The NECH Guide to Making Submissions on Hamilton City Council’s Draft 10-Year Plan

  • What does ‘making a submission’ entail?

Actually not a lot and it’s not as scary as it sounds! From 29 March 2018 there will be an easy online form on the HCC website. We will also post links on the NECH Facebook page and in local residents’ groups.

  • Why should I make a submission?

The number of submissions is important – HCC will take more notice of public opinion if a lot of people give the same or similar feedback. We at NECH strongly encourage you to have your say.

Note that people tend to be more vocal when they are objecting to something – if you approve of something in the draft plan and you don’t make a submission saying so, then your views are likely to be drowned out by the people who are against. It is definitely worth making a simple submission saying ‘I fully support such-and-such a project and support it going ahead in year 2 of the plan’ if that’s your view.

The more submissions in support of a project, the more likely it is to actually happen. The more submissions opposing a project, the more likely it is to get shelved or delayed.

On projects that are borderline, your submission really could be the one that makes all the difference.

Remember that this is your opportunity to influence Council on how your ratepayer money is spent over the next 10 years.

  • What should I write in my submission?

You don’t have to say much – just what parts of the draft plan you support or object to, and why. If you are able to give personal examples, this will support your views. As an example, a good submission might be something like:

“I support the plan to build a new library in the Rototuna town centre because a closer library would make a significant difference to my family. My child loves to borrow library books but it takes us 25 minutes to get from home to Chartwell library”.

It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that!

  • Do I have to do a verbal presentation to support my submission?

No. You have the option to request to present your submission in person to the Councillors in May 2018, but you are not obliged to. Most submitters don’t, but it’s actually not as scary as you may think! Plenty of ordinary people, with varying views and experience, speak in front of the Council. There’s no expectation for you to be a professional speaker and you can be accompanied by as many support people as you like.

  • Is there an option for someone else to speak to Council on my behalf?

Yes. North East Community Hub are planning on having a representative speak on behalf of the community in the north-east of Hamilton. If you’re daunted by the idea of talking in front of the Elected Councillors, NECH can represent your views if you tell us what those views are. We’ll make more posts over the coming weeks to gauge local feedback on the issues affecting our area of Hamilton. You are most welcome to contact NECH any time to let us know your views on the draft 10-year plan. We will do our best to represent the interests of our community.


Community gathering (and NECH AGM)

Come along and join the North East Community Hub for a bit of a community get-together at Cafe Inc, Rototuna at 7:15pm on Thursday 27 April, 2017.

Bring your local friends and neighbours and come and share your thoughts about the things that make the north-east of Hamilton great, and the things we could do to make our area an even greater place to live. Bring some $ to buy wonderful Cafe Inc coffee and a slice of sweetness, to enjoy while you meet and chat with others who live in the area. Mark Bunting from Hamilton City Council will talk about all of us being ‘Hambassadors’ for our wonderful city. We have a few AGM formalities to take care of, but don’t let that deter you from taking this opportunity to come and meet the NECH team and your community, in a great cafe setting with good coffee!

Fibre Broadband – an update


NECH is really pleased to announce that fibre broadband is coming to the remaining parts of Flagstaff!
Ultrafast Fibre have committed to installing fibre to the areas missed in the government’s UFB1 and UFB2 roll-outs. Letters will be delivered to the relevant properties this week, network deployment will commence later this month, and Ultrafast Fibre have set up this website so we can keep abreast of the installation progress: …

This is a significant achievement for our community and shows what we can achieve when we instigate and pursue dialogue with the right people. We at NECH are really proud to have been a part of making this happen, and we hope for a smooth and painless installation process!

Fibre Broadband information evening, hosted by Ultrafast Fibre

NECH is pleased to announce that Ultrafast Fibre will be hosting an information evening for residents of the 700-ish homes in north Hamilton that do not yet have fibre broadband.

The event will be held at the Good Neighbour in Rototuna on Thursday 16 June at 6.30pm.

