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Hamilton City Council is calling for public feedback on a proposal which aims to provide more housing, and higher density housing, across the city.


The move comes in response to a central government direction, supported by both major political parties, for big cities like Hamilton to increase the number of multi-storey homes across our city. The government direction doesn't give councils much ability to control things like how they will look, how much backyard they have, the impact on our city’s roads and pipes, and how they affect neighbouring properties.


District Plan Committee Chair Councillor Ryan Hamilton explained that Council was able to deviate from the rules imposed on them, based on a need to protect and enhance the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River as we grow.


“Our research shows that without controls in place, intensification will have a negative impact on the river. Our proposal introduces additional controls over and above what government has directed to support our environment and to make sure roads, pipes, and green spaces can handle the additional homes.


“Hamiltonians can be reassured that Council has their best interests at heart and are doing what they can in this response to lousy, poorly thought through legislation from central government which erodes local democracy.”


The changes will impact all areas of the city:

  • In most areas of the city, up to three homes of up to three storeys may be built on each site. Council requires section sizes to be at least 200m2 (like the infill development we have now).
  • Within 400m of a suburban centre like Chartwell or Dinsdale, between three and five storeys may be built, depending on the infrastructure needed to support it.
  • In the central city there’s no limit on how high buildings can be, just like we have now. Within 800m of the central city, including parts of Whitiora, Te Rapa and Hamilton East, at least six storeys may be built.

The proposal also aims to address the transport needs for higher density developments, including onsite bike and scooter parking and storage, and wider roads to accommodate landscaping, stormwater treatment and public transport.


A financial contribution to be paid by developers is also proposed to help off-set the effects of intensification. This would be used to fund things like pipe renewals, gully and river restoration and making our streets more attractive.


Councillor Hamilton encouraged all Hamiltonians to read the information and make a submission on the changes.


“This has been a fast process led by Government and hasn’t given anyone, including Council, much opportunity to be heard. This is the chance for all Hamiltonians to have their say and I encourage everyone to use it.”


Council staff will also be hosting an online webinar presentation and eight ‘drop-in’ information sessions at four locations across the city for members of the public to ask questions. The Ministry for the Environment is also funding a ‘Friend of the Submitter’ service to support the community with the submission process.


People can view a copy of the proposed Plan Change 12, related documents and make a submission online at, at Council's offices in Garden Place, and all Hamilton City Libraries.


Submissions are open until Friday 30 September.

Click here for all the details

Extension of Plan Change 9 submissions

Council has extended the submission period for Plan Change 9 for 10 working days and will now close on Friday 2 September. Anyone who wishes to have their say on Council’s proposal to protect elements of Hamilton’s heritage and natural environment can visit


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