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Stay informed with the latest news about the Ruakura development.

Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga team up to deliver Ruakura Inland Port

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Media Release | 27 February 2020

Tainui Group Holdings and Port of Tauranga today announced they plan to develop a 50:50 joint venture to bring the Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton to fruition within two years.

The new joint venture will take an initial 50-year ground lease to establish the inland port, and plans to start port operations at Ruakura following the opening of the nearby Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway, currently scheduled for the end of 2021.

Parekawhia McLean, Chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato, the Waikato-Tainui parliament (and parent organisation of Tainui Group Holdings) said the iwi is pleased to team up with New Zealand’s largest international hub port to bring Ruakura Inland Port to life.

“It’s exciting to confirm a concrete path forward for this project of national significance which will unlock economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand, our region and our iwi,” Ms McLean said.

Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says there is a strong logic to team up with Tainui Group Holdings to unlock efficiencies for importers and exporters by utilising Ruakura Inland Port.

“This new partnership adds to our strong and growing capacity to serve the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. It combines our own expertise in developing and operating ports, the deep regional connections of Tainui Group Holdings and the scale and efficiencies offered by Ruakura and its road and rail connections,” Mr Cairns said.

“By enhancing the MetroPort Auckland to Tauranga rail service with calls at Ruakura, we can unlock significant environmental and economic benefits for freight customers,” he said.

Local communities will also benefit, with TGH modelling showing a potential 60,000 truck movements per year removed from the region’s roads when Ruakura is fully developed.

Chris Joblin, Chief Executive of Tainui Group Holdings, said the shared strategic interest with Port of Tauranga had become increasingly obvious as the market landscape evolved.

“This agreement brings clarity and certainty to the development of Ruakura Inland Port and signals we are open for business.  As the largest port in New Zealand, Port of Tauranga will bring world class expertise in developing and running ports,” said Mr Joblin. 

“We are excited to enter this partnership based on strongly aligned values and interests. And for our iwi, it means we can make the inland port a reality in a way that retains the underlying whenua, which will never be sold.”

“With 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses, we expect a number of other customer conversations in progress to bear fruit in the coming months as distribution and logistics companies and manufacturers seek out a preferential location at Ruakura.”

Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings have been in talks since initially signing a rail services agreement in mid-August last year to enable Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port.

The “golden triangle” of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga already accounts for around half of all freight volumes in New Zealand and container volumes are forecast to grow 60% in container volumes by 2042.

KiwiRail operates up to 86 trains per week for Port of Tauranga between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga, carrying up to 9,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The route currently has unused capacity and the additional service stop will improve utilisation and reduce the number of trucks on roads.

ENDS

Notes to editor

Ruakura is a visionary logistics hub designed to help importers and exporters unlock the golden triangle. Offering genuine scale, the core of the development is a 30ha inland port which will offer direct access to major seaports via main trunk rail services and the Waikato Expressway. Complementing the inland port is a 192ha logistics and industrial precinct offering room to grow for businesses seeking a substantial footprint, and adjoining precincts for commercial, residential and retail use. Ruakura is long-term project by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and its business partners. TGH’s track record includes quality developments at The Base, one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, and hotels at Auckland Airport and Hamilton as part of the $950m diversified portfolio it manages on behalf of 76,000 Waikato-Tainui iwi members.

For further information please contact:

Port of Tauranga
Rochelle Lockley
+64 21 865 884
rochellel@port-tauranga.co.nz

Tainui Group Holdings
Sonya Haggie
+64 21 946 633
sonya.haggie@tgh.co.nz

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Port of Tauranga and Port Ruakura LP announce rail service partnership for Ruakura

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Port of Tauranga and the TGH-subsidiary Port Ruakura LP today announced a long-term partnership to support the development of the planned Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton.

The agreement allows Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port, giving Waikato-based importers and exporters direct access to fast international shipping services calling at Tauranga. Tauranga is the only port call for the biggest container ships visiting New Zealand. Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the planned Ruakura Inland Port offers significant cargo handling capacity and scope to meet future needs. The 480-hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses including the planned 30 hectare inland port.

“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s international hub port and the main cargo gateway for the upper North Island,” he says.

“It’s an excellent example of Port of Tauranga’s partnership approach to providing supply chain infrastructure beyond our Bay of Plenty hinterland.”

Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin welcomed the long-term partnership on behalf of Port Ruakura LP.

“This initial 30-year agreement with Port of Tauranga is a key step towards fulfilling our vision for Ruakura to unlock the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga for importers and exporters,” he says.

“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow. This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura,” he says.

The golden triangle already accounts for around half of all freight volumes in New Zealand and container volumes are forecast to grow 60% in container volumes by 2042.

Port of Tauranga’s partner KiwiRail operates up to 86 trains per week between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga, carrying up to 9,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). The route currently has unused capacity and the additional service stop will improve utilisation and reduce the number of trucks on roads.

The agreement provides Port of Tauranga with priority rail slots at the Ruakura facility for an initial term of 30 years. Port Ruakura LP will provide the necessary infrastructure, including a rail siding, hardstand and cargo storage areas.

Development of the Ruakura Inland Port is scheduled to follow the completion of an adjacent Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway currently expected to be late 2021.

KiwiRail CEO Greg Miller says the Upper North Island is a key growth region for KiwiRail and New Zealand.

“This is another example of the supply chain collaborating with KiwiRail to design and deliver rail infrastructure to better connect New Zealand,” he says.

