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.