News & insights

Stay informed with the latest news about the Ruakura development.

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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TGH begins earthworks for Ruakura Inland Port

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) the intergenerational investor for Waikato-Tainui will later this week commence foundational earthworks for the first stage of its inland port at Ruakura.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said it was an exciting milestone after a number of years on the drawing board and in the planning rooms for the overall 480 hectare project on the eastern boundary of Hamilton.

“As a long-term, staged development project likely to span 20-30 years Ruakura will deliver great benefits for the region’s exporters and importers as well as opportunities for Waikato-Tainui people, and has the potential to support 6,000-12,000 jobs within the precinct once fully-built,” Mr Joblin says.

The site was blessed by Kiingi Tuheitia in a tribal ceremony attended by Waikato-Tainui leaders and tribal members on 28 March.

TGH has appointed New Zealand-owned infrastructure company Fulton Hogan as contractor to carry out the initial works covering the first seven 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.

“Foundational earthworks will involve trucking crushed rock into the site to pre-load the area to be used for the container marshalling yard. It will take around 12 months for the ground to settle before pavement layers, a rail siding, noise wall, screen planting and services can be completed,” Mr Joblin says.

“We are in consultation with a range of potential customers and tenants for the inland port and adjoining logistics hub which will provide ‘port neutrality’ between Ports of Auckland and Port of Tauranga.”

“The site will have excellent connections to the East Coast Main Trunk Line and to the new Waikato Expressway via a full diamond interchange,” he says.

Fulton Hogan Waikato Regional manager Kerry Watkins said the company was pleased to partner with a project of national significance.

“As we move into the initial works, keeping people safe on the roads and on the site is a top priority,” Mr Watkins says.

“We take the health and safety of our people and communities very seriously. Fulton Hogan has a zero harm policy and a commitment to safe public operations. Together with TGH, we will monitor feedback to ensure safe and courteous truck operations on public roads and seek to minimise impacts on neighbours,” he says.

Extra safety measures will include temporary traffic management warning signs, and speed restrictions.

TGH expects to appoint a world class port operator in mid-2017 following an RFP process currently underway and plans to commence initial operations at the inland port in the first half of 2019.

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TGH appoints new General Manager of Operations

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) today announced the appointment of Robert Batters to the role of General Manager Operations.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin says Mr Batters will bring to TGH considerable experience in driving complex, large scale infrastructure and development projects to completion
“Robert’s experience in shepherding major projects to completion will be a great asset for our Ruakura project as the first stage of the inland port gets underway over the coming year, and as the build-out continues over the coming years,” Mr Joblin says.

“His specialist knowledge in the electricity sector will also serve us well as the landowner for a number of significant sites occupied with electricity infrastructure,” Mr Joblin says.
Mr Batters most recent role was as National Delivery Manager – Substations at Transpower NZ in Auckland and he brings a strong working knowledge of the Waikato following an earlier role as the Senior Project Manager for Meridian’s Te Uku Wind Farm in Raglan.

Mr Batters of Ngaa Puhi and Te Roroa descent, says he is excited to bring his experience to Tainui Group Holdings.

“With Ruakura and a number of other regionally and nationally significant projects underway at TGH, I am looking forward to getting involved and playing my part to grow the commercial assets of the Waikato-Tainui people.”

Mr Batters start date with TGH is 20 February.

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TGH Appoints General Manager Ruakura

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) today announced the appointment of Blair Morris to the new role of General Manager Ruakura.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said Mr Morris’ deep experience and understanding of New Zealand’s logistics sector will be invaluable as TGH progresses its plans for an inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura to link the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

“Blair’s appointment is a key step as the region’s premier inland port and logistics hub at Ruakura comes to fruition. He brings decades of experience in understanding and meeting the needs of exporters and importers and the logistics sector,” Mr Joblin said.

For the past four and a half years Mr Morris has been General Manager Commercial at Kotahi Logistics LP, New Zealand’s largest collaboration of exporters, owned by Fonterra and Silver Fern Farms where he provided strategic direction and management of Kotahi’s business growth in New Zealand and Australia including customer solution design and customer experience.

Prior to his role at Kotahi, Mr Morris spent 22 years in the shipping industry, holding a wide variety commercial and trade management roles in Australia and New Zealand. He was General Manager of Hapag-Lloyd New Zealand (a German shipping line headquartered in Hamburg Germany) before relocating to their Singapore Corporate Office where he was Senior Director Region Asia for the business.

Mr Morris said he was looking forward to leading the development of Ruakura which the government has deemed to be a project of national significance.

“This is an exciting opportunity as Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga move ever closer as an economic unit. With the region generating high and growing levels of freight, Ruakura offers a unique opportunity to develop an infrastructure designed for New Zealand’s future needs.”

“I am excited to be part of a strategic infrastructure build and by TGH’s vision for a centrally located logistics hub to drive greater supply chain efficiency, whether for international imports, exports or domestic distribution needs. A real opportunity exists to design for scale as this multi-user development will cater for all parties across the logistics spectrum with best-in-class transport connections to offer stand-out efficiencies for users,” Mr Morris said.

Prospective port operators in New Zealand and overseas have recently submitted formal expressions of interest. A process is now in place to appoint a preferred inland port operator by early 2017. Earthworks are on track to commence on the site in the current construction season and formal marketing commences next year.

Mr Morris’ start date with TGH is Monday 5 December.

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