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Elected Members met yesterday for the first Infrastructure and Transport Committee of the year, with decisions including giving the go-ahead for intersection changes to enable the construction of a new supermarket in Te Rapa, approving minor adjustments to the city’s Parking Policy, and relooking at whether several transport projects would proceed.

 

Community views acknowledged in Chairperson’s Report

In her Chairperson’s Report, Deputy Mayor Angela O’Leary acknowledged feedback received from the community, particularly in response to transport projects.

“As Governors, we are working in an ever-changing environment. The transportation activity is an area that has progressed faster than ever before, and this has resulted in strong reactions from some members of our community,” she said in the report.

During the meeting Deputy Mayor O’Leary said it was important for Council to relook at the high-level principles of its transport strategy, Access Hamilton, off the back of public feedback, coupled with yesterday's release of the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on Land Transport.

“I think it is timely that we look at that – very timely given the Government GPS, which is our major funding source, was released yesterday afternoon,” she said, noting it outlined a shift in the Government’s priorities towards investment that supports economic growth and prosperity, increased maintenance and resilience, safety and value for money.

“That is going to at least turn the ship and change the direction for us, as the Government funding comes with those priorities.”

The Chairperson’s Report noted Council staff have been asked to consider some revisions of the low-cost low-risk transport programme process, including implementing a principles-based approach for approvals and increasing visibility of options, risks and opportunities for these projects before they come to Council for decision-making.

“It is simply good governance to look at the system first so that is why I have proposed this in my Chair’s Report,” said Deputy Mayor O’Leary.

As part of the Chair’s Report, the Committee approved a request for Council staff to provide further guidance and feedback to the Mayor’s office as they work through the process review to address matters raised in the report.

The Committee also discussed the importance of consultation with emergency services as part of the process for transport projects, with a motion passed that noted the previous work done by the Mayor’s office with emergency services, and requesting that they continue to work with these services  at a governance level and connect them to the right parts of the organisation to ensure their views are reflected across decision making, and noting that regular updates will be provided to members through the relevant committee. 

 

Changes made to transport programme

Nine projects have been removed from the 2023-24 transport programme, following decisions made at yesterday’s meeting.

In February 2024, Elected Members requested the Committee consider revoking previous decisions to proceed with consultation for two projects and construction of two others via a Notice of Revocation. Read more here.

 

 Design of privately funded intersection given green light

The Committee approved a macroscope design of the intersection of Wairere Drive and Karewa Place in Te Rapa proposed by Foodstuffs North Island Limited which will enable it to proceed with construction of a new Pak n Save. The changes to the intersection are required by the private resource consent, with all costs of the project to be met by Foodstuffs.

Foodstuffs North Island Limited was issued with the consent in October 2019 to construct and operate a new Pak n Save supermarket in Te Rapa. The consent process considered the traffic impacts associated with the development on the surrounding road network and led to several transport-related conditions being included, including the installation of a left slip lane off Te Rapa Road into the Pak n Save site, construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Eagle Way and Karewa Place, and the introduction of partial signalisation to enable a righthand turn into Karewa Place from Wairere Drive, with raised safety platforms.

In December 2021 Council approved a speed limit reduction from 80km/h to 60km/h on Wairere Drive between Arthur Porter Drive and Pukete Road to assist Foodstuffs to meet the consent condition required for the installation of the traffic signals at the Wairere Drive/Karewa Place intersection. It was at this meeting that a request was tabled for the final intersection design to be reported back to Council for approval.

Approval of the macroscope design by the Infrastructure and Transport Committee means Foodstuffs can progress with detailed design and implementation of the intersection changes.

As part of yesterday’s approval, Elected Members requested that Council staff work with Foodstuffs on the development of a communication plan to inform the community of the project, and an implementation plan to enable works to be undertaken with minimal disruption where possible.

Foodstuffs have indicated they intend to begin the intersection changes in late 2024/early 2025, with communications to go out to road users ahead of any work getting underway. 

 

Minor changes to Parking Policy confirmed

Adjustments to the Hamilton City Council Parking Policy were recommended for approval yesterday to help make the Policy easier to interpret and implement, and ensure it aligns with any potential decisions made on paid parking during the draft 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan process.

The Hamilton City Council Parking Policy, which was adopted by the Infrastructure Operations Committee in August 2022, sets the objectives and principles for making decisions on parking management in the city.

After recently reviewing the Parking Policy, Council staff proposed minor changes to ensure that any decisions agreed from the 2024-2034 Long-Term Plan are supported in the Policy, and that it is clear that conditions for paid parking – including proposed demand-responsive pricing – would continue to be set by Council’s Fees and Charges, as opposed to a separate Parking Pricing Policy.

Some minor wording changes were also requested from Elected Members to help simplify the language in the Policy.

It is important to note that yesterday’s approval of the updated Parking Policy does not pre-empt any decision-making around the central city’s two-hour free parking – this will be decided upon during the Long-Term Plan process.

 

If you would like to see the fill minutes of the meeting, which includes any voting outcomes, please click here.

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