18 October 2021
The go button has been pushed on a 1000-plus home development in Hamilton’s south.
In a much-anticipated ruling, the Environment Court has granted resource consent to the Amberfield development in Peacocke – an area earmarked to soak up a lot of the city’s growth in coming decades.
And city leaders have embraced the ruling, saying the 109 hectare project will not only help address Hamilton’s chronic housing shortage but also rejuvenate nearby suburbs.
Amberfield is being developed by Weston Lea Developments which plans to start on-site construction works in late 2022. The first houses are expected to be completed by late 2024.
Weston Lea Developments spokesman Steve Bond said the company’s resource consent allows it to develop 833 lots. However, Hamilton City Council’s upcoming plan change 5 is expected to enable more medium density housing to be built across Peacocke – such as terraced housing and low-rise apartments.
“Over time, we anticipate that a high proportion of medium density outcomes will be delivered and that will take the overall number [of homes] well over a 1000,” Bond said.
Amberfield will consist of four neighbourhoods, although it's unlikely the areas will be given separate names. Development will start in Amberfield’s northern neighbourhood and its completion is timed to coincide with the opening of the new traffic bridge over the Waikato River.
The river bridge will connect Peacocke to Hamilton East.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said Amberfield will play a vital role in helping increase the city’s housing stock.
“To me, it’s critical that we get as many houses built as quickly as possible. This is the green light ... it’s great,” Southgate said.
“I hope it reinvigorates some of the existing communities there too, so they have access to nice new places, and new amenities, new playgrounds, parks.”
Amberfield’s central neighbourhood will feature a town centre and will include some high density housing. A supermarket will anchor the town centre.
Bond said the development will feature a range of dwellings, with terraced houses sitting on sections of about 200 sqm. Section sizes for stand-alone houses will start at 350 sqm, while larger sections will be located around the river’s edge.
Detailed pricing has yet to be confirmed, but Bond said house and land packages and sections will be offered.
“We intend to provide a range of housing typology ... and hopefully there will be a range of price points to provide opportunities to a wide section of the market as well,” Bond said.
Independent commissioners had earlier given the go-ahead to Amberfield, but several conditions contained in the ruling were challenged by Weston Lea Developments and the Department of Conservation for differing reasons.
Bond said targeted ecological measures have been agreed to, which will protect the native long-tailed bat, including a ban on domestic cats. A “considerable number” of predator-proof roost boxes will also be constructed across Amberfield.
The 109ha development will feature 33.7ha of open spaces that include a connected network of parks and reserves, and cycling and walking trails.
“That reserve network will provide an ecological function, providing habitat and movement corridors for the bat. In addition to that, we’ve introduced bat-sensitive design measures, for example directional street lighting and roadside planting to help screen residential and street lighting and car headlights from bat habitats.”
While waiting for the court decision, Bond said Weston Lea Developments has planted 45,000 trees along the river margin in order to get a “head start” on protecting and enhancing the corridor.
Hamilton City Council expects to complete the Waikato River bridge, new roads and wastewater connections to service Peacocke by mid-2023.
Weston Lea Developments lodged its initial resource consent application in May 2018. “It’s almost taken 3 ½ years to gain consent, so it’s certainly a big step forward,” Bond said. “It’s great news for us, and it’s great news for Hamilton. New homes are badly needed in the city to both cater for and to enable its growth.”
About 20,000-plus residents are expected to call Peacocke home by 2048.
For more information, please go to the Stuff article here.
13 October 2021
Master planned riverfront suburban community to move ahead
In great news for the development of Hamilton and the supply of high-quality homes and places to live in the city, consent has been granted by the Environment Court that now enables the planned Amberfield development in Peacocke to move ahead.
The consent provides for a 109-hectare, high-quality riverfront master planned suburban community with substantial natural character, open space provision, a town centre, and a planned range of high-quality standalone and medium density housing options.
The Environment Court decision is an important milestone, as it provides the certainty the development needs to proceed. It’s also great news for Hamilton, as new homes are badly needed in the city to cater for, and enable, its growth.
It is a big step forwards, as we can now progress a master-planned community that will help contribute to Hamilton’s future - and leave a lasting positive legacy for the region.
Development plans include a substantial 33.7 hectares of open space
This includes the creation of an interconnected network of parks and reserves with playgrounds, cycling and walking trails. The reserves will also deliver an important ecological function by providing habitat and movement corridors for the native pekapeka, or long-tailed bat. The reserve network will include a continuous publicly-accessible esplanade reserve along the 2.8km river frontage.
