Hamilton City Council is looking for a more high-powered approach to have its say on what happens outside its city boundaries, to plan for the next 100 years.
A new strategy, labelled as Greater Hamilton in a report prepared by staff and presented to councillors, will take a four-way approach to ensuring Hamilton's prosperity in the future.
1: Being part of the Hamilton-Auckland transport corridor plan. The plan aims to better support growth and increase connectivity within the Hamilton to Auckland corridor while improving housing affordability.
2: Developing its growth strategy by looking at what needs to happen in the Greater Hamilton area in the future for the city to thrive.
3:Reviewing the Future Proof document which targets growth strategy specific to the Hamilton, Waipā, and Waikato sub-region and has been developed jointly with Hamilton City Council.
4:Working with neighbouring councils, with potential realignments of territorial boundaries.
The report, presented to the council on October 11, said Hamilton is the fourth most populous and one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand, but is the third smallest territorial authority by area.
In approximately 50 years time, the Hamilton population will be between 250,000 to 300,000.
Council staff brought the report before councillors to take action on the rapidly increasing growth of Hamilton. Mayor Andrew King said it is critical that the city plans for the next 100 years.
"I do feel strongly about this — it is a 100 year plan and it is about being responsible. It is important that we do plan our city for the next 100 years," Mayor King said.
Councillor Mark Bunting, who has been pushing for a build up, not out strategy, said he finally supported looking out.
"Up not out, I still stand by that," Mr Bunting said.
"However, thank you staff — I now get where you are going. Boundaries are just a part of this discussion."
"A smart city is a better city within its environment."
Councillor Rob Pascoe was concerned that the strategy could become a talkfest.
"It seems to me we are in the tent with central government, but to get some success here we need to persuade to get others in the tent with us," Mr Pascoe said.
"We need to work hard to show that we are not the big boys in the region, because that does work against us."
Deputy Mayor Martin Gallagher said local government must be on guard for an all-talk, no-action approach.
"There seems to be a strategy of report after report, a lot of talk, and then no action."
Councillor Geoff Taylor said the Hamilton to Auckland corridor plan will provide Hamilton with a range of new opportunities.
"I think this is really exciting, and it is going to fast track some of the planning we have been frustrated and agonised by for some time," Mr Taylor said.
The council voted unanimously to proceed with the Greater Hamilton plan.