Hamilton City Council is looking for community feedback on a new proposed layout for Hamilton Gardens that keeps the Rhododendron Lawn intact.
The proposed layout changes address traffic congestion, access and parking issues. Another concept put to the community in April 2019 proposed shifting the main carpark to the site of the Rhododendron Lawn.
Consultation on the new proposal opens on Saturday 11 July and closes on Sunday 9 August. It is specifically focused on whether the new concept addresses concerns raised by the public last year.
“We ran a two-month consultation process on the draft Hamilton Gardens Management Plan last year and got rich feedback, including strong support for the development of several spectacular new gardens,” says Councillor Mark Bunting, chair of the Council’s Community Committee.
“All that feedback and the views from this latest consultation will go into the mix when the Community Committee considers the draft management plan again in September.”
Cr Bunting says the consultation process shows how interaction between the community and the Council works best.
“Hamiltonians obviously felt strongly about the Rhododendron Lawn aspect of the draft management plan and we listened to that. The new concept keeps a special part of the Gardens intact and tackles issues we need to resolve to make Hamilton Gardens excellent in every aspect.”
He says the aim is to deliver a world-class experience for local and international visitors from the time they enter Hamilton Gardens to the time they leave.
The revised layout introduces the potential for a treetop walk down to the Gardens entry and shared walking and cycling paths. A new through road will link the two gates, improve traffic flow and allow people to visit the Gardens safely by bike, foot or public transport. Riverfront land is freed up for more appropriate use, including linking the Gardens to the Waikato River.
Decisions made through the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan process will determine the timing of Hamilton Gardens’ development, including the proposed layout changes. The Council will adopt the Long-Term Plan in June 2021.
The Hamilton Gardens Management Plan outlines key operational aspects relating to management of the award-winning visitor destination and public park. It proposes developing 12 new themed gardens in addition to the four gardens currently under development.
Hamilton City Council has applied for Government COVID-19 stimulus funding to accelerate the development of Hamilton Gardens and connect the Gardens with the Waikato Museum via the river. A decision on that proposal is still pending.