Hamilton's bursting at the seams and the city council is eyeing pockets of neighbouring land.

At least, the council just gone felt that way. The newly elected mayor, Andrew King, isn't so sure. Neither is Waikato District Mayor Allan Sanson.

Before the October elections, a report for Hamilton City Council was published that said the city would be talking with Waikato and Waipa district councils about some of their land becoming part of the city sooner rather than later.

There's already an agreement between Hamilton and Waikato District Council to transfer land to the city, but the next lots aren't due until 2039 and beyond.

But the previous council wanted to bring the transfers forward.

"The boundaries as they are today, in 100 years' time, wouldn't potentially be enough, city council spokesman Blair Bowcott said. "If Hamilton, for example, continues to grow, in terms of population and housing need, we would run out of land. So we would need to extend our reach."

There are two areas of interest. 

In the Waikato District, it's land on the city side of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, which is under construction.

Roading defines the area of interest on the southern side of the city, too - Waipa District Council land inside the proposed Southern Links roading project.

"The roads become almost like a natural boundary," Bowcott said.

"It's a long way out, so the last council indicated they'd like to have a conversation with Waikato District Council about bringing those dates forward."

There's no such agreement with Waipa.

But King said Hamilton has thousands of sections already in its boundaries ready for subdivision.

"We're not breaking our neck to bring other areas in," he said.

But he's keen to discuss annexing land earlier than 2039.

"I certainly don't want to put those guys under pressure to do it beforehand, because we have got zoned areas that are in now."

Hamilton has about 8000 sections available in Peacocke, in the southern suburbs, he said, which are already consented and have roads designated.

And further sections will be available in Rotokauri.

Waikato District Council isn't due to hand over any land for about 20 years, Mayor Allan Sanson said.

"There's no grounds for [Hamilton City Council] to actually take any land or for us to bring that strategic agreement around land forward," he said.

Peacocke, Rotokauri and Ruakura could to keep the city going for another 40 to 45 years.

"You would have to question why do they want more land which, at the moment, they couldn't honestly afford to have developed anyway."

If Hamilton genuinely needed land earlier, Sanson said his council and the city could come to an agreement, but he didn't see that as the case.

Transfers to Hamilton have been made before through mutual agreement, Bowcott said.

They include Temple View coming from Waipa and land for the Ruakura inland port from Waikato District Council.

"You also want to make sure that, when the land comes in the city, the people within those areas also want to be associated with the city, not the council where they live."

Waipa District Mayor Jim Mylchreest could not be contacted before publication.

Image source: Mike Scott/Fairfax NZ


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