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From today, Hamilton’s community can shape how Hamilton City Council runs the city, and Chief Executive Lance Vervoort says it’s time for serious conversations, not kneejerk reactions.

Council adopted its 2024-34 Long-Term Plan Consultation Document last week, which sets out the financial challenges the city is facing, the level of rates increases needed to keep Hamilton running, and how residents can provide their feedback.  

“It’s easy to make claims about wasteful spending, pet projects, or unnecessary costs,” said Vervoort. “But that’s not very helpful when we want to look at the detail of what our community wants and needs.

“We need Hamiltonians to be specific about what they want Council to do less, or more, of. What do you love, or not, about the services we provide? That will give Elected Members some rich food for thought ahead of locking in the projects and budget.”

To address the significant cost increases that councils across the country are up against, there is a proposed 19.9% increase ($11 a week for a median-value residential property) for Hamilton ratepayers next year, followed by four years of 15.5% increases.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said: “It has taken a lot of work and consensus building to get to this stage. As Mayor, my focus has been on finding the right balance for Hamilton between affordability, keeping our city in good order and dealing with our fast growth, which will continue. Hamiltonians, this is your chance to have your say on our city’s future and I strongly encourage your active participation and feedback.”

The Consultation Document outlines what’s driving the rates increases – inflation, interest and looking after the city’s $6 billion of assets – and Council’s plan for everyday costs to be met by everyday revenues in 2026/27.

Council is seeking feedback on its financial approach, any community services or back-office functions that could be cut to achieve savings, the walking and cycling bridge in the central city, targeted rates for additional services and a change to how swimming pool owners pay for safety inspections.  

Consultation on the 2024-34 Long-Term Plan runs from 19 March to 21 April. Head to to see what's in the plan and make a submssion


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