Back on Track Hamilton's COVID-19 response budget - Draft Annual Plan 2020/21

Closed 10 Jul 2020

Opened 22 Jun 2020

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The year ahead – what do you think?

Every year councils develop a plan which sets out the projects and budget for the year ahead. This year’s Annual Plan marks Year 3 of our 2018-28 10-Year Plan.

COVID-19 has meant we’re looking to adjust what we said we’d do. We’re proposing some significant changes to our original plan, to keep our city on track and help us recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Please take the time to read through this document. Your opinion is important to us.

Share your voice. Shape your city.

Our role in Hamilton's COVID-19 recovery

Hamilton City Council was quick to respond to COVID-19. Council’s priority was, and continues to be, helping those who need it most. We also want to do all we can to get Hamilton back on track and support our economic and social recovery.

12-point recovery plan

On 27 March, we were one of the first councils in New Zealand to launch a COVID-19 recovery plan. Work started immediately to direct almost $3.4 million of funding to support the wellbeing of those individuals, businesses and community groups hit hardest by COVID-19.

We know this is just the start though. The impacts of COVID-19 will be felt for some time yet and we’re proposing to continue investing in those who need it the most over the next 12 months.

For more information on our 12-point recovery plan, visit

Shovel-ready projects

As part of our mission to stimulate Hamilton’s economy, we, alongside our Waikato partners, submitted 22 projects to the Government and 21 have successfully made the first cut, including all 10 Hamilton projects. These projects range from development of natural area gully networks and improving our river tourism to enhancing the Hamilton to Auckland commuter train and creating a 20 minute city. All our projects create jobs, have a wider public benefit and are ready to start immediately.

For the full list of projects and more information, check out

We are still waiting to hear from the Government whether our projects have been successful.

The impact of COVID-19 on Hamilton City Council

Like most organisations and all other councils, Council has been significantly impacted by COVID-19. We’re forecasting a $22 million drop in non-rates revenue for the next 12 months. This is due to less money coming in from services like building and consent fees and development contributions. There have been fewer people at our community facilities and visitor attractions like our pools and Hamilton Zoo and our events and conference facilities like FMG Stadium Waikato and Claudelands Events Centre have also been affected.

We had already made a commitment to save $94 million over 10 years (from 2018 to 2028) and remain committed to this. For the upcoming year, we’ve identified $7.3 million of savings without affecting services to the community. This is from things like more efficient processes, cutting travel and training costs, and freezing wages for Council staff earning more than $70,000 per year.

COVID-19 has slightly delayed our Annual Plan this year. Usually we would sign off the final plan by 30 June, this year we are aiming to sign off our Annual Plan on 10 August 2020.

Why your views matter

Our plans for the year ahead

We’re proposing to maintain a 3.8% average annual rates increase. This is what was forecast in our 2018-28 10-Year Plan. It allows us to continue to help those in the community that need it the most through our targeted relief package. It also means we can largely maintain our current levels of service, keep our finances on track and keep most of our projects progressing - which is critical to getting Hamilton’s economy back on track so we can have confidence in our future.

Councillors discussed a lower rates increase for the coming year as a way to help our community recover from COVID-19. However, reducing our rates increase by just 1% means we’d have $1.85 million less over 12 months to invest in our great river city. It would reduce our ability to borrow money to support future projects too.

For the year ahead, we want to continue to support those directly affected by COVID-19 and our draft plan includes a further $1.1 million to do this.

The year ahead also involves reprioritising and changing the timing of some of our projects and services. 

Share your voice. Shape your city.

As part of our planning for the next year, there are three areas we would like your feedback on that you’ll read about in this document.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into the detail then please view our supporting information:

Online -
Hard copy - at the Council office or any Hamilton City Libraries branch. 


Live Facebook live Q&A
On Monday 29 June 2020 we hosted our first ever Facebook Live Q&A to answer your questions about our Draft Annual Plan. Check it out below.


  • Join us for a live Facebook live Q&A

    From 29 Jun 2020 at 15:30 to 29 Jun 2020 at 16:30

    Hamilton City Council is hosting a Facebook Live Q&A session to answer Hamiltonians questions about the year ahead. The online event on Monday 29 June will give Hamiltonians the opportunity to ask Mayor Paula Southgate and Councillors questions about the Council’s Back on Track – Hamilton’s COVID-19 Response Budget, which opened for feedback on Monday 22 June.

    The event, running on Monday 29 June between 3.30 and 4.30pm, will livestream on You Tube and the Council’s Facebook page where Hamiltonians can comment their questions about the proposed budget.

    To watch or to ask a question, visit or