Hayes Paddock in Hamilton East was developed as a garden suburb between 1939 and 1945. More than 200 state houses were built there, many of which are unchanged on the outside. The area is now protected as a heritage precinct.
One of Hamilton’s oldest suburbs. From the 1870s until the mid-20th century, Hamilton East was known by some as ‘Irishtown’. A significant number of the militiamen who settled there were of Irish descent. Hamilton East’s main street, Grey Street, was originally destined to be the main street of Hamilton. Evidence of planning for the centre of the village can be seen in the ‘village square’ concept of Steele Park and English trees along Grey Street.
Hayes Paddock incorporates wide open spaces with planted esplanade reserve and is used as a through route on the walkway/cycleway connection to Hamilton Gardens. The beach at Wellington Street is located at this reserve and is used for swimming during the summer. It is the city’s most popular river swimming location.
The state houses of the 1930s and '40s remain a distinctive feature of most towns and cities, immediately recognisable by their cottage-style windows and hipped, tiled roofs.
Also in Hamilton East, Hamilton Gardens is the Waikato’s most popular visitor attraction, with over one million visitors and over seven hundred events each year. The Council is fast-tracking development at the gardens to complete five themed gardens and improve visitor facilities over the next four years.
Te Parapara Pa was located on the Hamilton Gardens site. The pa was occupied by Ngati Wairere. The garden was renowned as a site of sacred rituals associated with harvesting food crops. There stood a Tuahu (sacred altar) called Te Ikamauroa at the pa.