“A rising tide floats all boats,” said Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) CEO Chris Joblin at last week’s Waikato Chamber of Commerce tour of Ruakura's inland port.
And that tide appears to be the development of the inland port, which is projected to bring billions into the New Zealand economy and thousands of jobs to the Waikato.
The 480-hectare site is a project of national significance as it strives to create a thriving business, learning and lifestyle hub.
“What we want is for this region and community to be strong and vibrant,” Chris said.
TGH has masterplanned and now begun site works to configure the major inland port at Ruakura, which will serve the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga.
“Our inland port will connect Auckland and Tauranga with Hamilton. Ruakura is going to touch us all.
“At the moment, the imports go into Auckland and the exports go out of Tauranga. The most efficient supply chain is when importers and exporters are located in the same place – from a ‘NZ Inc’ point of view this creates the most efficient supply chain and Ruakura will facilitate this. It will also provide between 6,000 to 12,000 jobs within the wider logistics and industrial precinct,” Chris said.
There is a dedicated 31 hectares of land for the inland port. Adjacent to the south of the port is 35 hectares of consented logistics-zoned land which will be used for warehousing and distribution including cross docking, container storage, container unloading/loading, biosecurity/customs procedures, and related support uses.
At this time, the port opening is dependent on the Waikato Expressway being completed, including the diamond interchange at Ruakura, which should be finished by 2020.
The site itself is larger than Auckland’s CBD and has been divided into five integrated zones with the inland port at the heart of the logistics hub.
The five zones include the inland port and logistics hub, an industrial park, learning zone with research and educational facilities and adjacent new residential and retail precincts.
Chris said sustainability and future proofing are key considerations for the development of Ruakura.
“We’ll be looking to use embedded networks and including solar energy ,and electric vand autonomous vehicles, as well as future-proofing the site as far as possible to cater to emerging technologies,” he said.
There are extensive provisions to protect the environment and amenity, including more than 50 hectares of open space, planted trees and cycleways.
Chris said external investment would be considered for Ruakura where it comes with significant expertise, as was the case with choosing LINX Cargo Care Ltd as a joint venture partner to operate the inland port and TGH wanted to work with as many local businesses and investors as possible in a “long and strong approach to partnership.”
He said early movers to Ruakura would help shape the development.
Ruakura intends to become, not only the region’s, but New Zealand’s largest commercial and industrial hub.
- 480ha of development land
- 3km to the east of Hamilton CBD
- 330ha of land for industrial development
- 31ha of land for the inland port
- 100% of land held under single ownership
- 6000-12000 jobs within the precinct