What is Access Hamilton?

Hamilton’s first transport strategy was developed in 1996, and from this, the first iteration of Access Hamilton was developed in 2005. Since then, it has been updated several times in both 2010 and now 2022, to align the vision for transport for our changing, growing city.

Over the next 30 years, we expect 260,000 people will call our city home. We are committed to keeping Hamilton Kirikiriroa as a place where everyone thrives socially and economically. Like other cities, we are facing some big challenges alongside our growing population, including climate change, accessibility, and the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

Making changes to the transport system takes time and can involve significant costs. We need to make sure we are doing the right thing at the right time and spending our money wisely.

The strategy sets out what our transport system needs to be like to serve our community’s needs now and into the future and identifies where we need to focus our efforts to achieve it.

Things we need to consider are:

  • planning for future growth
  • balancing and coordinating different forms of transport
  • improving transport equity
  • enabling a liveable city
  • securing funding for transport
  • aligning with local, regional, and national priorities.

The Access Hamilton transport strategy outlines what’s important to us and guides our investment decisions through our Long-Term and Annual Plans.

The initiatives that stem from this strategy allow us to work alongside our partners to deliver a Hamilton Kirikiriroa that can be enjoyed for generations.

Our vision

Our transport network enables everyone to connect to people and places in safe, accessible, and smart ways.

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The outcomes we want to achieve

The Access Hamilton transport strategy outlines opportunities and challenges, but more importantly, it highlights outcomes for our city’s transport future – and how we plan to get there.

Our vision for the future of transport in Hamilton:

  • everyone is safe and feels safe while using our streets and public spaces
  • a low-emission transport system that is resilient against climate change
  • Hamilton Kirikiriroa is a great place to live for everyone
  • a healthy te awa o Waikato (Waikato River) and natural sites which sustain abundant life and prosperous communities for all generations
  • more people choose to travel on foot, by bike, by bus, or using micromobility devices such as scooters
  • Hamilton Kirikiriroa is accessible for all because it has a city culture and heritage that is shared, protected, and celebrated
  • Hamilton Kirikiriroa is a great place for everyone to work and do business
  • an adaptable, future-ready transport system that supports quality and compact urban form.

Who is involved

Access Hamilton was developed through a collaborative process by Council’s Elected Members, alongside key staff from a variety of areas within Council. There were other individuals, groups and organisations who assisted in the development of this strategy, including our partners such as Waikato-Tainui, Waikato Regional Council, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and many others.

Hamilton Kirikiriroa as a 20-minute city

What is the concept?

Our Access Hamilton strategy sets an aspiration for Hamilton Kirikiriroa to be a “20-minute city”.

The strategy refers to the 20-minute city concept as an aspiration. The concept is about helping people in Hamilton access various services – especially essential ones – close to home without always having to rely on a car. We have heard from people all around our city that Council needs to provide more transport options to enable everyone to move around easily. Enabling these transport options will also make life easier for people that need to use their trade or private vehicle. This concept means that anyone who calls Hamilton home can experience a higher quality of life.

Since the 20-minute city concept is aspirational it helps us to think about where and when we build things like footpaths, bike paths and bus stops. It also helps us to plan for the future and decide where we want to enable more housing and commercial development to create more connected communities. 

You can read the strategy to learn more

Why do it?

Cities that are well-planned mean we spend less time travelling to reach basic services such as groceries, schools, and healthcare, giving us more time to spend on the things we like to do like being with whanau and friends, enjoying our city’s parks and playgrounds, and down time for our hobbies.

As a Council, it means we can offer residents higher quality public facilities and services as we’re not having to spread our money so thinly across a wider footprint.

Why is there so much misinformation about the concept?

You might have heard talk about 20-minute or 15-minute cities already. Unfortunately overtime some negative connotations and concerns have become associated with the concept.  These include false claims that it is a strategy for control, surveillance or revenue gathering.

For Access Hamilton, the ’20-minute city’ concept is aspirational and helps those who plan and shape our cities to ensure our communities have the infrastructure needed to move around safely and efficiently and can access facilities and services without having to travel too far or to another suburb.

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Last updated 14 March 2024