Activate city centre
I want to support the Hamilton Central Business Association and the article in Hamilton News last week. Sandy Turner is right to be frustrated with the process.
I've supported the idea of the association managing the space in Garden Place and for more than two years I have tried to get its proposal in front of council for consideration. I have been blocked at every step and I share her frustration. The reason for the redevelopment of Garden Place was to "activate" the area - not just to give it a makeover. It was also built on the Bryant Park model in New York which took an empty, unused "barren dump" of a public space and turned it into one of that city's most thriving spots. What did they do? In a nutshell they brought in events and activities that brought in the people. The answer is always people. HCBA is perfectly positioned and has the skills to do this, not council.
- ANGELA O'LEARY, Hamilton City councillor
I read Danielle Nicholson's features (Hamilton News, July 26) on Garden Place and Embassy Park with interest.
Let me commend Sandy Turner and the HCBA for its efforts to make Garden Place and the CBD more family friendly. It's a no-brainer to me and I'm sure any survey of the public would be totally supportive.
I also appreciated comments on the makeover of Embassy Park. A recent article in the Waikato Times that promoted making the streeties a tourist attraction was absurd and frankly exploitative and demeaning of them. Thanks for putting the issue into perspective. The city belongs to all Hamiltonians, not one unfortunate faction.
I contacted Angela O'Leary to encourage her efforts on this theme. I suggested she find out more about the fantastic developments being undertaken on Napier's Marine Parade as part of their vision of making Napier the Kids Capital. Recently, my wife and I witnessed hundreds of children and adults having fun, with not a streetie nor vagrant in sight. See www.napier.govt.nz/index.php?pid=948&prj;=60.
Sandy, keep up your efforts for a common-sense approach to revitalising the CBD and making it more family friendly.
- IAN KENNEDY
Your story regarding the management of Hamilton's Garden Place requires a response.
Council red tape has not been the primary barrier to the HCBA taking over management of Garden Place.
Like any organisation looking to enter a contractual arrangement with council, HCBA needs to put a detailed proposal forward.
Although the association has been working on a proposal to manage Garden Place, the organisation has yet to submit its final proposal to full council.
Council needs clarity from stakeholders to ensure ratepayers get value for money and the contract adds value - particularly in such a prominent public space as Garden Place.
On a positive note, council and HCBA are involved in various discussions on initiatives for Hamilton's CBD, and we look forward to the outcomes.
Readers can be assured council is willing to work with any organisations for the betterment of the city.
- LANCE VERVOORT, HCC, general manager, community