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.”
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.