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Hamilton’s housing sector receives a much-needed ‘cash boost’ from the Government

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 17 November 2022

Hamilton City (Photo by Ashok Kochhar)

Minister of Housing Megan Woods has announced today that Hamilton City Council will receive a $150.6 million grant to fund infrastructure to support new housing in the central city area.

The grant will fund a new water reservoir and pump station, a pedestrian and cycling bridge, and investigations into other strategic three waters and transport infrastructure. This will enable up to 4000 homes in the central city and surrounds between now and 2034.

Welcome news for Hamilton

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said Hamilton desperately needs more housing, but the challenge has been how to fund core infrastructure to enable more homes to be built faster.

She said “The fact the Government has listened to our pleas and agreed to help pay for this fit-for-purpose infrastructure is fantastic news for Hamilton. We have successfully partnered with central government, iwi and developers previously, so are delighted to have this funding to deliver on our shared aspirations for our communities. This grant is truly game-changing and supports Council’s vision to transform the central city into a vibrant place where people want to live, work and visit. It will also help fund Hamilton’s much talked about pedestrian and cycling bridge over the Waikato River connecting the central city to the eastern cycleways.”

Hamilton Housing Boost (Photo by 6-year-old Abir in Hamilton)

Developers are the true heroes

The bid is supported by $129.3 Million of co-funding from the Council, already committed in its 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan. Alongside housing, it will also support more than 300,000m2 of commercial and retail space and has the potential to unlock more than $2.1 billion in private investment over the next decade.

Strategic Growth and District Plan Committee Chair Councillor Ryan Hamilton acknowledged the six local developers who signed agreements with Government to deliver central city housing, recognising the considerable benefit their investments will deliver for the city.

Mr Hamilton said “Council is not the one who builds homes, we can enable and support developers to make this happen. So, the true heroes are these developers who have made significant commitments to our city to get this funding across the line.”

Those developers were Cavendish Ventures Limited, Stark Property Limited, Apex Property Group NZ Limited, Tainui Group Holdings Limited, Pragma Developments Limited, and Tristan Paul Jones / Highview Properties Limited and have committed nearly half of the 4000 homes enabled by the funding.

“The commitment these developers have given goes a long way in helping us deliver on our aspirations to build up in the central city. This aligns closely with a number of our key strategies and plans, including our Central City Transformation Plan and Hamilton Urban Growth Strategy, as well as the recently proposed changes to the District Plan that will enable more intensification in our city,” said Hamilton.

He further added that along with these developers, Hamilton’s central city will be transformed into a connected and liveable community with all the amenities Hamiltonians need.

The views were echoed by Mr Sanjil Mistry, Director of Pragma Group in Hamilton. Mr Mistry said “It is welcome news after all the efforts we have collectively put in. Although the funding is towards housing, along with housing come other opportunities for better growth and expansion, job creation as well as commercial and business possibilities. We are happy to partner with the City Council and make Hamilton progress and reach its true potential.”

Mr Mistry has been an integral part of discussions and worked closely with the government throughout the process.

His company, Pragma Group, has been a market leader in affordable housing, working mainly with first-home buyers and Mr Mistry said the new inventory being added to the city towards affordable housing will be immensely helpful for first home buyers looking to enter the housing market.

Early planning and design stages of the key projects funded by the grant are already underway and look to provide Hamilton with another feather in its cap.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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