The properties not yet covered by fibre are in the Woodridge / River Road area, north of Woodridge Drive, and in the Borman Road / Glaisdale area. If your property is one of those, look out for an invitation coming soon to your mailbox. The invitation will have details on how to RSVP to secure your place at the evening event.

Footbridge at Magellan Lake – June 2016?

I recently contacted Hamilton City Council for an update on the proposed construction of the footbridge to complete the Te Awa O Katapaki Esplanade walkway at Magellan Lake.

This was the response I received in April from a representative from HCC’s Parks & Open Spaces team:

“I can confirm that we have completed the design work, have the necessary consents and will be putting the construction of the bridge out to tender any day now. We had a few consenting issues to resolve with the regional council which has slightly delayed construction. Nevertheless, we are still on track to get the bridge built prior to the end of June.”

Another update on 3 May confirmed that “The contract has been let for the bridge” so I imagine that we can expect construction to start any day now! Will be interesting to see whether the project will still be completed by the end of June…

I will post updates on the timeframe as and when I get any.


6 May 2016

Ultra-Fast Broadband to Flagstaff North – an update from Richard Riley, CMO at Ultrafast Fibre

Richard Riley, Chief Marketing Officer for Ultrafast Fibre, spoke at the NECH AGM about the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband (UFB) to the Flagstaff North area. To give a little bit of background, ‘UFB1’ was the Government initiative to roll out UFB to 75% of New Zealand homes. UFF has completed UFB1 across the Central North Island and with the successful uptake (demand for fast broadband services now extremely high) the Government is expanding the initiative through ‘UFB2’ to other towns, which will increase coverage to 80% of NZ premises. However, some areas of Flagstaff North are not covered by UFB1 and are also unlikely to be covered under UFB2.

Connecting to UFB’s next generation services is a two-stage process involving the reticulation of the network past the premise and then subsequent install of fibre to the premise. The first stage is the communal connection which goes along the street (the Flagstaff North area being a relatively new suburb is typically all underground, so once installed, only cabinets are visible). This is the bit that’s currently being done in Everleigh, Bramber, Killegray, Tuirangi, etc. as part of the areas under a small network infill that Ultrafast is undertaking. The second stage is connecting fibre to the individual premises. This involves scoping the work that needs to be done at each property (from the road to the exterior of the dwelling), confirming the location of all of the new assets that will need to be installed at each property, and then the physical work of channelling the duct underground from the grass verge outside the property boundary to a discreet termination point (or small box) on the outside wall of the house, then through the wall to a similar sized box inside. Richard did clearly state that the install is not as simple as installing a jack point on the wall; and he was very keen to point out that it can be quite a disruptive and technical process. Additionally, with high demand, it can now take several weeks before a crew is available to carry out the required installation work at your place; but at the end of that queue with super-fast broadband download speeds of 100 megabits per second and above available, the wait is well worth it. In any case, great care is taken to minimise disruption and mess to your garden and house by skilled and friendly technicians.

Richard explained that installing UFB is not a cheap undertaking for Ultrafast Fibre – when considering the typical costs to deploy the network along the street and then installing to the inside of the premise, it’s several thousand dollars per premise all up. However, in UFB1, these costs are not charged to the end user customer – a standard installation is currently free for residential customers and only a small nominal connection charge applies for business end users. It should be noted though that, not dissimilar to other utility services such as copper broadband, the retail service provider may charge customers a small fee for a connection (often to cover the costs of routers, modems and the like).

Because the cost of expanding the network to enable connections in this area is not covered by the Government funding for UFB, Richard indicated Ultrafast Fibre will need to have an idea of potential uptake in order to put a convincing business case; so is looking at a way to canvas our level of interest and commitment to connect if Ultrafast Fibre did indeed build. If they did commit to installing fibre to the identified areas, it would likely take 3-6 months for the communal build stage to be completed, with individual connections possible after that following a period to satisfactorily test of the network.

