A small group of Hamilton City Council election candidates filed onto a city bus on Wednesday to take a tour of the city, and see what challenges await them if they are elected.

Louise Hutt was the sole mayoralty candidate, with Anna Smart, Kesh Naidoo-Rauf, Chris Davis, and 2018 by-election candidate Michael West.

There were no current sitting councillors.

A couple of other interested community leaders also joined them.


Hamilton East Ward candidate Tim Young, who uses a wheelchair to get around also turned up but was unable to board the bus after a presentation from city council CEO Richard Briggs.

He later posted on social media that "after the briefing I realised I needed to go toilet. Unfortunately, there are no fully [wheelchair] accessible toilets in the CBD so I was forced to rush home and miss out on an invaluable experience to learn more about the city."

Mr Briggs informed candidates about some of the challenges the city faces, asking them to really think about what they can bring to the table when campaigning.

"If you want to lower rates, well what are you going to offset. Everything you do in council will have another resulting action elsewhere," Mr Briggs said.

Electoral officer Dale Ofsoske told candidates that enrolments were up in the city, with over 100,000 of the 160,000 population of Hamilton enrolled.

He also informed candidates of their responsibilities when filing expenses and donations for the campaigns.

After a brief stop at the new Smart Space in Garden Place, the group travelled to the last stage of the Ring Road extension, and the position of the planned new bridge which will open up Hamilton to Peacocke.

Mayoral candidate Louise Hutt listens to a briefing at the new Peacocke development area. Photo / Tom Rowland
Mayoral candidate Louise Hutt listens to a briefing at the new Peacocke development area. Photo / Tom Rowland

Amorangi Māori for City Council, Muna Wharawhara, spoke about the importance of the new bridge and how Waikato Tainui see it as the gateway into the city from the Waikato River.


The tour group headed north in the newest areas of Rototuna and parked alongside the Rototuna Sports Park.

They were told how the new Rototuna town centre was progressing, how libraries are still one of Hamilton's most visited assets, and that the new town centre would have village style shops.

Before finishing the tour the group was giving a briefing at Hamilton's wastewater treatment plant, and how while there is room for expansion, a future council will be charged with planning a new resource consent, and potentially a new wastewater plant in the region.

A final stop at Hamilton Zoo showed the candidates just some of the decisions that await them if elected.

The future city council will be charged with making decisions over community facilities, resource consents for wastewater and the water treatment plant, and the development of a new suburb for the city.