Light-sensitive design measures such as directional street lighting and low level planting to help screen car headlights from habitat areas will be integrated into the engineering and landscape design. Predator controls will also be implemented, including a ban on domestic cats.
A town centre will also be developed at the heart of Amberfield
Anchored by a supermarket, the town centre will provide local retail, food and beverage offerings to the community - and will service the wider Peacocke area.
On-site construction work for the first stage is expected to commence late-2022
We expect the first houses to be delivered by late-2024. The construction of the first stage of Amberfield is timed to coincide with the completion of a new bridge over the Waikato River and new roading network to service the wider Peacocke area. The new roading network will provide a direct connection from Peacocke to the CBD, Hillcrest and the eastern suburbs. It is anticipated that the bridge and surrounding roads will open mid/late 2023.
We anticipate some pre-sales being offered to the market ahead of construction.
We look forward to providing more details as we move ahead. Please sign up on our homepage to receive updates on our progress and for future sales information.
Much-needed new housing is a step closer in Peacocke after Hamilton City Council moved to the final stages of procurement for a major wastewater connection.
The contract to build a wastewater transfer pumping station and associated works is now out for tender. The project is expected to cost around $25 million and is the last major piece of infrastructure needed to service new housing in the area.
Chair of Council’s Strategic Growth Committee Councillor Dave Macpherson said three years on from confirming funding via the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, this is the third of a trio of key pieces of infrastructure in the area.
Most of the pump station will be constructed underground – up to 8.5m below ground level. The structure aboveground incorporates artwork and interpretive signage to tell the story of the area.
Councillor Macpherson said it’s about far more than just growing our city. The project also includes more than 1.5km of pipe work to bring the Fitzroy area into the catchment to support operation and reduce demands on Hamilton’s western wastewater network.
“Our approach to Peacocke, and Hamilton’s future, is making sure we’re growing in a sustainable way that doesn’t leave our existing communities behind,” he said.
The pump station will transfer wastewater from Peacocke and Fitzroy via new pipelines over the Waikato River bridge (currently under construction), along the East Town Belt and Wairere Drive to connect into the city’s existing wastewater network near Crosby Road. Work by contractors CB Civil on the pipelines north of Cobham Drive is already well under way.
CB Civil’s project manager and director Jamie Campbell said he was pleased with his team’s progress on the pipelines so far.
Construction of the transfer station and associated works is expected to get under way later this year and be completed in mid-2023.
The first of 26,000 native saplings have been delivered to site for planting at Amberfield after developer Weston Lea Ltd placed an order through six local nurseries late last year.
The saplings will be planted along the river margins of the site as the first stage of protecting and enhancing the natural areas within, and adjacent to, the development.
One of the nurseries is run by the Ngati Hauā Mahi Trust, who were also engaged to undertake the planting itself.
Planting began with a karakia, which Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust used to ensure respect of the land, the people and their Tupuna Awa Waikato. The ceremony celebrated spirituality and faith, reconnecting the iwi culturally and spiritually to the land and the river, as Waikato Tainui Māori have a rich history founded on strength, unity, faith and service to the Kingitanga that was founded in the 19th century.
Keri Thompson from the Ngāti Hauā Mahi Trust says, “The Karakia whakawaatea used on the day was specific to clearing the spiritual space, recognition of the historical significance and traditional work that occurred, as well as blessing the people and work so that we could plant these beautiful natives.”
All of the trees have been eco-sourced from the gullies and areas close to the planting site. Eco-sourcing strengthens the whakapapa of the rakau in the Ngāti Hauā rohe and is a priority for the Trust as it ensures the native species continue to thrive as rongoā plants. The native trees will also help enhance the habitat for the native long-tailed bat (pekapeka) population which is also important to the whānau of Ngāti Hauā.
Weston Lea Ltd has worked carefully and closely with the Tangata Whenua Working Group and environmental stakeholders to create a sustainable and positive ecological solution, ultimately aiming to provide a buffer to protect and enhance the habitat of the pekapeka.
