Proposed changes to Hamilton City Council’s naming of roads policy would give mana whenua, such as local iwi and hapuu, more time to consider and influence the names of new roads in Hamilton, Council said today.
Council today agreed to consult with the community on proposed changes to its Naming of Roads, Open Spaces and Council Facilities Policy to align with the recently adopted He Pou Manawa Ora: Pillars of Wellbeing Strategy. The proposed changes also support Council’s ambitions in the Long-Term Plan and Hamilton Heritage Plan.
Community Committee Chair Councillor, Mark Bunting said by aligning policies with the He Pou Manawa Ora strategy, we show our commitment to the cultural wellbeing, inclusion of te reo Maaori and creating a sense of belonging for all Hamiltonians.
“These changes help developers recognise the unique relationship that iwi and mana whenua have to Hamilton, while bringing forward when those conversations happen in the planning process, to make it easier for developers and mana whenua alike,” Cr Bunting said.
The proposed policy supports the goal that te reo Maaori is seen, heard and celebrated throughout the city, he said.
“While some Council policies can be viewed as more ‘red tape’, the proposed changes aim to strike a balance between developer requirements during the consenting process and recognising our local history, in all its forms.”
“We genuinely want to know how people feel the policy will affect them and new developments in Hamilton. I’m confident our community will let us know, and that we will listen” said Cr Bunting.
Council will be asking the community for its feedback on the proposed changes in November.
Planning Guidance Manager, Grant Kettle said the policy included proposed changes to when and how developers engage with mana whenua, the type of information requested and the number of names put forward in the consenting process.
“The proposed policy will require developers to work closely with mana whenua earlier in the planning phases encouraging meaningful collaboration between both groups,” he said.
“These earlier discussions will help developers understand the history of the area they are developing, the connection to local Maaori history and any culturally significant names.”
Under the proposed policy, developers can provide up to three names for each new road with a minimum of one name included from a pool of names provided by mana whenua. The proposed names would be considered by Council staff as part of the development consenting process.
Mr Kettle said the scope of the proposed policy changes did not include any amendments to the process for renaming existing street names, which is managed by Council.
“There has been a lot of discussion around changing historical street names such as von Tempsky, Grey and Bryce. Proposals to change the name of these roads are not part of this policy review and Council’s street renaming process will remain the same,” said Mr Kettle.