include appropriate green space.
- We will continue to provide and facilitate appropriate organised community events on our public open spaces and protect them from commercial use.
- Libraries, sports and recreation grounds, swimming pools, support for community leisure activities, arts and cultural events are part and parcel of a living, vibrant city. We will work with communities and organisations to promote good service that is accessible to all.