Hamilton City Council's is proposing to change its policy on how it names new roads, giving mana whenua, such as local iwi and hapu, more time to consider and influence the names of new roads in Hamilton.
Under the proposed policy, developers will be asked to provide up to three names for each new road with a minimum of one name included from a pool of names provided by mana whenua. The proposed names would be considered by council staff as part of the development consenting process.
The new policy is just for new roads and does not address issues raised about re-visiting some street names which reflect the city's colonial history, such as von Tempsky, Grey and Bryce.
The council's planning guidance manager, Grant Kettle, says there has been a lot of discussion around changing such historical street names but proposals to change the name of these roads are not part of this policy review and the council's street renaming process will remain the same.
The council will be asking the community for its feedback on the proposed changes in November and all Hamiltonians are encouraged to have their say.
the council agreed to consult with the community on proposed changes to its Naming of Roads, Open Spaces, and Council Facilities Policy to align with the recently adopted He Pou Manawa Ora: Pillars of Wellbeing Strategy.
The proposed changes also support the council's ambitions in the Long-Term Plan and Hamilton Heritage Plan.
Community Committee chairman councillor Mark Bunting said by aligning policies with the He Pou Manawa Ora strategy, we show our commitment to the cultural wellbeing, the inclusion of te reo Māori and creating a sense of belonging for all Hamiltonians.
"These changes help developers recognise the unique relationship that iwi and mana whenua have to Hamilton, while bringing forward when those conversations happen in the planning process, to make it easier for developers and mana whenua alike," Bunting said.
The proposed policy supports the goal that te reo Māori is seen, heard, and celebrated throughout the city.
"While some council policies can be viewed as more 'red tape', the proposed changes aim to strike a balance between developer requirements during the consenting process and recognising our local history, in all its forms.
"We genuinely want to know how people feel the policy will affect them and new developments in Hamilton. I'm confident our community will let us know, and that we will listen," said Bunting.
Kettle said the policy includes proposed changes to when and how developers engage with mana whenua, the type of information requested, and the number of names put forward in the consenting process.
"The proposed policy will require developers to work closely with mana whenua earlier in the planning phases, encouraging meaningful collaboration between both groups. These earlier discussions will help developers understand the history of the area they are developing, the connection to local Māori history, and any culturally significant names."
The council also deliberated on the draft Permanent Public Art and draft Monuments and Memorial Art policies at the Community Committee meeting. The final draft policies will be presented to the council in November.
These policies aim to provide a better process for accepting and installing permanent public artworks, including memorials and monuments.