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Visitors may be charged to see Hamilton Gardens

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/03/2017
NZD © Getty Images NZD

People visiting Hamilton will be charged $25 to see the city's themed gardens, under a proposal in a Hamilton City Council agenda.

Hamilton Gardens, a 54-hectare park is based on the banks of the Waikato River, is owned and managed by the council.

More than a million people visit the gardens each year with 325,000 going through the themed gardens, Mayor Andrew King says in an agenda update.

The themes section comprised an English Flower Garden, an Indian Char Bagh Garden, an Italian Renaissance Garden, a Japanese Garden of Contemplation, Chinese Scholar's Garden and Modernist Garden.

"Often when I visit the gardens, members of the Friends of the Gardens request that I implement entry charges for the themed gardens," Mr King says.

Staff have been investigating revenue options and have advised there are some challenges in implementing them, both operationally and in relation to reserve status, he says.

"I would like to propose that a $25 entry charge is introduced to non-residents over 18," he says.

The fee would be introduced in 2018 and the money raised would to be used to maintain and develop the themed gardens, he said.

The issue comes as pressure on tourism infrastructure increases with rising visitor numbers.

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