What You Need To Know
Hamilton is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region, in the North Island of New Zealand. The city encompasses a land area of about 110 km2 (42 sq mi) on the banks of the Waikato River, and is home to 156,800 people, making it New Zealand’s fourth most-populous city. Hamilton City is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu and Cambridge. Initially an agricultural service centre, Hamilton now has a growing and diverse economy and is the third fastest growing urban area in New Zealand (behind Pukekohe and Auckland). Education and research and development play an important part in Hamilton’s economy, as the city is home to approximately 40,000 tertiary students and 1,000 PhD-qualified scientists.
Area: 98 km²
The New Zealand dollar is the official currency of New Zealand and Hamilton.
In 2004, Hamilton City Council honoured former resident Richard O’Brien with a life-size bronze statue of him as character Riff Raff, of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in his space suit. The statue was designed by Weta Workshop, props makers for The Lord of the Rings films. It stands on the former site of the Embassy Cinema, where O’Brien watched science fiction-double features. Several Maori Pa have been part restored at Pukete, Hikuwai and Miropiko along the banks of the Waikato River. The city is host to a large number of small galleries and the Waikato Museum. The latter includes Te Winika, one of the best-preserved waka (Māori war canoe) from the pre-colonisation era.
Education and research are important to the city, through the University of Waikato and the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec). Research at the Ruakura research centres have been responsible for much of New Zealand’s innovation in agriculture. Hamilton’s main revenue source is the dairy industry, due to its location in the centre of New Zealand’s largest dairying area – the Waikato region. Hamilton annually hosts the National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek, the southern hemisphere’s biggest agricultural trade exhibition. Mystery Creek is the country’s largest event centre and hosts other events of national importance, such as Parachute Christian Music Festival, the National Car Show and the National Boat Show. Manufacturing and retail are also important to the local economy, as is the provision of health services through the Waikato Hospital. The city is home to New Zealand’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Pacific Aerospace, which manufactured its 1,000th aircraft in August 2009, and Micro Aviation NZ which manufactures and exports high-quality microlight aircraft. It also has its largest concentration of trailer-boat manufacturers such as Buccaneer. Hamilton is also the home of Gallagher Group Ltd, a manufacturer and exporter of electric fencing and security systems. Employing 600 people Gallagher has been doing business in Hamilton since 1938. Recent years have seen the firm establishment of the New Zealand base of the British flight training organisation CTC Aviation. CTC Aviation trains over 350 airline pilots a year at its crew training centre at Hamilton Airport. Tainui Group Holdings Ltd, the commercial arm of the Waikato tribe, is one of Hamilton’s largest property developers. The Waikato tribe is one of the city’s largest landowners. Tainui owns land at The Base, Centre Place, The Warehouse Central, University of Waikato, Wintec, the Courthouse, Fairfield College, and the Ruakura AgResearch centre. The Waikato tribe is a major shareholder of the Novotel Tainui and the Hotel Ibis. It has developed the large retail centre The Base in the old Te Rapa airforce base site which was returned to Tainui, following confiscation in the 1860s, as part of a 1995 Treaty of Waitangi settlement. In mid-2010, The Base was further expanded with Te Awa Mall complex stage 1. Many large retailers such as Farmers and other nationwide speciality chains have located at Te Awa. In 2011 a further stage was opened, with cinemas, restaurants, shops and an underground carpark. The city’s three major covered shopping malls are Centre Place (formerly Downtown Plaza) in the CBD, Chartwell Shopping Centre and most recently Te Awa at The Base. After Farmers Hamilton moves from its existing site on corner of Alexandra and Collingwood streets into the redeveloped Centre Place in late 2013, each major mall will have the department store as an anchor tenant. The western suburb of Frankton is home to a smaller shopping centre and long-standing local furniture and home department store Forlongs. There are many other small suburban shopping centres or plazas, often centred on a New World or Countdown supermarket, such as in Rototuna, Hillcrest and Glenview.