Andrew Blayney, Ecologist from Boffa Miskell, says: “This planting is one of the first steps in the Amberfield development to significantly increase the habitats available to our native species in the Hamilton City area. Over 15% of the development area will be solely dedicated to native restoration plantings and creating a habitat for native fauna. This is significant, because even small increases in indigenous vegetation cover will contribute to local biodiversity and have city-wide positive impacts.”
Steve Bond, General Manager of Weston Lea Ltd says: “From the outset it’s been a priority for us to engage with local iwi. Through this process we have learned a great deal about the spirituality and connection iwi have to the river and the land. The karakia prior to the planting was a beautiful and humbling moment - and a fitting way to commence our journey to create in Amberfield a place that embraces the river and nurtures the environment.”
This activity follows a landmark agreement (kawenata) signed in February 2019 to create a partnership between Weston Lea Ltd and the Tangata Whenua Working Group. The working group is made up of mandated representatives from each of the Waikato-Tainui hapuu within the vicinity of the project – namely Ngaati Wairere, Ngaati Maahanga, Ngaati Hauaa, Ngaati Tamainupo. This has paved the way for new opportunities to involve mana whenua in the Amberfield community being developed in Peacocke.
The Ngati Haua Mahi Trust saw the order of native trees as an opportunity to engage in a procurement process that acknowledged the unique relationship that Ngāti Hauā has with the land and the river as kaitiaki and mana whenua. It was transformative for all involved and enabled members to undertake environmental work that fed their mind, bodies and souls.
This opportunity also provided four local rangatahi with jobs and allowed them to gain valuable experience and skills - specifically around what can be achieved when environmental restoration work is required, and, more specifically, the benefits native trees provide for the local pekapeka population. Many of the planters stated their participation was life changing as they would be able to tell their whānau and children about the trees planted in this area for many generations to come.
Tema Tuhakaraina, one of the planters involved, commented: “We didn’t know the history of the area before we started working here, and it’s been really cool to hear the stories. After planting so many natives, when we see the big trees it blows us away to see what the native saplings will grow into.”
It’s been decades in the making and now a promise to open up Hamilton’s south to new housing is quickly becoming a reality.
Hundreds of curious residents took up an invitation to learn more about the city council’s plans to transform Peacocke from undulating farmland into a showpiece neighbourhood during a public open day on Tuesday.
Peacocke is earmarked to soak up a lot of the city’s growth with an estimated 20,000-plus residents expected to call the area home by 2048.
But opening up Peacocke hasn’t been without controversy as the council has worked to acquire property rights to land needed for new roads.
Hamilton Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor said the Peacocke development has caused pain for some landowners but it also represents the fulfilment of a long-standing promise to create new housing in the city’s south-west.
Peacocke was brought into the city’s boundary in 1989.
“There has been a lot of publicity, good and bad, which is fine and that’s lifted the profile of Peacocke,” Taylor said.
“I think people have heard a lot about it, and also I think they’re starting to see the bulldozers come in now, so the rubber is starting to hit the road.”
Work has already started on a new river bridge which, when completed, will connect Hillcrest to Peacocke.
Karen Saunders, city council’s growth programmes manager, said Peacocke is unique in that a big chunk of infrastructure is being delivered all at once. This was made possible after the council secured a $180.3 million 10-year interest-free loan from the Government and $110.1m in NZTA subsidies.
“The other unique thing is, because we’ve got all of that investment up front for the infrastructure, we’re able to take this place-based approach to delivering communities,” Saunders said.
“So we’re not just building a bridge and roads, we’re looking at how do we deliver a community with 20,000 people, lining up the parks, lining up the community amenities, working closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure there’s schooling at the right time.”
More than 9000 people are expected to be living in Peacocke within the next decade.
Saunders said Peacocke represents the council’s largest ever environmental investment in a growth area, with special consideration given to the nationally critical long-tailed bats.
In an interim decision issued last month, Environment Court judge Jeff Smith approved a ban on cat ownership in the planned 105-ha Amberfield subdivision. Amberfield will form a big part of the Peacocke neighbourhood.
Other environmental initiatives include 15 hectares of gully restoration work, 1.5km of stream restoration, and 30 new wetlands.
Fitzroy residents Joan Nicholson and Prue Armstrong said many of their questions about Peacocke were answered after attending Tuesday’s open day.
Large-scale maps were particularly useful in showing where the new roads and infrastructure will be built.
The new roundabout on Ohaupo Road, south of Hamilton, has already opened to traffic and will eventually serve as a key gateway into Peacocke.
