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Hamilton welcomes 600 Local Government visitors

The Local Government New Zealand conference is currently underway at Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre and hosted by Hamilton city.

Mayor Julie Hardaker welcomed the 600 delegates yesterday using her opening address to highlight the prosperous optimism of Hamilton City and the transformational role of the Council in creating the right opportunities.

“Our city is growing fast, one of the fastest in NZ, and we are currently experiencing the biggest investment in our history,” she said.

“This includes government investment; the billion dollar Waikato Expressway will be completed in six years, as well as private investment; some of NZ’s top ten exporter businesses reside in Hamilton.

Our council is also investing in the city’s roading network with a number of projects including the city’s four lane ring road which will be completed in three years time.”

Mayor Hardaker highlighted the wide range of world class facilities Hamilton boasts including Claudelands where the conference is being held.

“Claudelands is New Zealand’s newest purpose built conference and entertainment centre hosting a diverse range of conferences and events – and  soon to host the David Tua fight,” she said.    

Mayor Hardaker also invited delegates to enjoy the City’s river walks, the Hamilton Gardens and the Waikato Museum – currently hosting the World of Wearable Arts exhibition.

Mayor Hardaker said that Councils have a very important role in creating an environment that is conducive to sustained economic growth – which is about infrastructure, land use, regulations and not to be forgotten or underestimated – ensuring we provide the things that mean people want and love to live in our patch.

“Local government is a tough environment, not an easy job.  We face the high expectations from our communities  daily and have to balance all the competing interests at the coalface. 

The 78 councils make up about 6 per cent of GDP, spending nearly $8 billion of public money each year. And  manage $100 billion worth of assets.  Its big business,” she said.

Delegates attending the conference participated in three Council-hosted tours including:

  • Meeting the demands of a growing City –infrastructure such as the $84million Hamilton Ring Road, the $194 million Te Rapa section of the Waikato Expressway (a road of national significance) and housing and community facilities being created to meet growth.
  • Investment in Hamilton –the ‘golden economic triangle’ of Auckland and Tauranga – the inland port and revival of the City centre.
  • Community partnerships – successful partnership and community projects and facilities such as the ‘world class’ Hamilton Gardens, the zoo, the River Walkway and public art installations.

The three day conference is themed: 'transforming communities – building a successful New Zealand' and runs until Tuesday night.