Eligibility for public health services. This section is a guide to publicly funded healthand disability services in New Zealand. There is information for service users, and resources for service providers to check eligibility.Apr 18, 2016
Hamilton International Airport serves as a domestic airport. It is jointly owned by Hamilton City and neighbouring district councils. The airport is located just outside Hamilton’s boundary, within the Waipa District. There are direct flights with Air New Zealand to Auckland, Christchurch, Palmerston North and Wellington, and with Sun Air to New Plymouth, Gisborne and Tauranga also there are charter flights to other destinations throughout the North Island. The airport also served as a major base for now defunct low-cost airlinesFreedom Air and Kiwi Air. Virgin Australia offered three international flights a week, to and from Brisbane Airport and Sydney Airport. However, all international flights have now been discontinued, primarily due to a small market. The airport is the base for pilot training schools and the aircraft manufacturer, Pacific Aerospace, is located at the northern end of the runway.
Hamilton has buses linking the CBD to most of its suburbs and an Orbiter service linking many of those suburbs to each other, to suburban shopping centres, the hospital, university, etc.
Hamilton has extensive cycleways which link the city centre with the outlying suburbs. These cycleways consist of a mixture of dedicated cycle lanes,which are 1 metre wide strips either coloured green or with a painted outline of a cycle and mixed use cycle/walk ways which are mainly located alongside the Waikato River. The City’s design guide says the preferred width for cycleways is 3 m (9.8 ft).
Hamilton is the railway junction of the East Coast Main Trunk (ECMT) and the North Island Main Trunk (NIMT). It is the busiest in New Zealand outside of the Auckland and Wellington metropolitan areas, and is home to the Te Rapa Marshalling Yard and locomotive depot, the northern end of the 25kV AC 50 Hz electrification between Hamilton and Palmerston North. The original Hamilton Railway Station was a large island station, in later years with two large signalboxes, just north of the locomotive depot in the junction between the ECMT and NIMT. Due to the increase in rail traffic in the 1970s and the end of steam operation in the North Island in 1968, the old station was replaced by one opened on the site of the locomotive depot in 1975. The former Frankton South End signalbox was relocated to the Hamilton Miniature Engineers’ site at Minogue Park in Te Rapa, opposite the new Te Rapa loco depot, while the station building ended up near Waikato University as a cafe.
An extensive bus network provides coverage of Hamilton City. Many routes extend radially from the central business district, while two ring routes encompass the central business district and the outer suburbs. An advert in a 1937 Railways Magazine showed 10 buses in the Buses Ltd fleet and said they met all trains at Frankton. Buses Ltd had cut its fares in 1928 to achieve a virtual monopoly by driving Green Bus Co. out of business. New Zealand’s main road artery State Highway 1 runs through several of Hamilton’s suburbs and connects with State Highway 3 at a major intersection within the city boundaries. The Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, due for completion in 2019, will carry State Highway 1 to the east of Hamilton City, effectively bypassing the city and easing congestion between commuting city traffic and through traffic. The Cambridge section of the expressway, due for completion in 2016, will help ease congestion between Hamilton and Cambridge. The Hamilton Ring Road project was initiated to free some of the city’s streets from peak-traffic congestion and improve connectivity around the city. It involved extending Wairere Drive to run from Cambridge Road to the Avalon Road Bypass. As part of the project, large segments of Wairere Drive and the Pukete Bridge were widened from two lanes to four lanes. Safer Speed Areas 40 km/h limits were first introduced in Hamilton in 2011 and by 2014 there were 36 of them, many in suburbs near the river.
Hamilton’s climate is oceanic (Köppen: Cfb ), with highly moderated temperatures due to New Zealand’s location surrounded by ocean. Despite this, as the largest inland city in the country winter mornings can be cold by New Zealand standards (the lowest of the North Island’s main centres), occasionally dropping as low as −4 °C (25 °F). Likewise summers can be some of the hottest in the country with temperatures rising as high as 29 °C. Hamilton also features very high humidity (similar to tropical climates such as Singapore) which can make temperatures feel uncomfortably warm or cold. Ground frosts are common and snow is possible but rare. The only recorded snowfall in modern times was light snowflakes in mid August 2011 during a prolonged cold period that saw snowfall as far north as Dargaville. Hamilton receives considerable precipitation amounting to around 1,100mm over 125 days per year. This coupled with average sunshine hours of around 2000 makes Hamilton and the surrounding Waikato an extremely fertile region. Typically summers are warm and dry and winters cool and wet. Fog is common during winter mornings, especially close to the Waikato River which runs through the city centre. Heavy fog usually burns off by noon to produce sunny and calm winter days. Hamilton also has the lowest average wind speed of New Zealand’s main centres as a result of its inland location, in a depression surrounded by high hills and mountains.