Nicholson said it’s disappointing prime farmland in Peacocke will be lost as new houses are built but developing the city's south is essential.
“I’ve come from the north-east of the city where there’s been huge expansion. It’s time the south was expanded and developed. However, in saying that, we as a city have to learn to go up, rather than out,” she said.
“What I did find heartening is that a lot of thought has gone into protecting the environment and the bats. The council is not just going to put roads through here willy-nilly.”
Armstrong said the open day would have put a lot of residents’ minds at ease.
“I think the dissenters won’t have so much to complain about now,” she said.
The council is seeking public feedback on its draft Peacocke structure plan ahead of formal consultation in May next year. The structure plan will serve as a blueprint for the region.
Taylor said Peacocke is an opportunity to design a neighbourhood from scratch.
“We can say, right from the start, we’ll have cycleways and walkways.”
Councillor Maxine van Oosten also attended the open day and said feedback from attendees was positive. Questions were raised, however, about the need for new shopping facilities in the area to allow residents to shop local.
“I also spoke to the Waikato Kindergarten Association who are keen to be included in future planning. What we don’t want is mums travelling all the way across town to use early childhood facilities,” van Oosten said.
For more information, please go to the Stuff article here
Hamilton’s new wastewater connection to Peacocke will improve environmental outcomes for the Waikato River and wider city.
Hamilton City Council has awarded CB Civil & Drainage Ltd the contract to build a wastewater connection to link the new growth area with the city’s existing network.
The $28.5M project includes two pipelines running from Cobham Drive, along the Eastern Town Belt and Wairere Dr to connect into the existing wastewater system near Crosby Road. The pipeline will eventually link up with a new pump station to be built in Peacocke.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said the pipeline has been designed to meet tougher environmental standards and to improve the health of the Waikato River.
“Peacocke is this city’s biggest ever investment in the environment; from the design of the pipes and roads, to the thousands of native plants we’re planting. We’re doing huge amounts of work to restore gullies including putting in protections for endangered long-tailed bats.”
“Peacocke is not just about building more houses. It’s about developing a quality, sustainable community that Hamilton families will be proud to live in and importantly, will enjoy living in.”
The new wastewater system will cater for up to 20,000 people who will eventually call Peacocke home, plus provide additional capacity for growth and free up capacity in the city’s existing wastewater network.
Chair of Council’s Strategic Growth Committee Councillor Dave Macpherson said the importance of essential services like wastewater in building a new community should not be underestimated.
“It’s important we get our infrastructure in place right from the beginning, and that’s what we’re doing in Peacocke. This pipe allows for housing development to get under way in the south at the same time as our transport network – a great result for people who are eager to move to the area.”
“This contract is part of a wider vision for the way we are developing Peacocke. It’s part of an overall package which focusses not just on the hard infrastructure, but on how that can support environmental, cultural, transportation and social needs in Peacocke, as well as supporting future needs of the wider city.
This is the second major contract Council has announced for Peacocke recently, after HEB Construction was awarded the $135M contract to build a new Waikato River bridge and transport network earlier in the month.
Mayor Southgate said the construction of these two major projects showed confidence in the city despite the impact of the ongoing pandemic.
“Hamilton is the hub of the Waikato region and the beginning of this work shows confidence in our local economy and its ability to bounce back and be resilient. Our partnership with the Government to deliver key infrastructure is hugely important and I think the whole of Council is very pleased to see this get under way.”
Work on the pipeline is expected to start in October and take up to two years to complete.
For more information go to: Best-for-river approach to development in Peacocke
The partnership between local government, central government and iwi is critical to progressing Hamilton’s newest neighbourhood for development, said Hamilton’s Mayor Paula Southgate.
Hamilton City Council has awarded its biggest ever construction contract to HEB Construction for the new transport network to open the Peacocke neighbourhood. The $135M project includes construction of a new bridge over the Waikato River and surrounding roads. Physical work is set to get under way in October this year.
Mayor Southgate said the massive milestone reflected the strong commitment between partners to work together and prioritise the building of much-needed homes, as well as community facilities and the wider environment.
“This is about a new way of doing things. It’s about building a vibrant new community and not just allowing for houses and roads,” she said.
“This milestone represents more than 30 years of hard work from many different groups, including past councils. This really is something to celebrate.”
Today’s announcement will boost the local and regional economy which has suffered the impacts of COVID-19, Mayor Southgate said.
