Hamilton City Council has voted against the development of a central city park, but will buy properties in the area to hold for future development.

In the draft 10-year plan the council originally put aside $12 million to buy properties in between Sky City and Embassy Park to demolish and build an extension of Victoria on the River.

However, after public consultation councillors have agreed to put a hold on the development of a central city park.

The motion by councillor Geoff Taylor put aside $7m to buy the properties in year one of the 10-year plan.


"The activity of this time is happening on Victoria St, that is where the action is right now, courtesy of the Regional Theatre project and Victoria on the River," Cr Taylor said.

"With both projects I feel like we have been giving an opportunity to cash in, we've been given an opportunity to turn Victoria St around to the river."

"It won't be there long, this opportunity, but buying what strategic property we can gets us in the game."

The motion was not supported by councillor Angela O'Leary, who put forward her own amendment which failed, to not approve any funding and cancel the project completely.

"I am a little bit gobsmacked that this proposal is still being put forward, to spend money on buildings that have not been identified, on a plan we don't have, with money that is not ours," Cr O'Leary said.

"The river plan took two years to deliver to council, we learnt from other cities' mistakes and most importantly we had the backing from Hamilton residents."

Councillor James Casson was against any more funding for the CBD.

"As council we have all talked a big game when it comes to protecting the ratepayers and their money, yet when we come to the chamber we all seem to fold like a pack of cards," Cr Casson said.

Councillor Paula Southgate said she could not support the project at the current time.
"I believe there were good intentions to develop on the success of Victoria on the River," Cr Southgate said.

"I can't support this at this time as there is no full business case and that is not the right process.

"I have no clarity on what the money buys and when it buys it."

Councillor Dave Macpherson said there would be no rates impact on the proposal.

"The chief executive said the rental income would match or be better than the outgoings and interest costs," Cr Macpherson said.

"The question is do we want to future-proof the central city area for the expansion of the central city park into that area or not."

Mayor King challenged his councillors to have vision and to "think for themselves".

Mayor King, Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher and councillors Ryan Hamilton, Mark Bunting, Garry Mallett, Leo Tooman, Rob Pascoe, Taylor and Macpherson were in favour.

Councillors Siggi Henry, Casson, O'Leary and Southgate were against.