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Community At The Court Of Council Changes

Olympic swimming pools, polar bears and elephants have all been used to describe the mammoth tasks involved in looking after Hamilton’s waters, rubbish, recycling, roads and paths.

Hamilton City Council’s Infrastructure and Transport Committee Meeting on 2 May included the latest facts and figures, improving processes, and updating critical guiding documents with community feedback being a consistent theme.

Highlights from the reports showed Hamiltonians used 70 million litres of drinking water everyday on average during January, February and March 2024, which is the same volume as 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Between October 2023 and March 2024, almost 30,000 tests were done on the city’s drinking water, stormwater and wastewater to check the quality and Council’s compliance.

The data also showed increases in the number of people riding a bike and catching a bus compared to the same time last year. Whitiora and Te Ao Maarama schools saw a 20% increase in students using active ways to get to and from school including walking, or using a scooter or bike. The Council, through its Connect Hamilton partnership with Downer Ltd, completed 121,000m2 of new road surfacing which is longer than the distance from Hamilton to Rotorua.

The 6 million kilograms of waste that came through the Lincoln Street Transfer Station – the same as 15 jumbo planes – was, positively, 3 million kilograms less than the same three months in 2023. Almost 50% of all the waste thought the Centre was able to be saved from going to landfill by recycling or repurposing it, up from 29% in 2022.

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New plan to help Hamilton fight the landfill

Hamilton’s 2024-2030 Waste Management and Minimisation Plan – Te Mahere Whakataaharahara Para (WMMP) was approved by the committee today.

The WMMP, which is required under the Waste Management Act and needs to be reviewed every six years, sets out the city’s strategy for managing and minimising waste in Hamilton, along with a supporting action plan.

Public consultation for the Draft WMMP 2024-2030 occurred between 23 January and 23 February, with two options proposed in the consultation document – to either amend or retain the existing WMMP.During consultation, 84 unique responses were received, of which 66 were in support of amending the plan.

The WMMP action plan will be regularly reviewed throughout the life of the document and funded through a combination of Central Government Waste Levy and the Long-Term Plan or Annual Plan processes.

Community feedback driving a new way forward for transport projects

Following strong community feedback and requests from Elected Members, staff put forward an updated way of presenting transport projects including a three-tier category system based on the type and scale of the work proposed.

The new process will be more consistent with a clearer explanation of why the work should happen, backed up by robust data, and be labelled as essential, renewal and maintenance, or improvement work.

Elected Members will have more oversight of options, risks and benefits for transport projects before they are approved to begin.

Flowing into a new era for the Water Supply Bylaw

The Council’s Water Supply Bylaw – a rule book for using and protecting the supply of drinking water – has now been approved.

Changes to the Bylaw were made following feedback from the community and Fire and Emergency New Zealand between October and November 2023. These changes include updating references to legislation since the Water Supply Bylaw was last adopted in 2013, alignment with other Council bylaws and policies, and referencing Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato – the vision and strategy for the Waikato River, where our treated drinking water gets drawn from. It also includes some updates to align with the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017.

Click here to see the full agenda, minutes or livestream for the meeting.

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