“HEB Construction has a large and long-term local presence in Hamilton and the Waikato. The contract includes significant use of local subcontractors and suppliers, so a big portion of the contract spend will be right here in the local economy and that’s important.
“There’s also an opportunity to upskill local people through training and apprenticeships on the job.”
The wider Peacocke programme is estimated to bring in $6B of benefits to the city in the next 30 years.
A partnership with the Southern Links Tangata Whenua Working Group, which represent the interests of Waikato-Tainui and the four local hapuu in the wider Southern Links project, had been crucial to progress, said Mayor Southgate.
“Working with mana whenua and others is a key part of our commitment to making sure Peacocke is more than just housing. We want a city based on a long-term, sustainable vision that future generations will be proud of.”
Peacocke is the city’s biggest ever investment in the environment, she said.
The project includes 15 hectares of gully restoration, around 30 wetland areas and more than 100,000 new native plants, in addition to landscaping for the roads themselves. Lighting and structural features on the bridge will minimise the impact on the native long-tailed bats and the surrounding environment both during construction, and when it is operational.
Construction of the new bridge and transport network is expected to be complete late 2023.
Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, main roads, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.
For more information go to: Peacocke contract a massive milestone: Mayor
Just days after Hamilton City Council entered the final procurement stages for a new bridge over the Waikato River, it has announced a further boost to the local and regional economy.
The last stage of the tender process to build a 6km-long strategic wastewater connection starts in early May, linking the city's new growth area of Peacocke to Hamilton's existing strategic network.
The Northern Pipeline project is estimated at around $30M, including design, geotechnical investigations and associated works. The construction tender price will include around 5.5km of twin pressure pipes and around half a kilometre of gravity sewer and manholes.
The Northern Pipeline will provide additional resilience and capacity to Hamilton's wastewater network and enable future housing construction. The complex pipeline project will go under the East Town Belt, Wairere Drive and KiwiRail's eastern main trunk line. Tenders will close in June to enable the successful tenderer to start work in the coming construction season. The project is expected to be completed in the 2021/22 construction season.
The council's chief executive Richard Briggs says the release of the tender is further good news for the city's longer-term economy recovery and the many people employed by the construction sector.
"As with our bridge contract announcement last week, we have been able to get to this stage ahead of schedule and because of the support of our shortlisted tenderers and some great work by staff under difficult conditions," Mr Briggs says.
"There are thousands of people in Hamilton and the wider region who depend on the construction sector for their economic wellbeing. It's not just the workers and management of the contractors, it's the many support industries like fuel companies, raw material suppliers, nurseries for the tens of thousands of new plants, clothing and safety equipment companies and a myriad of others.
"As one of New Zealand's fastest-growing cities our communities have benefited from government investment as we build infrastructure critical to enabling new housing and transport links.
"As our region and city bounces back from the economic impacts of the Covid-19 response, the jobs this work provides will play a key role in improving the wellbeing of our residents."
When complete the new Peacocke neighbourhood will be home to around 20,000 new Hamiltonians.
The Northern Pipeline is part of the city's growth programme which includes the $150M Peacocke bridge and associated works contract, as well as new arterial roads and safety improvements on State Highway 3 which are already under way.
The Peacocke programme is supported by $110M in Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies and a $180M 10-year interest-free loan from the Government's Housing Infrastructure Fund.
For more information go to: Peacocke pipeline another boost for local economy
Hamilton City Council is entering "the final procurement phase" of a $150 million project to build a big new bridge over the Waikato River, south of Hamilton.
It's part of an initiative the council has maintained progress on, in spite of the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown.
The bridge, along with some associated works, is expected to be completed in 2023 and it will form a large plank in the council's plans for leading the region out of the Covid-19 recession.
The contract has gone to three shortlisted consortiums for pricing before the end of June, following several months of discussion and detailed evaluation of prospective tenderers.
The project was ahead of schedule and the timing would allow the successful tender to begin construction in the 2020/21 summer season.
The new bridge had been budgeted in the council's long-term plan and just over half of the $150m cost will be funded through a Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidy.
The remaining costs will be covered by a 10-year interest-free government loan via the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate said her council was committed to "getting on with the job".
"The last thing I want to see now are planned, budgeted and carefully managed projects go on hold. It's the last thing this city needs when we are worried about jobs and keeping families secure.
