Hamilton’s west town belt 1913

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One of the goals of Hamilton Urban Blog is to promote the Hamilton Green Ring project

John Claudius Loudon’s 1829 proposal for ‘zones of country’, ‘breathing zones’ or ‘breathing places’ is shown as a belt that surrounds a city, similar to those in the proposed frontier towns to be built on confiscated land in the Waikato, including Hamilton’s original town belt. Over the years, the southern river link of Hamilton’s belt has come apart, with the sale of land for housing development and schools fencing their boundaries.

It is good that the council has increased park land area to the south. Also, the Hospital land is still in government ownership, including a parcel of land between the Lake, at 198 Pembroke St, linking to Selwyn St and the Hospital campus. This gives an option to link the Lake Path to the Hospital campus with an accessible path at a friendly gradient, suitable for 8- to 80-year-olds.

Looking to the northern part of the belt, the Waitawhiriwhiri stream and river area of the town belt is explained by Loudon (p. 690):

“In cases where towns and villages stretch along rivers, in very narrow vales, on the ridges of hills, or in narrow strips along the sea coast, these zones become unnecessary, because the surface of the land is supposed to be open on one or on both sides.”

My town belt drawing is based on the ‘Plan of Hamilton Borough and Frankton Borough’ which was drawn by Rob Airey in April 1913. The drawing includes the names of Surveyor General James Mackenzie, Chief Draughtsman Head Office Wellington, H.T.McCardell, and Chief Surveyor Auckland H.M.Skeet. This drawing is a bit more generous than earlier maps with regard to invasion/confiscation names. Hamilton Lake has the inclusion of its original name (Rotoroa), Te Rapa has moved north into Frankton borough as Te Rapa Parish, Pukete Parish is on the north side of Waitawhiriwhiri steam and Kirikiriroa Railway Station is in Claudelands

Category: Advocacy, News, Planning, Walking

One comment on “Hamilton’s west town belt 1913

  1. I would include the cricket and rugby stadia in the land lost. They are pretty well fenced off and inaccesible. I’d also note that with the closure of the bowling club, more of the ‘lost’ land could be returned although it seems there’s talk of how to ‘dispose’ of it rather than return it to public park.

    I think a lot of investment is needed before this breathing space is actually somewhere people go and use. There is very little in the way of infrastructure to make it inviting to people such as seats or benches, drinking fountains, toilets, paths etc.

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