Hillcrest, Hamilton

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A neighbourhood in Hillcrest, Hamilton.
A neighbourhood in Hillcrest, Hamilton.
CountryNew Zealand
Local authorityHamilton, New Zealand
Electoral wardHamilton East
 (2018 Census)
 • Total5,760
Claudelands Ruakura Silverdale
Hamilton East
Riverlea Tamahere

Hillcrest is a suburb in southeastern Hamilton in New Zealand. The suburb is home to the University of Waikato and consequently has a large student population. It is located on the east side of the Hamilton Town Belt, a series of public parks that run from the Hamilton Gardens to Ruakura in its eastern section.


The area was formerly known as Steele's Hill, named after Capt. W. Steele. Much of it was covered in orchards in the early 1900s. It was named Hillcrest by the Waikato County Council in the 1940s when the area began developing as a suburb. Hillcrest became a part of Hamilton in 1949, with the 5th boundary extension.[1] Significant development took place throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

Features of Hillcrest[edit]

The University of Waikato[edit]

The main campus of the University of Waikato was established in 1964. In 2010, the university had 13,089 students enrolled, the majority based at the Hillcrest campus.

Academy of Performing Arts[edit]

Opened in 2001, the Academy of Performing Arts is a prominent music and theatre venue in Hamilton. Its concert chamber is one of Hamilton's premier classical music venues.[2]

Former Hamilton Railway Station[edit]

The Station on Hillcrest Road is the former main railway station for Hamilton. The building was relocated from Victoria Street to its current Hillcrest location in the 1960s, when the Hamilton Central underground train station was built. It is one of the few surviving railway stations that were built during the time that Julius Vogel was in charge of New Zealand's Public Works Department.[3]


Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [4]

Hillcrest, comprising the statistical areas of Hillcrest West (Hamilton City) and Hillcrest East (Hamilton City), had a population of 5,760 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 378 people (7.0%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 627 people (12.2%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,803 households. There were 2,874 males and 2,889 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.99 males per female, with 1,056 people (18.3%) aged under 15 years, 2,061 (35.8%) aged 15 to 29, 2,190 (38.0%) aged 30 to 64, and 459 (8.0%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 59.5% European/Pākehā, 16.9% Māori, 6.1% Pacific peoples, 26.2% Asian, and 4.7% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).

The proportion of people born overseas was 37.2%, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 48.1% had no religion, 34.0% were Christian, 2.5% were Hindu, 3.2% were Muslim, 3.1% were Buddhist and 4.5% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 1,599 (34.0%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 432 (9.2%) people had no formal qualifications. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 2,085 (44.3%) people were employed full-time, 795 (16.9%) were part-time, and 300 (6.4%) were unemployed.[4]

Individual statistical areas
Name Population Median age Median income
Hillcrest West (Hamilton City) 2,667 27.2 years $24,700
Hillcrest East (Hamilton City) 3,093 27 years $22,600
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

The 2013 Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation, ranked 1-10 from lowest to most deprived areas, lists the University section of Hillcrest at 8/10 (high deprivation) and the Hillcrest West section at 6/10 (moderate deprivation).[5]


Hillcrest Normal School and Knighton Normal School are state co-educational contributing primary schools (years 1-6) with rolls of 570 and 638 students respectively.[6][7] Hillcrest Normal opened in 1923,[8] and Knighton Normal opened in 1957.[9] The term "Normal" comes from the French term école normale and means these schools assist in the training of teachers.[10]

St John's College is a single-sex integrated Catholic ssecondary school (years 9-13) with a roll of 846.[11]

Rolls are as of March 2020.[12]

Despite the name, Hillcrest High School is actually located in the neighbouring suburb of Silverdale.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hamilton Street Name Index, Hamilton Public Library
  2. ^ "Academy of Performing Arts". University of Waikato. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
  3. ^ Historic Hamilton: East and West of the River - New Zealand Historic Places Trust
  4. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Hillcrest West (Hamilton City) (180600) and Hillcrest East (Hamilton City) (180700). 2018 Census place summary: Hillcrest West (Hamilton City) 2018 Census place summary: Hillcrest East (Hamilton City)
  5. ^ "Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation for Areas within the Hamilton East Electorate". Parliament New Zealand. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  6. ^ Education Counts: Hillcrest Normal School
  7. ^ Education Counts: Knighton Normal School
  8. ^ "About Hillcrest Normal School". Hillcrest Normal School. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  9. ^ "School History". Knighton Normal School. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Normal School". Knighton Normal School. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  11. ^ Education Counts: St John's College
  12. ^ "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 26 April 2020.

Coordinates: 37°47′52″S 175°18′54″E / 37.7978°S 175.3150°E / -37.7978; 175.3150