WASHINGTON: Work has started on the first stage of the Ruakura Inland Port – a port with no water, instead a logistics hub for freight either coming into the country or on its way out. Work begins on the former farm land outside Hamilton.Work begins on the former farm land outside Hamilton. Photo: RNZ / Andrew McRae Situated about half-way between the ports of Auckland and Tauranga, the Ruakura site takes advantage of a main railway line running past and the new Waikato Expressway. The expressway is under construction and after its completion, set for 2019, it will skirt the inland port providing easy road access north, south and east.
The inland port will eventually cover 31ha but the entire project – including industrial, commercial and residential development – will sprawl over 485ha and cost $3 billion. The project is being developed by Tainui Group Holdings, the commercial arm of Waikato-Tainui, and has been recognised as a project of national significance. The location is in the heart of what is known as the Golden Triangle, an area which accounts for half of New Zealand’s total economic output.
Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Chris Joblin described the project as transformational “for not only TGH as a company but more importantly for Waikato-Tainui as an iwi”. “The ability to create both economic and social benefits is really important, so this is an inter-generational investment not only for the current generation but future generations to come.” Tainui Group Holdings is running the project as a joint venture with international logistics company Linx Cargo Care and its New Zealand subsidiary, C3. Linx chief executive Anthony Jones, who is also the chairman of C3, said the project offered much to attract significant importers and exporters. “There’s not many greenfields opportunities that you get reasonably close to ocean-going terminals that has the ability to build the warehousing, build the whole lot,” he said.