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Stay informed with the latest news about the Ruakura development.

Ruakura a step closer to reality as resource consents lodged

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) has taken a major step towards fulfilment of its vision for a 480 hectare work, live and play hub at Ruakura with the lodging of resource consents for the first stages of the landmark development.

TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said the lodging of resource consents for the development with Hamilton City Council yesterday afternoon, caps off years of master planning, community consultation and last year’s Board of Inquiry.

“A huge amount of work and consideration has gone in to ensure this project of national significance adds maximum value for the Waikato region, Hamilton City, the local community and the Waikato-Tainui people,” Mr Joblin says.

“Ruakura sits at the apex of the ‘golden triangle’ of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. It will offer the best of both worlds in road and rail linkages through the Ruakura interchange to the Waikato Expressway and the East Coast main trunk rail line. This highlights the foresight central and local Government have had in investing in the future of this region.

“Sixty Five per cent of all New Zealand’s freight is transported between these three cities and is forecast to double over the next 30 years,” Mr Joblin says.

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker welcomed the lodging of the resource consents, saying Ruakura was a central plank in the economic development strategy for the city going forward.

“Ruakura will help balance up the east-west economic footprint of Hamilton and will be a platform for generating the next wave of jobs for Hamiltonians and the region,” Mayor Hardaker says.

The resource consents are for a total area of 78 hectares, including provision for 48 hectares of freight and logistics facilities, as well as a balance of open space, site buffers and screening, stormwater reserves and roads.

Ruakura will help put Hamilton and the Waikato on a stronger and more balanced economic footing, generating thousands of jobs as well as much-needed efficiencies to the national supply chain.

“The market demand for Ruakura is already with us,” Mr Joblin says. “We are responding to a strong level of market interest from major players about locating their facilities at Ruakura – including interest from several potential inland port operators,” Mr Joblin says.

When completed the Ruakura development will span an area larger than Auckland’s CBD and be New Zealand’s largest freight logistics hub and integrated commercial and lifestyle development. It will include an inland port, industrial park, research, development and educational facilities, a shopping area containing retail space, cafes and bars, a residential area and a reserve and recreational area set aside as public open space.

“Ruakura has always been about the bigger picture; our vision is to create a real community that combines well-designed spaces for people to work, live and play amidst a well protected environment and a high level of amenities for workers and residents to enjoy,” Mr Joblin says.

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Green light ushers in new phase for Ruakura development

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and Chedworth Properties have welcomed final approval from the Ruakura Board of Inquiry to re-zone land they own at Ruakura from rural to ‘employment and residential’ uses.

TGH Chief Executive Mike Pohio says the decision marks the outcome of a significant phase of master planning and ushers in the next stage of applying for resource consents for specific elements within the planned 800+ hectare development.

“We are very grateful to all the parties who made submissions during the Board of Inquiry, whether from the community, local Government or technical experts. These submissions rigorously tested all our thinking that went into the master plan, and we made a number of changes to accommodate feedback from the community and experts,” Mr Pohio says.

“Like our development partners at Chedworth Properties, our team at TGH has worked very hard to bring the Ruakura project this far. We are excited about its potential for Waikato-Tainui and the people of Hamilton as we work together to deliver a real work, live and play community which will include a state of the art logistics hub tapping in to strong rail links.”

Mr Pohio said TGH’s first priority is to prepare further detailed project plans taking into account the conditions set out in the Board of Inquiry’s comprehensive 500+ page ruling.

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Tainui Group Holdings and Chedworth Properties welcome Plan Change for Ruakura

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and Chedworth Properties have welcomed an interim decision by the Board of Inquiry to approve the re-zoning of land at Ruakura from ‘rural’ to ‘employment and residential’ uses.

TGH Chief Executive Mike Pohio says the decision is very pleasing, however the companies will take more time to study the Board of Inquiry’s finding while it awaits the final decision, expected in around mid-September.

“The six week Board of Inquiry process has been very comprehensive. During this time we have made a point of listening very closely to the various concerns and suggestions raised in the hearings. We have altered our plans to accommodate feedback wherever possible,” Mr Pohio said.

“We are excited about the potential of Ruakura both for Waikato-Tainui and the people of Hamilton. Our vision is to build a real community at Ruakura with an exciting mix of high-quality ‘work, live and play’ elements.”

The plans include a logistics hub that will make Hamilton and the Waikato a more prosperous and better place to live, with the potential to generate over 10,000 jobs, and better utilise rail to take up to 65,000 truck journeys off the road each year.

The plans also include a new residential subdivision on the city’s East side by Chedworth Properties.

“This interim decision by the Board of Inquiry gives us more clarity on the planning framework and we look forward to working closely with the local community and Councils over the coming months as we work through the next planning steps,” Mr Pohio said.

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Ruakura Board of Inquiry Announcement Welcomed

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Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and Chedworth Properties Ltd (CPL) today welcomed the announcement of the membership of the Board of Inquiry that will consider their Ruakura private plan change.

The Board must first decide whether to accept the plan change for processing. If it does, notification of the inquiry and public hearings will follow. The Board must make its decision within nine months of the notification.

“We’re pleased to have reached this point,” says Mike Pohio, Chief Executive of TGH.

“We have the support of many organisations, and recognition in key regulatory documents including the Waikato Regional Council’s Regional Policy Statement and Hamilton City Council’s Proposed District Plan.”

“There has also been extensive consultation on this development over a number of years.”

“We now look forward to presenting our submission to such a learned Board of Inquiry panel.”

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Minister’s decision a timely one for Hamilton

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Tainui Group Holdings and Chedworth Properties Limited today welcomed the decision by the Minister for the Environment to refer part of their Ruakura development to a Board of Inquiry.

In June the two companies lodged an application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) seeking a change to the Hamilton City Operative District Plan. Later that month the City Council announced that it supported the application. In July, the EPA concluded that it was a matter of national significance, and recommended to the Minister for the Environment that the application be directed to a Board of Inquiry.

Once appointed, the Board must first agree to accept the plan change for processing. If it does, all decisions by the Board must be made within nine months of the date of public notification, which is expected later this year. During that period, the Board must hold hearings, deliberate and make a decision.

“We’ve already provided comprehensive documentation, all of which is now available on the EPA’s website for public viewing,” says Mike Pohio, Tainui Group Holding’s Chief Executive.

“The documents cover all aspects of the plan, from environmental and cultural impact reports, through to economic, traffic, lighting and acoustic studies.”

“We look forward to participating in the Board process and working through any issues to ensure that this nationally important project can proceed.”

Mr Pohio says that the importance of the project for the Waikato has been brought into sharp relief by the recent spate of job cuts in the region, to date totalling over 450.

“The Ruakura project will be a huge and timely shot in the arm.”

“If the Board of Inquiry approves the plan, and resource consents can be readily obtained for the initial stages, Ruakura will be able to create up to 740 new jobs within the first five years. That more than offsets what we’ve just lost,” he says.

“These will be permanent positions created in the intermodal terminal and within new logistics and light industrial companies locating adjacent to it. In addition, there will also be quite a number of shorter-term construction jobs.”

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