Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineOctober 8, 2020

The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Maori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced.

The funding has been has been allocated out of the $3 billion the government earmarked for shovel ready infrastructure projects to help get New Zealanders into work following Covid-19.

It is made up of a $20 million grant to Hamilton City Council and a $20 million loan to Tainui Group Holdings to assist with the funding and financing of the road and water infrastructure. Ports of Tauranga, Tainui and the council are co-investing another $150 million so the project can start immediately.

Twyford said construction of the inland port will create 250 jobs, with more jobs to be created through support for the port and logistics operations.

“The Ruakura Inland Port project will provide roading and water infrastructure to help develop freight and logistics operations as the critical first stage in what will be a major new centre for the Waikato and Upper North Island,” he said.

A new road will connect the Ruakura Interchange and the inland port to North Ruakura. When fully developed, it will become an integrated urban development with homes, business services and research clusters sitting alongside it. 

“Ruakura is an agreed development priority area for the Hamilton-Auckland Corridor Partnership, and this project is a direct outcome of this ground-breaking new partnership between iwi, the government and local councils. 

“Shovel ready infrastructure projects such as this will accelerate our economic recovery. All the consenting processes for the Ruakura development are in place and the projects are designed and ready to start,” Twyford said. 

Mahuta says the projects in the programme are sequenced to develop the inland port over the next four to five years.

“Once operational, the inland port is expected to create thousands of jobs and create significant social and economic benefits for Waikato iwi and the wider community.

“This project will also address housing and transport challenges facing the Waikato. A development of this scale and ambition is a first for the Waikato, and a major achievement for Waikato Tainui,” she said.