"At the time we were planning this, we could never have foreseen the circumstances we face today. But being ready to go earlier than expected is a massive bonus and I want to thank our staff and our partners for that."
Council chief executive Richard Briggs said maintaining momentum on the infrastructure programme for the new Peacocke neighbourhood in southern Hamilton - which was already six months ahead of schedule - was especially important now.
"To be able to complete the documentation and processes to go to tender this week really shows the adaptability and focus of the Council's staff, contractors and our partner agencies in difficult circumstances. We were able to keep this project moving with the support of the three tendering consortiums, who all said they were ready, willing and able to work on their tender documents during lockdown."
"This commitment means we can make use of the summer construction window, providing job security, new employment opportunities, a local and regional economic boost and ultimately deliver more housing, sooner, for our city."
The efforts have been acknowledged by the NZ Construction Sector Accord, a joint commitment from government and industry to create a high performing construction sector.
"The NZ Construction Accord congratulates Hamilton City Council and its continued commitment to these significant construction and services contracts. This is occurring at a time when the construction sector employees and businesses, are under real pressure. This continued leadership makes a difference," a statement from the Accord declared.
When complete, Peacocke will be home for around 20,000 people.
The bridge will include walking and cycling lanes and would also act as a conduit for water and utility services. will connect to Hamilton East and the city's ring road via a new interchange at Wairere Dr and Cobham Dr, now under construction.
The wider project will include the planting of more than 135,000 plants and around 1000 trees, including fruit trees and a grove of heritage flax species to protect the resource for raranga (weaving).
Road landscaping and new wetland areas are being aligned to support flightpaths for the endangered long-tailed bat.
For more information go to: Not a bridge too far: Council keeps up pace on $150m project to span Waikato River
A commitment to maintaining momentum and supporting a post-COVID-19 local and regional economic recovery has seen Hamilton City Council enter the final procurement phase of a $150M milestone project.
The NZ Construction Sector Accord has congratulated the Council for its leadership as it continues to progress work for a a new bridge over the Waikato river and associated strategic services during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The contract has gone to three shortlisted consortiums for pricing before the end of June, following several months of discussion and detailed evaluation of prospective tenderers. The project is ahead of schedule and the timing will allow the successful tenderer to begin construction in the 2020/21 summer season.
The project is budgeted in the Council’s long-term plan and funded through 51% of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidy, with the remaining costs supported by a 10-year interest-free government loan via the Housing Infrastructure Fund.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said despite the COVID-19 lockdown, Hamilton City was committed to “getting on the with job”.
“At the time we were planning this, we could never have foreseen the circumstances we face today. But being ready to go earlier than expected is a massive bonus and I want to thank our staff and our partners for that.”
The Council’s Chief Executive Richard Briggs says maintaining momentum on the Peacocke strategic infrastructure programme, which was already six months ahead of schedule, was important, especially now.
“To be able to complete the documentation and processes to go to tender this week really shows the adaptability and focus of the Council’s staff, contractors and our partner agencies in difficult circumstances. We were able to keep this project moving with the support of the three tendering consortiums, who all said they were ready, willing and able to work on their tender documents during lockdown,” Mr Briggs says.
“This commitment means we can make use of the summer construction window, providing job security, new employment opportunities, a local and regional economic boost and ultimately deliver more housing, sooner, for our city.”
The city’s efforts have been applauded by the NZ Construction Sector Accord, a joint commitment from government and industry to work together to create a high performing construction sector.
“The NZ Construction Accord congratulates Hamilton City Council and its continued commitment to these significant construction and services contracts. This is occurring at a time when the construction sector employees and businesses, are under real pressure. This continued leadership makes a difference,” a statement from the Accord said.
The new bridge will connect Hamilton’s transport network to existing and planned roads in the new Peacocke neighbourhood in the city’s south. When complete, Peacocke will be home for around 20,000 new Hamiltonians.
The bridge includes walking and cycling options as well as carrying strategic water and utility services. The bridge connects to Hamilton East and the city’s ring road via a new interchange at Wairere Dr and Cobham Dr which is already under construction.
The bridge will be a significant asset for the city and the wider project includes a massive investment in the environment. More than 135,000 plants and around 1000 trees will be planted, including fruit trees and a grove of heritage flax species to protect the resource for raranga (weaving). Road landscaping and new wetland areas are being aligned to support flightpaths for the endangered long-tailed bat.
