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Here’s what we did with your feedback

Here are some of the issues we have consulted on and their outcomes. See all outcomes

We asked

In August 2021, Hamilton City Council underwent a wider representation review, following the decision in May 2021 to establish Maaori wards for the next two local government elections. We sought feedback over a six-week period on our initial proposal for wider representation arrangements. The review was done to ensure fair and effective representation for all Hamiltonians, in line with legislative requirements.

Our initial proposal was to:

  • Retain current general ward arrangement of six councillors elected in the East Ward, and six councillors elected in the West Ward.
  • Retain the mayor elected at-large.
  • Increase the total number of Councillors to 14.
  • Introduce one city-wide Maaori ward with two Maaori ward councillors.
  • Not introduce community boards.

You said

We received 451 submissions with a variety of views put forward.

  • 177 responses (39%) supported the initial proposal in its entirety.
  • 274 responses (61%) did not support the initial proposal in its entirety.
  • 12 people had their say at the Hearing and Engagement Committee meeting via zoom. 

The consultation asked submitters whether they supported the initial proposal or not, and why. There were four key components of the proposal, of which 3 out of 4 were supported by most of those who commented on them as below:

  1. Increase total number of Councillors to 14: Of the 296 who commented on this, 143 (48%) supported the proposed increase to 14 Councillors.
  2. Retain the current East/West general ward arrangements with 6 Councillors in each: Of the 175 who commented on this, 105 (60%) supported keeping the current East and West general wards.
  3. Introduce a city-wide Maaori ward with two Maaori ward Councillors: Of the 52 who commented on this, 41 (79%) supported a city-wide Maaori ward.
  4. No community boards: Of the 43 who commented on this, 27 respondents (63%) disagreed with the proposal and instead sought the introduction of community boards.

Many comments (over a third) were on topics out of scope for this consultation, particularly in relation to Maaori wards - a decision which has already been made. This has tended to slightly skew the ratio of support/non-support of the proposal. Therefore, it is important to note that:

  • 99 comments from the 274 submissions that did not support the initial proposal said this was because they did not support the introduction of Maaori wards.
  • If the submissions rejecting the proposal on these grounds are disregarded as out of scope, the balance of submissions for and against the initial proposal is closer to 50/50.
  • Several submissions also referenced inadequate levels of Maaori representation in general. However, the number of Maaori ward seats is determined by population proportion set by legislation.

We did

On 11 November, Councillors considered the public submissions and voted to approve the initial proposal as the final proposal for representation arrangements, adding two city-wide Maaori ward seats to the otherwise unchanged Council table.

This decision will be publicly notified on 17 November.

If there are no appeals, the new representation arrangements will come into effect for the next local Government election in October 2022.

Appeals

From 17 November to 17 December, anyone who has made a submission on Council’s initial proposal may lodge an appeal against Council’s decision. An appeal must relate to the matters raised in that person’s submission and will be considered by the Local Government Commission who will then make a determination on the final representation arrangements for Hamilton City Council.

Appeals can be submitted at www.hamilton.govt.nz/representationreview or in hardcopy to the Hamilton City Council, Garden Place or the city libraries from 17 November 2021. Appeals must be received by the Council by 5.00pm Friday 17 December 2021.

We asked

In May 2021, we conducted the annual survey that captures the community’s perception of safety in the central city and helps ensure the actions and activities occurring as part of our Central City Safety Strategy are still working or what areas need to be focused on.

You said

Over four weeks, we received 799 submissions. Some of the themes as to why people feel safe in our central city included crowds, security officers including the City Safe team and good lighting in certain parts of the central city. Some of the themes as to why people feel unsafe in our central city included the presence of homeless people, anti-social behaviour including fights, gatherings of youths loitering, intoxicated people and lack of road safety.

We did

The results were reported to the Community Committee meeting in August 2021 for their review and will be used to inform Council on priorities and activities to focus on improving safety in the central city for the next financial year.

We asked

In May 2021 we asked for feedback on open air burning in Hamilton Kirikiriroa and invited Hamiltonians to share their thoughts on a proposal to revoke the existing Open Air Burning Bylaw 2015.

After a comprehensive review, Council recognised that it was no longer fit for purpose it and was no longer required. This was because the rules covered in the Bylaw are now better addressed by other regulations and certain fire control responsibilities have transferred from Hamilton City Council to the new Fire and Emergency New Zealand organisation (FENZ).

You said

We received 31 responses on our proposal, with a variety of different feedback points. Submitter views were evenly spread between the two options, with 45% supporting the revocation of the bylaw (14 submitters) and 55% preferring to retain the Bylaw (17 submitters).

The 14 submitters in favour of revoking the Bylaw supported reducing unnecessary regulation, and noted that Council waste services are sufficient to manage waste without needing to burn rubbish.

Of the 17 submitters who supported keeping the bylaw, nine submitters made comments in their submission – including eight who misinterpreted the impact of the Bylaw itself. This included misunderstanding which regulations manage the burning of rubbish and concern that revoking the Bylaw would mean Council wouldn’t respond to outdoor burning causing a nuisance. Some submitters also misinterpreted that the change would mean traditional open air cooking/braziers will be banned.

Feedback was discussed at the Community Committee meeting on 26 August and Council staff recommend revoking the Open Air Burning Bylaw because the Open Air Burning Bylaw is no longer the most effective means to manage open air burning in Hamilton.

We did

Council took submitters feedback into account and made the decision to revoke the Bylaw. Changes come into effect on 30 September 2021.

This means that from 5 October 2021, complaints about open air burning in the city will be responded to as usual, but if enforcement action is required, it will be taken under the Waste Management and Minimisation Bylaw.

Council is also working to provide better resources to ensure there are no major misunderstandings when it comes to reporting fires and open air burning in Hamilton.

Information on managing open air fires can be found here