Ruakura Development Timeline

Ruakura is a multi decade development project creating a thriving business and lifestyle hub with logistics and port facilities.

The early years

The meaning of Ruakura comes from a pit in the area that was used to burn iron oxide. The iron oxide was found in the surrounding swamps and once burnt it created a red pigment, in turn staining the pit red. Thus giving rise to the name Rua (hole or pit) kura (red).

2014-09-12_17.33.40 In pre European times the topography of Ruakura was generally flat with gentle rolling hills and shallow gulley systems that was covered in wetlands and interspersed with mixed forests of native trees. There was a network of pathways or walking tracks along the ridgelines of the area to give easy access to these wetland food resources which many now are major roads such as SH26.

Ngaati Wairere and Ngaati Haua are tangata whenua over the Ruakura area and form part of the extended Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui authority. The earliest evidence of habitation of the area was between 1550 and 1625 when charcoal deposits were discovered in Hukanui Road in 1996.

1840 – 1860

Tainui golden years peaked with flourishing flax & flour mills littered along the Waikato river resulting in international trade to Australia, England & America. The waterways and forests also provided enough kai to sustain our people and uphold the principle of manaakitanga.

waikato tainui

Te Kiingitanga

1858

Beginning of the Kiingitanga movement. Pootatau Te Wherowhero becomes the first Kiingi Maaori. Kiingitanga was established to unite the tribes of NZ to stop the alienation of Maaori lands.

1863

Waikato land wars started when colonial armed forces crossed the Mangatawhiri River and resulted in 1,202,172 acres of land confiscated in the Tainui tribal area.

Section-2-land-wars

1884

The second Maaori Kiingi Tuukaaroto Matutaera Pootatau Te Wherowhero Taawhiao led a party to England to petition Queen Victoria over the confiscation of the land.

1903

The third Maaori Kiingi Mahuta Taawhiao Pootatau Te Wherowhero, looked to bring Maaori and Paakehaa closer and accepted Premier Richard Seddon’s offer of a seat on the Legislative Council and in the ministry.

1914

The fourth Maaori Kiingi Te Rata Mahuta Pootatau Te Wherowhero travelled to London with Tupu Taingaakawa Te Waharoa to present a petition to the British Crown as Kiingi Taawhiao had some 30 years earlier.

The shaping years

Ruakura Farms In the late 1800’s the wetlands and forests were removed around Ruakura to allow for the establishment of intensive farming activities and the Ruakura AgResearch Station was formed in the early 1900’s.

1975 – 1992

Return of the sacred Taupiri Mountain, Hopuhopu army base and Te Rapa airforce base land.

Taupri

1995

Settlement

* Image used with permission

Waikato-Tainui became the first major iwi to settle a historical grievance when The Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Settlement Act 1995 was signed on the 22nd May. This included an apology by Crown, return of lands (only 3% was returned and 3% were gifted to Aotearoa), cash, interest, relativity clause, outstanding claims section 8 (2)(a), making the total package $170m.

* Queen Elizabeth and Dame Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu – Photograph taken by John Nicholson. Reference No: EP/1995/4375B/33A-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

The planning years

2001

Waikato Expressway

NZTA – Waikato Expressway. The route selection and alignment of the Hamilton Section was determined as part of a wider project which commenced in 1995 and covered the long term development of State Highway 1 (SH1) between Ohinewai and Cambridge. The Notice of Requirement for the original designation was lodged in 2001 and the designation was secured in 2005. In July 2012, the Government identified seven Roads of National Significance (RoNS), which are considered to be the Country’s most important transport routes, requiring significant development to reduce congestion, improve safety and support economic growth. The Waikato Expressway is one of the seven RoNS.

2009

Waikato Regional Council, Hamilton City Council (HCC), Waipa and Waikato District Councils and Tangata Whenua embarked on the development of a sub-regional growth strategy, known as FutureProof. Ruakura was included in the strategic document as a key employment area.

2010

The first of the outstanding claims to be settled was the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 that has an overarching purpose of the settlement “to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River for future generations.”

Waikato River

2010

Waikato Regional Policy Statement. The Proposed Waikato Regional Policy statement (PWRPS) was notified in November 2010. Ruakura was included as a strategic industrial node located in Central FutureProof area showing industrial land allocation and timing. Economists Castalia produced a report for the RPS quantifying the magnitude of opportunity and benefits that Ruakura will bring to the region.

2011

The Ruakura R1 area transferred from Waikato District into Hamilton City on 1st July 2011. The R1 area is 822 ha and increased the size of Hamilton’s urban land area by 8%.

2012

Hamilton City Proposed District Plan (PDP). The HCC PDP was notified in December 2012. The Ruakura structure plan was included following a collaborative development process between Tainui Group Holdings, Chedworth Properties and HCC.

2014

Ruakura Board of Inquiry – On 24 June 2013, the Tainui Group Holdings Limited and Chedworth Properties Limited submitted an application requesting a change to the operative Hamilton City District Plan in relation to the proposed Ruakura Development. The Minister made her direction by declaring the Ruakura Development Plan Change request as a project of National Significance and referred the request to an independent board of inquiry. Following a full public process, including notification in national newspapers, submissions, hearings a decision to accept the Ruakura Development Plan Change request was released on the 9th September 2014 approving 389ha of land for development.

2015

The alteration to designation was confirmed, locking in the full diamond interchange at Ruakura. This will provide the direct connection to the Waikato Expressway (SH1).

Hamilton City Council notified the Ruakura Variation to its Proposed District Plan (PDP) in November 2015 for public consultation and submissions.  The  Variation will rezone all the 822ha of land in Ruakura.

2016

Resource consents have been granted by Hamilton City Council (March) and Waikato Regional Council (May) comprising a total area of 85 hectares. This incorporates the Logistics precinct including the first stage of rail for the inland port totalling 48 hectares. The balance is in the Explore precinct and will create public open space, screening, lizard and fish habitat, stormwater reserves and roading. 

NZTA started construction of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway.

The independent commissioners’ decisions on the Ruakura Variation were notified in November 2016.

Now and to the future

Current

Waikato–Tainui is once again flourishing iwi with 33 Hapu, 68 Marae, 70,000 Tribal Members, and $1.2 billion in assets. Outstanding claims include Maioro, Wairoa, West Coast Harbour.

 2017

Construction has started for the first 6 hectares of stage one of the Inland Port, with an opening date 2019.

TGH and LINX Cargo Care sign a 30 year, 50/50 joint venture to own and operate the Ruakura Inland Port. 

 

2019

NZTA Waikato Expressway – The Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway will be completed providing a 102km four lane Expressway from the Bombay Hills in the north to Cambridge in the south. It is expected the Expressway will:

  • Improve economic growth and productivity for Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty through more efficient movement of people and freight between Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua;
  • Improve the reliability of the transport network by providing a more robust and safer road network between Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua;
  • Reduce travel times between Waikato and Auckland; and
  • Support the growth strategy for the central Waikato.

2021

Ruakura master plan 2021

The first stage of the Inland Port with the full 900m long siding is anticipated to be in place. A further 115ha of land is available for development up to 2041 providing for years of supply and growth.

2041

Construction of the Inland Port will be completed providing full capability for handling 1 million TEU (or twenty foot containers) per year. The remaining 210ha is available for development of the 822ha growth cell.

Ruakura project completion

Ruakura is expected to be home to over 10,000 employees and 4,500 residents upon completion. Providing a great community to live, work and play.

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