West Town Belt – Edgecumbe Park – my notes

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A bit of History first

Waitawhiriwhiri Pa – ‘The pa, which Maori records confirm was called Waitawhiriwhiri, was sited in the vicinity of Kotahi Avenue (some 200 metres south of Milne Park).’* The 2019 West Town Belt master-plan draft revA, shows this above the Waitawhiriwhiri Stream outlet, north side.

*Source: Wiremu Puke – Nga Tapuwae O Hotnmauea, April 2003

The 1988 Draft ‘The West Town Belt management plan’ (p12) tells us ‘The smell from an old sewerage system discouraged use and development of the gully until the late 70s when the area was cleared and an access-way developed. Since then the Hamilton Junior Naturalists have been involved in planting areas of the gully in native trees with the longer-term objective of creating an area typifying low bush succession of the Waikato. The club have produced a ‘Vegetation Survey’ on the kahikatea Type Forest Community as a guide to their planting strategy.’

The 1988 Draft ‘West Town Belt management plan’ included the above concept Plan, which shows that in the last 30 years none of what was proposed and possible has been done.

Background notes for the 1988 Draft ‘West Town Belt management plan’ set some policies (it references: Hamilton City comprehensive development plan) for the parks’ use, such as – ‘A greater use should be made of the City’s gully systems, particularly as a linkage role and for “adventure’ type children’s play areas and where possible for such activities as cycling and horse riding, and a limited amount of building should be allowed on reserve land in general’. And back to the 1988 Draft plan under the headingChildren’s Play’ (p59), there is a call for a “wild imaginative, adventurous play environment in both Willoughby and Edgecumbe gullies (Valley of the Dinosaurs and Valley of the Druids?).”


  1. The gradient of the path entering Egdecumbe Park from Uster St is deadly. The path entrance needs to be moved north to start below the rise, where there is a desire line path into the gully. From this starting point a new shared-use path should be built with a gradient of an accessible standard.
  2. Sight lines into Edgecumbe Park from the corner of Victoria and Edgecumbe Streets need improving, so should ‘dodgy’ activity happen in this park it is not being hidden.

Back to Concept 1:  ‘Possible future pedestrian underpass combined with the Waitawhiriwhiri stream pipe to link the WTB walkway with the river-walk system’ – this does sound like a practical idea.

Further reference: West Town Belt Background Information – Library REF S 333,783 099 311 51 HAM m pipe to link

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One comment on “West Town Belt – Edgecumbe Park – my notes

  1. This gully and it’s extension into what is known locally as Maeroa gully (other side of Ulster st, runs behind the stadium) has been long overdue a makeover. It seems work happens in sporadic bursts and does not fully engage with the chronic subsidence problems. Pollution has also always been a problem on the Maeroa side, clear ‘feeder’ streams turn filthy brown on reaching it and it has a stench at the Seddon road end that has never been addressed.

    Considering the huge HNZ development happening in the area (42 new houses planned for Maeroa alone), it would be great if these civil amenities were improved.

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