One possible benefit of registering your interest early might be that the connection to the outside of your premise could be done at the same time the network is being built along the street (i.e. the communal infrastructure build stage); which may speed up the process (leaving just the internal technical install for a later date). To enable such a ‘fast track’ process, an order would likely be required via your retail service provider, and Ultrafast Fibre may also use the opportunity to look at more innovative ways to manage such a scenario as it could minimise disruption to your premise and speed up the connection timeframe. Richard stressed that this will not bring orders ‘up the queue’ any faster as Ultrafast Fibre remains committed to connecting other end users who have been patiently waiting.

So within the next few weeks, Richard would like to get an idea of the level of interest from the 700-ish homes in the remaining Flagstaff areas not currently covered (the Borman Road corridor, including Limber Hill, Castleton, Denham, Glyll, etc; and the Woodridge area including Te Huia Drive, Featherstone, Amokura, River Road north of Woodridge Drive, etc). That could be via social media feedback or via a community meeting that Ultrafast Fibre would be happy to organise – possibly doubling as a fun drinks and nibbles evening where we can all ask more questions. When I know more about how to register your interest I will post another update.

NECH would like to thank Richard for taking the time to come and talk at the AGM and for Ultrafast Fibre’s acknowledgement of and interest in addressing the UFB interest in northern Hamilton.

Minutes of the 2016 AGM

Minutes of AGM
7.15pm, Thursday 28 April 2016, Rototuna Junior High School, Kimbrae Drive Rototuna
Welcome: Diana Wood
Present: Richard Riley, Ian Wood, Diana Wood, Jason Sebestian, Fraser Hill, Megan Campbell, Jamie Strange, Natasha Hemara, Philip Yeung, Fungai Mhlanga, Mary Loveless, Roger Loveless, Katy King, Jamie Strange, Rona Gooch, Ruth Hart, Noeline Allen, Martin Toop, Hamish McMillan, Rob Pascoe, Martin Gallagher.
Apologies: Gill Baker, David Huang, Daphne Bell.
Minutes of 2015 AGM:
The minutes of the last AGM held on 23 April 2105 were confirmed.
Moved: Roger Loveless Seconded: Katy King
Matters arising from the minutes: none.
Chairperson’s report: Diana Wood
Copy of report is here
That the report be accepted.
Moved: Diana Wood Seconded: Katy King Carried
Treasurer’s report:
00 account $223.13
01 account $479.87
Petty Cash $47.85
Total $750.85
Moved: Mary Loveless Seconded: Diana Wood Carried
Election of Officers:
Chair Diana Wood Moved Ian Wood Seconded Katy King
Additional Trustees (the HNECH Trust deed allows for a total of 12 trustees)Diana Wood moved that the existing Trustees be elected to their existing positions. Seconded Ian WoodSecretary Mary LovelessTreasurer Mary LovelessTrustees Daphne Bell, Jason Sebestian, Katy King, Roger Loveless
General business:
Richard Riley, Chief Marketing Officer, Ultrafast Fibre: the current situation and future network thinking.
Richard is currently making a business case for installation of fibre to the remaining homes in the area that do not currently have fibre connections; estimated to be approximately 700 homes. He is keen to use the Trust as a conduit to ascertain interest with connecting to the fibre network within the community. He proposes to hold a neighbourhood meeting in the near future, and use existing channels such as the Trust website and Resident’s Facebook page to advertise the meeting. If the business case is accepted, the build will start late 2016 and be completed early 2017. Richard’s full address is detailed here
After consultation, it was agreed that the Trust consider keeping a list of Friends; people who may wish to be involved with one-off projects, rather than dealing with the ongoing commitment of trusteeship.
Megan Campbell summarised the current discussions the school is having with council: installation of signalled crossing points, creation of sports fields, building a swimming pool, and cycle ways. The school has the highest uptake of cycling to school in the country. She commented that by aligning priorities we could make both the Trust and the school stronger.Megan also made the point that contrary to public perception, which was reinforced by media publicity, the planned indoor sports courts are not a local facility, but are intended as a regional facility.
Diana invited people to record and leave their priorities for the area on the post-it notes available.
Guest Speaker: RJHS Principal, Fraser Hill
Fraser introduced himself as Waikato born and a local resident. He outlined the school’s learning vision: based on connected learning; connected to whanau – locally, nationally, and globally and situated within authentic learning contexts. The school aims to instil a sense of community mindedness within their learners, resulting in students giving back to the community. It is planned that learning is supported and enhanced by utilising community expertise, e.g. the flight time programme, and based on a sense of Ako – reciprocal learning.
The Board of Trustees are actively working to make other connections within the community. For example, developing partnerships between the school and local sports clubs, to enable the sharing of coaching and administration expertise. Identifying meeting spaces that can be used for community gatherings and sharing of facilities such as the theatre, arts, and dance spaces.
Partnerships with local hapu are being developed; the school colours are reflective of the local environment – the orange colour evident in the pigment of the local waters.
Collaboration is also a key focus of the school; with teachers working collaboratively to develop learning programmes. The community has been very supportive, of the new learning environments and the innovative elements being developed within the school community. It is the first time in New Zealand that two new schools; Rotouna Junior and Senior High schools, have been built with shared facilities.
Natasha Hemara – the new principal of Rototuna Senior High School introduced herself as being new to the area.
Next Trust meeting date: May 26th at 7.15pm.
Meeting closed at 8. 55pm