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Whakanuia! It’s All About Scale

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TGH CEO Chris Joblin  says Ruakura remains the number one commercial priority for TGH and the foundations are falling into place with solid progress on enabling works over the past year.

Work to date includes the pre-loading of the first 6ha of the inland port, which is complete, and construction of water and waste water infrastructure is now underway. A lot of work has gone into planning the rail siding and the local roads network.

“Our biggest priority in 2019 is to get underway on construction of the re-aligned local roads to connect the inland port to the Waikato Expressway,” says Chris.

TGH is now targeting for stage 1 of the inland port to open in the first half of 2021 to align with the completion of those local roads and the Waikato Expressway.

“With our JV partners LINX Cargo Care, we’re building a strong network of supply chain partners and customers. We’re deeply engaged with the likes of KiwiRail, the ports and freight owners to create a seamless long-term solution,” he says.

“All the deep market trends continue to support Ruakura; there is a greater push on than ever before to have same day/overnight delivery across the North Island, and this is much easier to achieve out of Hamilton than Auckland.”

TGH has brought in a new project director for Ruakura. He’s Alan McKinnon whose world class development expertise includes roles as Project Director for Sylvia Park and senior roles with two of the world’s largest companies: Tesco Property in China and Apple Inc Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong.

With pre-loading of the first 6ha of the inland port now finished, construction of water and waste water infrastructure is underway.

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TGH appoints leasing manager for Ruakura

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Tainui Group Holdings has appointed highly experienced commercial property broker Leon Johnson as Leasing Manager for its 480-hectare Ruakura inland port development in the Waikato.

Mr Johnson will join TGH from Colliers International. Since graduating from the University of Waikato in 2002, Leon has spent the last 15 years living and breathing commercial property, specialising in project leasing, development and investment sales.

Of Ngati Porou descent, Mr Johnson is no stranger to TGH. He acted as key leasing agent for The Base and Te Awa (New Zealand’s largest shopping complex by net lettable area) and says the experience with The Base made the opportunity to become involved in Ruakura too good to pass by.

“The size and scope of Ruakura can make a real difference for the Waikato, for New Zealand and the businesses which will be based at and using Ruakura. From previous experience, I know the results are outstanding when TGH put their considerable resources towards a project,” Mr Johnson says.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin says Mr Johnson’s appointment will strengthen TGH’s response to the strong demand coming from Auckland and nationally for large scale industrial sites at the 480-hectare Ruakura development.

“With industrial resource consents secured earlier this year, we can now get down to business talking to the manufacturers and distributors who have signalled a clear interest in seeking large-scale sites to future proof their operations. Excellent progress in construction means we can now talk timeframes with potential customers, and Leon can help them secure the full benefits of the Ruakura precinct,” says Mr Joblin.

Mr Johnson says Ruakura’s scale and connections to road and rail in the golden triangle between Auckland, Tauranga and the Waikato make it attractive for a wide range of uses from warehouses, distribution sites and pack houses to manufacturing operations.

“The future opportunities for complementary businesses in sectors such as the knowledge-industries, and in
commercial, retail and hospitality, are outstanding,” Mr Johnson says.

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Ruakura secures resource consents to meet industrial demand

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) has secured resource consents to subdivide and develop the 48 hectare industrial site adjacent to stage one of its inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura on Hamilton’s eastern boundary.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin says securing the consents for industrial development equips TGH to respond to the strong demand coming from Auckland and nationally for large scale industrial sites at the 480 hectare Ruakura development.

“Land costs and usage pressures in South Auckland have been driving enquiry South and we are in talks with a number of major manufacturers and distributors seeking large scale sites to future proof their operations,” Mr Joblin says.

These industrial resource consents mean TGH can provide potential industrial tenants with time certainty about relocating their operations. Being adjacent to the inland port, these early movers will be best placed to get the full benefits of the wider 480 hectare precinct.

“We are experiencing a high level of customer and tenant enquiries particularly from major warehousing and distribution businesses looking to relocate outside Auckland including significant players in construction equipment and materials, food and drink processing, and from within the dairy, forestry, horticulture and retailing sectors.

“Our potential tenants and customers can now be assured in their own planning for warehouses, distribution sites, pack houses or other facilities to take advantage of sites which are well connected by road and rail and offer port neutrality between Auckland and Tauranga. That certainty will be appreciated by businesses taking a long-term view of their own growth as well as growth in the golden triangle,” Mr Joblin says.

With direct connection to the future Waikato Expressway, the industrial zoning opens up opportunities for a wide range of development options.

Mr Joblin says the 48ha site, with its easy access to prime productive regions, lends itself to export activities, such as packing facilities or horticultural exports. Importers are also suited as two million people live within 140km, lending itself towards North Island or regional distribution centres for food products or retail merchandise.”

Leasing enquiries for the wider Ruakura precinct are being managed by leading industrial leasing specialists JLL.

Sam Smith, Head of Industrial for JLL, confirms that enquiry levels are strong for large footprint sites in the Waikato.

“New distribution-based business models requiring more scale, efficiencies and connectivity are driving a significant number of businesses to consolidate smaller, older and fragmented sites into larger, well connected central developments,” says Mr Smith.

Meanwhile leading civil engineering and resources company Fulton Hogan is well advanced with the initial works covering the first six hectares of what will eventually be a 31 hectare inland port with the capacity to handle around 1 million TEUs (20 foot container equivalents) per year when fully built. TGH, along with its JV partner LINX Cargo Care Group Ltd expects to commence initial operations at the inland port in the first half of 2019.

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