Te Takapau - Paanui from Ruakura Superhub May 2022

12 May 2022

Building pride of place at Ruakura Superhub
Ruakura he ihiihi nuku, he ihiihi rangi

Development work continues on a wide range of fronts as the Ruakura Superhub tracks towards an official opening in the third quarter of this year.  After more than a decade in the planning, new sections, roads and cargo staging areas, rail sidings, buildings, infrastructure, wetlands and public amenities are springing up on all sides of the 92-hectare phase one. In this edition of Te Takapau, we also welcome cold-supply chain specialists Big Chill to Ruakura Superhub.

Warm welcome for Big Chill
He mihi mahana ki Big Chill

Refrigerated freight network operator Big Chill Distribution has been announced as the anchor tenant for the 35-hectare industrial precinct at the southern end of Ruakura Superhub. 

Around 50 people are expected to work at the new 13,000 square metre cold storage facility, capable of holding 16,000 temperature-controlled pallets at a time. It’s expected to open in July 2023.

Big Chill chief executive Michael Roberts says the new facility will target at least a four-star green building rating, which has not been achieved by a New Zealand cold store before.

“This will play an important role in our network, anchoring one corner of the golden triangle and enabling us to distribute to and from the West Coast, central North Island and East Coast while also increasing Big Chill’s capacity for overnight and same-day delivery to Auckland,” says Michael.

A taste of things to come - Big Chill CEO Michael Roberts (left) and Freightways CEO Mark Troughear (right) pictured with some of the Big Chill fleet.

An artist’s impression of the new 13,000 square metre cold storage building to open at Ruakura Superhub around July 2023.

First of many - PBT building becomes a reality
Ka tuu a PBT, te whare maataamua

Express freight operator PBT's new hub is rapidly taking shape. It includes a 2,800 square metre logistics facility with a 1,900 square metre loading canopy and a 250 square metre office. The building of mostly steel construction is targeting a Greenstar 4 rating. Ruakura Superhub project manager Mike Conlon says a fine summer and mostly clear autumn provided ideal building conditions on PBT’s 10,000 square metre site, located near the inland port. This included a 450 cubic metre concrete pour for the floor slab. 

“The team from Calder Stewart and numerous sub-contractors are making excellent progress and the building is on track for its scheduled handover to PBT in August this year,” Mike says.

The adjacent access roads are also nearing completion with the final layer of asphalt placed by Cambridge Construction.

The PBT building anchors one corner of the wider distribution hub, located adjacent to the 17-hectare inland port.

Finishing work on Inland port underway
Ka maataatupu te tauranga-ki-uta

Following several years of enabling groundworks, work is now underway on the functional aspects of the inland port.  CnR developments has completed the final stage of bulk earthworks to enable connectivity to the East Coast Main Trunk (Rail) and Port Access Road. Fulton Hogan has been awarded the contract for the civil works. Their schedule includes further stabilising layers, asphalting, construction of a gatehouse, port office, foundations for light poles and concrete for one of the two 880-metre rail sidings. Construction is now underway after KiwiRail installed the first turn-outs of the adjacent East Coast Main Trunk Line.

The inland port pad with the Western railway finger complete in the top left hand corner.

Roading network takes shape
He huarahi hora haere

The roading upgrade (Ruakura Urban Upgrade and Key Transport Connections) led by Hamilton City Council and funded by TGH, Crown Infrastructure Partners and HCC are expected to be completed in the next three months. Some of these roads sections and intersections are already open, however, final touches are in progress to make them fully functional with landscaping, road marking and traffic lights still being carried out. Around 330,000 native plants, sourced from Waikato-Tainui nurseries, will soon be planted around the new stormwater ponds next to Ruakura Road in a four-to six-week exercise.

An extensive naming process is complete for a network of six new roads and streets, as well as two public reserves and a 10-hectare wetland at Ruakura Superhub.  Cedric Crow, a TGH project manager on horizontal infrastructure projects at Ruakura, says the names reflect strong collaboration and connection between the five supporting hapuu in the area and were chosen and approved by the Tangata Whenua Working Group, which provides iwi input to the entire 490-hectare development. 

“These names have a proud connection with the area,” says Cedric.

New arterial roading also takes shape in a project managed by Hamilton City Council (funded by TGH, Crown Infrastructure Partners and Hamilton City Council) connecting to the Waikato Expressway.

Forming the wetlands and connection swales
Ka rere te wai

The bulk earthworks for the wetland and Silverdale swales are now complete.  The next 12 months will see further elements added to the wetland and swales, such as boardwalks and paths, structures to control water flow, and over 550,000 eco-sourced indigenous wetland plant species.

The ecology and planting design within the wetland reflect the lowland forest and wetland environment that once covered the Ruakura landscape, not often seen now in the Waikato. It also creates 3.2km of habitat for indigenous fish.

The project team has commenced the detail design of the cultural elements for Ruakura.  The wetland will capture and share the rich history of Ruakura and be represented in various tikanga art forms and storytelling.

The finished 11 hectare wetland will manage the stormwater from the development and provides a critical function for the success of the Superhub.
Swales in the process of being formed (right hand side).

Meet Patrick Wills
Ko Patrick Wells ahau

Patrick Wills joined TGH as an Assistant Project Manager working on the Ruakura Superhub.  One of his key projects is assisting with the construction of the Big Chill Distribution 13,000 square metre cold storage facility. Prior to joining TGH, he spent three years at AECOM as a Civil Engineer, having completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at the University of Canterbury. Patrick comments:

“Having grown up in Cambridge I am very excited to be working with a great team on such a large project that is both of national significance and a major development for Waikato.”

Outside of work, Patrick is Chair of Waikato Young Engineers, encourages young people to get into Engineering and loves his outdoor adventures.

Patrick Wills on site at Ruakura Superhub

Team effort
He hua takitini

TGH gratefully acknowledges the support of our funding and development partners: Port of Tauranga Ltd (our joint venture partner for the inland port), New Zealand Government (funding support for public infrastructure through the PGF and CIP) and Hamilton City Council (co-funding for public roads).

Key service providers include; Bloxam Burnett & Olliver, Boffa Miskell, Beca Group, Cambridge Construction Company, CMW Geosciences, C&R Developments, Fulton Hogan, KiwiRail, Pragmatix, Schick Civil Construction, Tika Group, Tonkin & Taylor, West Construction Ltd and 25+ other local sub-contractors, including eight owned by members of local iwi at one recent count. 

Thoughout March, 105 kaimahi with Maaori and Pacific Island affiliations have been engaged on the site, including 64 kaimahi affiliated to Waikato-Tainui. Among the 260 people working on site in recent months, 27 Maaori and Pacific Island affiliated people are training in apprenticeships on site.

Stay in touch
Whakapaa tonu mai

We hope you’ve enjoyed this update and would love to hear from you with questions, suggestions or leasing enquiries.

Follow the updates on www.ruakura.co.nz

Please contact us on 0508 RUAKURA (0508 782 5872), or email enquiries@ruakura.co.nz