The opening of Ruakura Superhub moved a step closer today as Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) outlined a start date and building contractor for the first logistics facility, along with naming the contractor to build two more local roads within the 92-hectare stage one of the development.
TGH Chief Executive Chris Joblin said the announcements mark the start of a countdown to opening Ruakura Superhub in mid-2022.
“We are very pleased these projects will be delivered by companies which are significant employers in the Waikato. This means that Waikato-Tainui investment made through Tainui Group Holdings will have significant flow-on effects in our local communities and we will be working closely with our delivery partners to create business and employment opportunities for members of our iwi,” Mr Joblin said.
TGH has appointed industrial and commercial construction specialists Calder Stewart to build the new 5,000 sqm new regional hub for PBT (formerly Peter Baker Transport) Express Freight Network.
The development on PBT’s site in the Logistics West zone of Ruakura Superhub includes a 2,800sqm enclosed logistics facility with a 1,890sqm loading canopy and 250sqm office. These are expected to complete in June 2022 and be operational by August 2022. The mostly steel construction will target a Greenstar 4 rating, complete with rainwater harvesting for amenities, and future-proofing structures for solar power.
Kelvin O’Connell, Regional Manager Waikato for Calder Stewart Construction said the company was honoured to work on the first major commercial structure in the Ruakura Superhub.
“We’ve watched the evolution of this major regional project with great interest over the past few years and we’re delighted for this opportunity to construct the first major logistics facility for Tainui Group holdings and their first logistics tenant – PBT Express Freight Network,” Mr O’Connell says
Work will also commence later this month on two critical link roads within Ruakura Superhub. The first known as the Port Access Road, as the name suggests, will provide access to the 30-hectare inland port and will connect with the second road. These will provide connections into the new Ruakura Interchange for the Waikato Expressway (opening mid-2022). The second road is funded by a loan to TGH under the Government’s CIP or ‘shovel ready’ programme.
The first roading package (Spine Road) in the precinct that has been under construction since early this year is co-funded by TGH, the Government’s regional economic development and investment unit, Kānoa – REDIU and Hamilton City Council.
The two new roads will be built by Hamilton-based civil engineering company Cambridge Construction Ltd.
Chris McCoy General Manager for Cambridge Construction said the team is very pleased to be involved in this project of national significance. “We are excited to contribute to this game-changing project for the regional economy,” Mr McCoy said.
Other local contractors have also been active across the 92-hectare site over recent months. Cambridge-based C & R Developments has been engaged in earthworks since January this year with contour-forming, pre-loading and the formation of a 10-hectare wetland area, while Hamilton-based Schick Civil Construction has been building other local connecting roads in the area under the direction of Hamilton City Council.
In June this year, TGH also announced a 1.6-hectare service centre to be developed by the locally-owned Waitomo Group.
Ruakura is amongst New Zealand’s largest developments, spanning logistics, industrial, retail and residential development areas. Located at an emerging ‘sweet spot’ for New Zealand’s supply chain, it will be anchored by a 30-hectare inland port, with the first 17-hectare stage now in development by TGH and Port of Tauranga, in a 50/50 joint venture announced earlier this year.
The inland port will be serviced by high-capacity rail and roading infrastructure, with the East Coast main trunk rail line running along the Port’s northern boundary and the new Waikato Expressway on the eastern boundary. Initially, rail services will be provided by the existing MetroPort trains running between Auckland and Tauranga.
The Ruakura precinct is estimated to accommodate 6,000-12,000 jobs once it is fully developed and will have significant social and economic benefits for Waikato iwi, Hamilton, the region and New Zealand as a whole. The Ruakura Superhub inland port and adjoining logistics hub is on track to open in mid-2022.