In keeping with the city’s vision for Peacocke as an attractive and sustainable community, all new roads have separated cycleways and separate paths for pedestrians, with underpasses or signalised crossings at major intersections.
The bridge and associated works project is expected to be completed in 2023.
For more information go to: Council’s leadership applauded as $150M Hamilton project moves to next steps
In exciting news, consent has now been granted by Hamilton City Council that enables development of the community at Amberfield to move ahead to the next phase.
Steve Bond, spokesperson for the local family behind the development, says: “We are pleased that consent has been granted, and to be able now to progress a number of key elements of the development. One example is placing orders with local nurseries for 45,000 native trees that will be planted along the river margins and in the gully area – the first stage of protecting and enhancing these important natural areas.”
Waikato's billion-dollar infrastructure programme is predicted to transform the region into an economic and social powerhouse that is the envy of the rest of the country.
It is seeing new facilities earmarked for health, arts, education, business and state services that are either under way or planned in the next several years.
Late last week, the Government announced a new $100 million mental health facility in Hamilton to replace the Henry Rongomau Bennett Centre; earth has also been broken on 'The Pa', a new $90m development at the University of Waikato; plans are under way for the new $73.9m regional theatre project in the Hamilton CBD; the inland port project at Ruakura is in the works; and, further south at Waikeria, there is the $750m prison upgrade.
Commercial bricks and mortar aside, there are also the roading projects for State Highway 1, the housing and infrastructure developments at Peacocke in southern Hamilton, Te Awa Lakes in the north, and the Hamilton-Auckland passenger rail service which is set to begin trial runs mid next year.
Hamilton-based Labour list MP Jamie Strange predicted it would see Hamilton become New Zealand's second biggest city in 30 years.
"I feel like we are in a sweet spot - as a region we're really growing up." Hamilton could no longer just be seen as a rural centre based around the dairy industry, he said.
"We are becoming one of the key players in New Zealand and that corridor between Hamilton and Auckland is really the key aspect that underpins the whole thing."
Hamilton East MP David Bennett said Waikato was a fast growing region and that was due to investment from the previous decade.
"We have a growing population, we live very close to Auckland and so geographically we would get a lot of infrastructure investment and that's not unexpected because we're one of the fastest growing regions."
Bennett said the question was what kind of investment the region needed so it could grow as fast as Auckland and challenged the Government to match the funding of the previous government.
"I would debate that this Government has held back on investment in this region and we may be growing, but we could be growing faster and stronger if we had the previous level of investment that the previous government had planned."
Dallas Fisher, chair of regional economic development agency Te Waka, said he knew of one major Waikato construction company that had 37 projects in the works.
The projects would bring jobs and see more businesses come into the region. This was already happening with bed manufacturer Sleepyhead announcing earlier this year that it intends to create a hub in northern Waikato and more recently, Rabobank announcing its intention to relocate to Hamilton.
"These are not happening because of chance," Fisher said. "They are happening because the Waikato is seen as this place that is geographically poised in the middle where all of this infrastructure is about to be finished.
"All of these things that are emerging over the past 20 years are starting to gain traction. My view is that we're in for an exciting next decade."
Fisher "totally" expected other companies to make similar moves. Cambridge was becoming a hotbed of IT companies and he was aware of at least two businesses from the industry who were looking to move into that town. The growth did present challenges around labour and housing. Strange said this was where the Waikato Plan's housing stocktake report released in September would be really valuable.
He predicted the Waikato and Auckland labour markets will start to merge into one as that Hamilton-Auckland corridor strengthens.
"That means that Hamilton businesses like construction businesses can start to draw on some of those people, particularly in the southern part of Auckland. We know about Hamiltonians that commute to Auckland, but I predict we're either going to see Aucklanders either shift south or commute down, even if it's just a couple of days a week."
The projects seemed to be happening all at once. Some of this was to do with the injection of government investment, but also because the region's growing population was getting to a tipping point. Auckland's growth pressures were also pushing people out of the region, he said.
Fisher said Te Waka was working with employers on a labour market study to identify what the region needed and working with tertiary training institutions to plug any shortages.
He was also expecting the Waikato Region Housing Initiative Working Group to announce a strategy in response to the housing stocktake report sometime before Christmas.
"I think we're in for an exciting time. Businesses were doing well and were employing people. When people say to me, 'Dallas the economy's not doing too well', all I say, is 'not for me'. I think the Waikato is ready to go pop."
