One of our partners, Owen Culliney, has a T-shirt given to him by his Hamilton born and bred brother-in-law. It reads “Hamiltron, City of the Future.” It doesn’t really fit him, but he wears it proudly and never more proudly than over the past few years where the slogan is very much a reality.

Over the last three years, Hamilton City Council has gradually phased out the remission scheme for new developments in the CBD. From July, all new builds in the CBD above six storeys will qualify for a 100% remission on development contribution fees in a bid to encourage developers to transform the CBD and address the accommodation shortage in Hamilton. In conjunction, any new builds in the CBD under six storeys will attract a 50% remission.

This change potentially saves developers hundreds of thousands of dollars which the good ones will pass on to the end user, but it could incentivise more developers and more businesses to come to our city and help us build a better and brighter future.

Development contributions are levies on new developments imposed by the Local Government Act 2002. These levies are required so that any new developments that create additional demand on the Council’s infrastructure system will contribute to the extra cost imposed on the community. The Council may require a development contribution either when a resource consent is granted, a building consent is granted, and/or an authorisation for a service connection is granted.

The debate has always been that the contribution is unnecessary as the development itself raises revenue for the Council via rates and a swell in population.  Councils will argue that you can’t have a city of the future if you must wait until the future for the money to build that city and developers will say that they aren’t building a city of the future in a tired old municipality that wants the cash upfront.

We imagine that debate will continue for a while yet, but we are excited to see an updated remission policy that aligns with the Government’s National Policy Statement on Urban Development. That policy statement is aimed at increasing housing developments in the biggest and fastest growing cities.

The remissions policy changes also allow the Council’s Urban Design Advisory Panel to have more influence. The Panel provides developers with free, professional, and independent advice on proposed projects and makes recommendations to the applicants on improvements that can be made to a proposal.

The Council asks for those intending to apply for a CBD remission to send their request and relevant information to To chat with a commercial property expert, email

Meanwhile, we might find Owen the same shirt in a bigger size.