Chairman’s Report 2016

On behalf of the trustees of the North East Community Hub (legally titled the Hamilton North East Community Development Trust), I welcome you to our annual AGM. A warm welcome to you all and a special welcome to our dignitaries.

We are fortunate to be meeting at the wonderful new Rototuna Junior High School library. I thank Principal Fraser Hill for making this facility available to us. After the official business we will hear from Fraser as our guest speaker.

In this report I will discuss what the Trust has achieved in the past 12 months and what we would like to do in the months ahead.

First of all, to set context in which we are working.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the North East Community Hub, we arose out of a Trust which ran a number of ambitious and successful community events over a five-year period. The team put in a phenomenal effort. Regrettably, it was an effort that was to prove unsustainable.

When our group first met this time last year, we decided to take a different approach. We changed our name to something simpler – North East Community Hub (or NECH). Our communications trustee Katy King, with assistance from local graphic artist Sara Cameron, produced our new logo and went on to establish the NECH Facebook page and website.

We established that we had two main tasks:

The first task was to lobby Hamilton City Council.

We have much to be grateful for – attractive planting, beautiful walkways, and the opening of new schools, for a start. We are assured that the bridge around the Magellan Rise lake is to be built in June. It will be a welcome addition to our walking and cycling routes. However, there is still much that we lack.

As a trust:

NECH asks that our community is consulted about proposed developments for the area. For example, the partially council-funded recreation centre here at RJHS is an asset to our area – an asset for which we are grateful. However, the project was sprung on the community as a surprise – on its completion. We ask that the council treats its residents as intelligent humans, asks what we need, and prioritises accordingly. We stress that “consultation” involves face-to-face discussion and is not synonymous with “informing”.We ask the council to make community infrastructure a more urgent priority. The north east of Hamilton is the most rapidly growing area in Hamilton; the rates take must be significant – and growing. At the same time, the community infrastructure required for our new area is noticeably lacking. The bus service to the Woodridge area remains just a promise – and our residents have become wary of promises in the light of ever-shifting priorities and timelines. There are areas with no ultrafast broadband, and we need council to bring forward the building of a community centre, library and swimming pool. Previous councils have allowed the north east of Hamilton to be developed with no physical centre, no heart – and without that heart, the pulse of our community is unable to beat. Our area is full of newcomers. It was significant that when 12 of us met together a year ago to form the new NECH, not one single person in the group was born in Hamilton. We want newcomers to feel welcome in their new Hamilton home – to know where to go so they can participate. When we tell people about North East Community Hub, they ask “Where is the hub?” Hamilton City Council, we ask you “Where is the hub?”

