Hamilton City Council is taking a stronger and fresher approach to managing Hamilton's biggest 10-year budget, which is planned to deliver millions of dollars of savings while developing the city over the next decade.
In June, the Council signed off a new 10-year plan, which includes a record $2 billion investment in roads, water and wastewater services, parks and community facilities.
After the budget was adopted, city chief executive Richard Briggs initiated a reorganisation of the council's city infrastructure group, splitting it into two sections: a development group, focusing on capital expenditure across all areas of the council, and an infrastructure operations group focusing on delivering and maintaining essential services.
"Our capital programme includes building new roads, a new bridge over the Waikato River, new reservoirs and new community facilities including playgrounds, parks, and a Rototuna community hub, including a library," Mr Briggs said.
"With significant growth in Hamilton the infrastructure operations group has a critical role to provide for the health of our communities through high quality water, wastewater and stormwater services, rubbish and recycling and to ensure safety and accessibility for all transport modes."
The development group is headed by Chris Allen, former GM of city infrastructure. Eeva-Liisa Wright has been appointed GM of infrastructure operations.
Mrs Wright was formerly group business manager for city infrastructure and has held a variety of senior technical infrastructure roles with the council since 2008, particularly in water management.
"This new way of doing business can deliver our $2 billion capital programme around 9 per cent cheaper, saving $30 million in interest, $15 million in depreciation and $143 million in debt over the next 10 years," Mr Briggs said.
On Tuesday at the council's monthly growth and infrastructure meeting, councillors discussed several aspects of the city's growth, including the Amberfield development in Peacocke, an update on proposed Hamilton to Auckland rail service and CBD growth.
A detailed look into the Amberfield development was presented with the 105ha site having a range of terraced, double-storey dwellings, plus stand-alone houses on 700squ m sections.
Amberfield is the first major subdivision in the new Peacocke southern suburb, which will be funded with a $290.4m interest-free Government loan and subsidy package that council agreed to accept as part of its 10-year plan.
Amberfield could house more than 2000 people and would create about 862 residential lots on the western bank of the Waikato River.
Hamilton central business association also briefed Council on an upward trend of growth in the CBD. The success of Victoria on the River, while the completion of the Genesis building near the bus station were some of the positives.
The latest quarterly data shows a 2.7 per cent increase in spending in the CBD.
Councillors commented that it will be a good time to break the message that the CBD is dying when the data shows it is on an upward trend.
Councillors were also told that good progress has been made on the start-up Hamilton-Auckland train service and the NZ Transport Agency approval of the detailed Business Case is expected at the NZ Transport Agency Board meeting on October 5.
It followed the announcement of the $16.9b land transport investment from Central Government, which includes funding for the Waikato Expressway and the new rail service.
A change of two of the councils task forces were also confirmed, with councillor Mark Bunting taking up the role of chair of the Access Hamilton taskforce and Siggi Henry replacing him as chair of the waste minimisation taskforce.