Link received from Hype O’Thermia
Sat, 4 Apr 2015 at 10:20 a.m.
█ Message: Local shop owners blame lack of free parking and rising costs for “demise” of Hamilton’s CBD.
The Central Business District of Hamilton is looking a little gloomy, with for lease signs up in many shop windows.
### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00, April 4 2015
Hamilton central-city retail space sits empty
By Rachel Thomas and Nancy El-Gamel
Twenty per cent of ground level central Hamilton retail space is empty. Local shop owners are blaming lack of free parking and rising costs, while business leaders are pointing fingers at absentee landlords, sub-standard buildings and an inability to compete with lower rents at The Base.
The Base is New Zealand’s largest shopping Centre based in Te Rapa, 7 km North of Hamilton CBD.
To quantify what the average shopper sees [in the CBD], the Waikato Times counted all ground floor premises in the block within Hood St, Victoria St, Angelsea St and Liverpool St, finding that of 524 premises, the 104 empty ones outnumbered the 67 locally owned and operated stores in the area. […] Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker acknowledged the CBD needed desperate attention, and said council was taking a “holistic approach” to the problem. […] “For the city centre to be successful it must be commercially and economically successful and over the last few decades most reports have focused on physical changes, so we have started with an economic analysis and looked at the trend since 2001 in terms of the economy.”
Read more + Video
Read comments to the article.
How many other places – like Dunedin – mirror Hamilton ?
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
*Images: Waikato Times/Stuff – Hamilton CBD [screenshots from video]
Filed under Architecture, Business, DCC, Design, Economics, Geography, Hot air, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium
Tagged as Amenity, Analysis, Architecture, Building performance, Built environment, CBD, Cities, Commuting, Coordinated planning, Cultural identity, DCC, Diligence, Dunedin, Dunedin Cit Council, Earthquake strengthening, Economics, Foot counts, Free parking, Hamilton, Heritage, Historic heritage, Holistic review, Identity, Leases, Local authorities, New Zealand, Online shopping, Parking, Pattern making, People places, Physical changes, Population, Regeneration, Retail, Sense of Place, Shops, Street life, Sustainability, Urban design, Urban villages, Vibrancy, Work patterns
Received Sun, 21 Apr 2013 14:45:37 +1200
Topic ring a bell? We are using DCC and Kaipara as the salutary case studies.
Larry N. Mitchell
Finance & Policy Analyst (Local Government)
PO Box 404 103, Puhoi 0951, Auckland, New Zealand
Phone: 09 422 0598 Mobile: 027 479 2328
Read here or scroll to end of post to download this paper.
Councils “in stchook”
… their debt is way too high … it matters … so do proper disclosures
Dealing as I do, with matters of New Zealand Council finances, the one area that produces most comment, sometimes heated debate, is Council debt. Public discussion of Council debt is muddled, an often fractious difference of opinion generating more heat than light.
For example, the most recent (March 2013) Office of the Auditor General’s report of their findings from New Zealand Local Government audits concludes that Councils have their debt levels “within a reasonable range”. Recent New Zealand Local Government Association press releases concur.
Compare these reassuring findings to those of the 2013 NZ LG League Table where the lowest ranked 15% (10 in number) of New Zealand Councils are revealed as exhibiting unfavourable financial sustainability and community affordability issues. Both contradictory positions can’t be right. Unfortunately, the debate over Council debt is complicated by unsatisfactory public reporting-disclosures.
Discussions of Council debt are often compounded by current Council practices. These amount to opaque, imprecise Council debt accounting and “smoke and mirrors” disclosures. It is tempting to suggest that these are deliberate attempts to suppress discussion of Council debt on a “don’t scare the horses” basis.
This is particularly evident for use of the term by Councils of “Internal Borrowing”, a meaningless label, better described as “Robbing Peter”, covering as it does Council treasury management dealings involving a clear misuse (some might say misappropriation) of asset replacement funds.
Add to these sleights of hand a motivation for the more highly indebted Councils to keep their heads down when their debt totals soar, along with a tendency toward misinformation.
Continue reading →
Filed under Business, DCC, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property
Tagged as Accounting, Analysis, Auditors, Audits, Case studies, Conflicts of interest, Core business, Council debt CRISIS, Councils, DCC, Debt, Dunedin, Dunedin City Council, Finance, Financial reporting, Intergenerational debt, Larry N Mitchell, LGA, Local bodies, Local government, Local Government Act, Misrepresentation, Money, New Zealand, OAG, Office of the Auditor-General, Policy, Residents and ratepayers