Our trustees have met with individual councillors, and while there have been a range of responses (as might be expected) we have heard little that would give us confidence that the council plans to develop community infrastructure in the north east in the near future. It is dispiriting to meet with a senior councillor who opens his meeting with you by saying “The Mayor says to tell you there’s no money.” In the next breath he says “The north east? I never go there.” That is from a councillor who we elected to represent our interests. While NECH acknowledges the good sense in reducing debt, we maintain it must be balanced with immediate care of our community – a group that contributes heavily to the rates take and which needs to benefit from its rates contribution. In August or September, we plan to hold a public meeting to meet prospective councillors. Please join us at that meeting and come armed with questions that will help us elect representatives who will pay more than lip service to the area where we live.

Our second task is to work at grass roots level.

Our Trust’s activities are underpinned by its values – community, inclusivity, diversity, cooperation and sustainability. While we need to see more Council commitment to our area, there is much that we could – and should – do ourselves.

In addition to developing the Trust’s social media presence, Katy King has built a significant on-line community via the Residents of Flagstaff North Facebook page. It is a credit to her leadership as administrator that the page has over 3,000 members and that the tone remains constructive.As a result of former trustee Brenda Critchfield’s approach to council, a table and seat was installed at the Wisteria Place park.We already have some terrific groups in our area. However, we could individually do more to develop community the old fashioned way – to drop by and introduce ourselves to our new neighbour, invite our neighbour over for a coffee or a beer, share our excess fruit and vegetables. We could make it our business to be sure our neighbours are okay. Grassroots community building begins in our own street.

After this AGM, we will include new team members in establishing our priorities for 2016 to 2017. We are already working on a surprise for booklovers. In addition, a Council staff member indicated that there could be space for community gardens on land that the Council is yet to develop; we could set up a regular coffee cart meeting place for those who are at home during the day; and we are considering having a directory of local groups and/or a business directory on our website. We would like people who are interested in any of these projects – or who have great community-building ideas of their own – to join our team.

There are six people in our current team. I warmly thank them for their constructive and positive attitude, their energy and enthusiasm – Mary Loveless, our thorough and efficient secretary and treasurer; Roger Loveless, submission writer extraordinaire; Katy King, dedicated communications trustee; Daphne Bell whose creative contribution is inspiring and whose experience of Council processes is helpful; and Jason Sebestian. We value his incisive mind and community connections. In addition, I thank the many community-spirited people our trustess have met with in the process of establishing what is important to our community.

Thank you, again, for attending this evening. If you live in Hamilton’s north east, if you would like to see your rates spent on this area and you would enjoy being part of our team, please put your name forward to become one of our trustees. The demands are not arduous – a meeting on the fourth Thursday of each month and a task or two between each meeting. Our trustees are all people who have other community commitments and we do wish to keep the task of being a NECH trustee manageable and sustainable. We have so much we could – and should – do to make the north east the place to live in Hamilton.

Diana Wood, 28 April 2016

Join us for the NECH AGM

NEWS FLASH: Richard Riley, Chief Marketing Officer at Ultrafast Fibre Ltd will be coming to the AGM to give the community an update on “…the current situation, a little about our business and future network thinking.”

Ultra-Fast Broadband

An update on the process to get Ultra-Fast Fibre to the parts of Flagstaff (e.g. Woodridge) that were missed in the initial deployment…NECH trustee Roger Loveless has been in regular contact with Hamilton City Council about this, and here’s a summary from their correspondence: April 2015 The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) sought ROIs (Registrations of Interest) and other feedback on the Government’s decision to expand Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) coverage. Government had