For more information go to : Hamilton and surrounding areas 'ready to go pop' with infrastructure development
Dirt will start shifting this week for a cycle trail which could promote more tourism opportunities for the Waikato.
It's been 10 years in the making but the construction of the final section of the Te Awa cycleway will begin in Hamilton on Tuesday.
The middle section of the 70km river ride will go from the Hamilton Gardens across the Hillcrest gully system, through Tamahere and connect with the already completed Cambridge path.
The last piece of the jigsaw will result in a fully concreted path from Ngāruawāhia to Cambridge that walkers and cyclists can use.
Figures show that on a weekly average 939 people use the already constructed Ngāruawāhia section while 2292 use the section by Cambridge's Avantidome.
The Hamilton path will be predominantly off-road and will follow the banks of the Waikato River in places. It will also include bridges over stream gullies and boardwalks.
The NZ Transport Agency is contributing $7.9 million to the $20 million Hamilton section project.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter along with Te Awa chairman Simon Perry turned the first sod at Tamahere on Monday morning.
"I think it's really exciting it's going to open up a whole new area for recreation but also people who are looking to travel around the local community either using on bicycle or foot in a way that is much safer and allows them to be separated from traffic.
"It's estimated the Cambridge to Hamilton shared path may be used by up to 225 walkers and cyclists each day," Genter said.
Construction of NZTA's contribution is expected to be completed within six months.
The rest of the trail is to be completed by Waikato District Council, Waipa District Council and Hamilton City Council in 2021.
Te Awa river ride chairman Simon Perry is glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel after a decade long journey.
"It creates opportunity for tourism, as you know the Otago Rail Trail and other cycling trails in New Zealand are massive for tourism and economic benefits, accommodation, food, and beverages and so we're hoping once we get this section through we can start promoting the trail to New Zealand and the world," Perry said.
He said the process which started as a three-year project has drawn out due to a few factors.
"Combination of funding and landowners and getting councils behind it.
"It started out thinking it was a $7 million project but deciding to make it concrete and making it accessible to everybody has meant it's quite a different thing making it a $25 to $30 million dollar project.
"So that takes a bit of time to raise the funds and get the landowners lined up to get through 70km is quite a big project."
For more information go to : Hamilton section of Te Awa cycle way underway
Momentum is building for the new bridge linking Amberfield and the Peacocke area to the Hamilton CBD.
Hamilton City Council has considered four design options and released a new video of an early concept design for the critical gateway to the Amberfield community.
For more information go to : Hamilton's newest bridge
Peacocke is Hamilton's southern-most growth area, and where the Council will be investing significantly to create a community over the next 5, 10, 20 and 30 years. Find out more below:
The growth of southwest Hamilton and the Peacocke area attracted significant interest at an information day held by Hamilton City Council recently.
Hundreds of people turned out for the event which focussed on planned infrastructure and transport connections to the 750-hectare suburb in which the Amberfield community will be located.
As part of the wider plans to service the area, a new four-lane bridge across the Waikato River south of Hamilton Gardens is planned with a potential completion date of 2023. The Peacocke area will also be serviced by the Southern Links, the state highway and local arterial road network to the south of the city.
Feedback from the event was far ranging and included a call for more cycleways and walkways while a virtual reality headset gave public a chance to experience the overall vision for the new part of the city.
Over 200 people turned out on Wednesday night to get a glimpse into the future of the new Amberfield community planned for the south of Hamilton.
The public information evening held at the Glenview centre is the first reveal of the masterplan details for the mixed-use development on a 105-hectare site bordering the Waikato River to the east of Peacockes Rd.
As part of the site’s transformation, over 850 sections are planned over the next 7-10 years together with 23 hectares of open spaces and reserves, a neighbourhood centre and an esplanade reserve along the 2.8km river frontage that will include cycling and walking paths.
Amberfield spokesman Andrew Duncan says the evening was a great success with significant interest by local Hamiltonians.
“From young families to neighbouring residents, it was great to engage with a cross section of the local community. There was much interest in transport, environment and open space network which the team of consultants were able to provide insights on.
“There’s certainly a lot of excitement for the transformation of the site as we look to create a neighbourhood for the future of Hamilton.”
Resource consent and masterplan for Amberfield is due to be lodged later next month.
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