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Strategic alignment

The River Plan is part of the Council’s strategic framework for the Waikato River and for Hamilton.

It is guided by the proposed Waikato Regional Policy Statement and the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River.

Relationship with other Council Plans

Hamilton Plan

The Hamilton Plan 2014 is the Mayor’s and Council’s vision for Hamilton over the next decade and it includes connecting the city to the river as one of its ten priorities.

District Plan

The Council’s new District Plan recognises the importance and significance of the river corridor. It provides a greater focus on riverside development and a strong river’s edge theme and identifies a specific riverside precinct with appropriate development rules. It also includes chapters on the importance of the natural environment and recognises the Waikato River as an asset of national significance and a distinguishing feature of the city.

Reserve Act Management Plans

The majority of the river corridor is designated as reserve land under the Reserves Act. There are a number of Reserve Act Management Plans (such as for the Hamilton Gardens) that guide development of specific areas.

Strategies and Policies

The Council’s Open Spaces Plan, Hamilton Gardens Vision and Access Hamilton Transport Plan are plans that recognise the importance of connections to the river and the environment in the river corridor.

Plans in development

The Council is currently finalising the Central City Transformation Plan (CCTP) which is a plan focus on regeneration of the central city. Some of the potential projects in the River Plan will impact on the successful delivery of outcomes in this CCTP.

The Council is also currently finalising a Bike Plan, which is a 30-year vision for cycling in Hamilton. There are many crossover projects with the River Plan.

The Council will start work in 2015 on a Hamilton East Neighbourhood Plan that will need to take into account the objectives for Hamilton East in the River Plan.

Hamilton’s Economic Development Plan Stage 2, currently under development, will provide a framework and projects for delivering economic growth in the city. This will achieve the council’s priority of the third city economy in New Zealand. This Plan will support the objectives in the River Plan.

The Waikato River Vision and Strategy

The Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River (the Vision and Strategy) is the direction-setting document for the river, administered by the Waikato River Authority. The Vision and Strategy forms part of the Waikato Regional Policy Statement and must, under the Resource Management Act 1991, be given effect through the plans administered by regional and territorial authorities along the river. Its vision is for a future where a healthy river sustains abundant life and prosperous communities who, in turn, are all responsible for restoring and protecting the health and wellbeing of the river, and all it embraces, for generations to come.

“Healthy River” is a principle in the River Plan which explicitly supports the Vision and Strategy. This principle has motivated a number of River Plan which support the following Objectives from the Vision and Strategy document:

  • The promotion of improved access to the river to better enable sporting, recreational, and cultural opportunities.
  • The restoration and protection of the relationship of the Waikato Region’s communities with the Waikato River including their economic, social, cultural and spiritual relationships.
  • The protection and enhancement of significant sites, fisheries, flora and fauna.
  • The restoration of water quality within the Waikato River so that it is safe for people to swim in and take food from over its entire length.

The Proposed Waikato Regional Policy Statement

Projects or activities in the River Plan must be consistent with the following principles.

  • Recognition of the influence of climate change on the Waikato River and gully system.
  • Recognition of the Waikato River and gully system as an ecosystem corridor.
  • Recognition of the dynamic nature of the Waikato River and gully system.