The masterplanned Te Awa Lakes community is a critical part of creating a thriving corridor of activity between Hamilton and Auckland, according to Labour MP Jamie Strange.

“I see Te Awa Lakes as a northern gateway to Hamilton city,” he said.  “When people are coming to the city, they’ll see kids and people playing in the water park, they’ll see people going about their daily lives and the sense of community, and then at the back they can see the river. It’s a wonderful positive way to enter the city.”

Mr Strange has been working with the city and regional mayors to plan a corridor of transportation and activity that better connects Hamilton, from its airport in the south, right through to the Bombay Hills.

“We’ve got the expressway almost finished, we’re working hard to get passenger rail going, and it’s all around the idea of transport leading growth,” he explained.

He says potential growth areas include tourism opportunities built around the river, which is an integral part of the Te Awa Lakes partnership planning.

“I see a huge opportunity for tourism in our region, particularly around Maori tourism, the Kīngitanga, and the river as our greatest natural asset,” he said.

With 42% of Hamilton residents currently renting, Mr Strange said he is also pleased about the potential for Te Awa Lakes to bring new residential housing to the market.

“We’ve been having constructive conversations with the Perry Group around how we can potentially deliver some KiwiBuild housing, which is the government’s goal to deliver housing for first-time buyers and at an affordable rate,” he said.

The Hamilton City Council recently signed off an affordability policy declaring at least 10% of homes in SHAs must be deemed affordable, meaning they must be sold at no more than 90% of the average Hamilton house price.

“Hamilton is a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. We are growing up as a city; I’m proud of what we continue to achieve,” he said.