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Council meeting wrap-up

Hamilton’s community and cultural landscape received a boost today as $40,000 of event sponsorship funding was approved to support a six-week winter festival celebrating the Maaori new year.

Marleina Ruka and Maree Mills from the Te Ohu Whakaita charitable trust spoke at today’s Council meeting in support of their early sponsorship application to the 2020/21 Major Events Sponsorship Fund. The Matariki ki Waikato 2020 event will take place from 19 July to 31 July 2020 and include a dawn ceremony, a light festival, kite day and many more events across the city.

Sean Murray, General Manager of Venues, Tourism and Major Events, said the festival warrants support from Council as a valuable major community event.

“This event has a strong emphasis on Hamilton places and spaces. I believe it will become part of the fabric of Hamilton, with a lot of opportunity to grow and evolve.”

The Council also approved funding for the event in 2021 and 2022, subject to Te Ohu Whakaita reporting back on the event performance.

The Major Event Sponsorship Fund has $401,246 available in the 2020/21 financial year to support events that promote the city, bring economic benefits and promote pride for Hamiltonians. The Council indicated it wants these criteria reviewed to make it easier for large community events to qualify.

The funding round will open on 2 March 2020 and close on 31 March 2020.

Other items discussed at today’s meeting:

The Council endorsed ‘Te Huia’ as the name for the new rail service between Hamilton and Auckland. Te Huia is a bird sacred to Maaori, it was a national icon in the 19th century and was last sighted in 1907.

The Council will make a submission to the Ministry for the Environment’s consultation on Reducing Waste – A More Effective Landfill Levy. The Council is supportive of an increase in the landfill levy and the types of landfill that the levy is applied to. The Council is also supportive of improvements to the quality of waste data collected across the country to inform future decision making.

Changes to the Council’s Maangai Maaori initiative were unanimously approved, to further strengthen Maaori representation and provide better support to the five committee representatives. Read more about that decision here.

David Bryant, General Manager Corporate, was appointed Director of the Waikato Local Authority Shared Services group (WLASS). WLASS was established as a Council Controlled Organisation in 2005 to enable councils to collaborate and deliver shared services.

Mayor Paula Southgate, on behalf of the Council, will sign the Waikato Triennial Agreement which represents the shared desire of the 12 local authorities in the Waikato region to work together, maximise efficiency and promote wellbeing.

The next Council meeting is on 12 March 2020 at 9.30am. Full minutes will be available at Hamilton.govt.nz/minutes

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