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Hamilton City Council has undertaken to fund new visitor access, temporary parking facilities and support to relocate aviaries and animal enclosures at the Shaws Bird Park.

The initial $100,000 investment follows earlier offers to assist and means visitors to the Shaw property would be able to safely enjoy the ponds and wildlife during enabling works for the east-west road. The funding is part of fulfilling long-term access arrangements requested by Mr and Mrs Shaw and is based on designs developed during previous mediation.

“We know a lot of people enjoy visiting the park, and we want to reassure people that we are working to support the park to manage safe access for visitors during construction,” says Andrew Parsons, Hamilton City Council Executive Director, Strategic Infrastructure.

“As the Environment Court decision noted, the road doesn’t mean the park has to stop operating, and the works we have offered to fund would enhance the park during this phase and after the road is completed.

During the 2014 consultation for the road, the Shaws suggested an underpass, so the current long-term concept includes space for a crossing beneath the road, as well as potential pedestrian crossing facilities at three future intersections which are expected to be signalised.

Council has offered to make a budget of $100,000 available immediately to enable the Shaws to plan and implement new access arrangements for visitors and relocate aviaries and other structures which are not currently on their land. Council will also support the Shaws if they wish to obtain wildlife experts and other professionals to ensure wellbeing of the birds and animals during the move.

When the road is finished, the completed connections will provide safe opportunities for people to access the park at road level, as well as beneath the road. Council has offered to discuss further enhancements with the Shaws including options for parking and direct connections to existing bird park paths.

“The designation (the path for the road) will be fenced for safety during enabling works, so we’ll provide alternate access, so people don’t enter these two areas. The road route affects only part of one of the ponds on the Shaw property, and much of the historic planting is unaffected.

“There are aviaries and animal enclosures on the route for the road which are not on the Shaw property, so to ensure the wellbeing of the animals, Council has offered to assist the Shaws to safely relocate them on their own land,” Mr Parsons said.

The east-west road route was confirmed following full public consultation in 2014 and is a key connection in supporting new housing and a safe transport network in the new Peacocke neighbourhood. The Shaws requested compensation and an underpass between the two parts of the park. Council is working to meet their requests.

Council’s work in Peacocke is Hamilton’s greatest-ever environmental investment. The wider project includes gully restoration, wetlands, habitats for native lizards, birds, bats and aquatic life, plus more than 100,000 new trees and plants.

Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.

The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, a transport network that caters for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, opening the area to the Waikato River, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.

When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.


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