TGH seeks plan change to enable future housing in East Hamilton

18 April 2023

Hamilton, N.Z. – Tainui Group Holdings (TGH), the commercial arm of Waikato-Tainui is responding to long-term housing challenges in Hamilton by seeking a rezoning of 68 ha of land near its Ruakura Superhub to ‘residential’. TGH’s application for a private plan change has been publicly notified by Hamilton City Council earlier today.

The proposed development is called Tuumata which means ‘to lift one’s eyes above the horizon and onto a new future’. The proposed plan change would rezone the land from its current industrial zone to a new Tuumata Residential Zone, Open Space and Neighbourhood Centre. It comes as Hamilton City Council has recently identified a number of suburbs elsewhere across the city as having “limited or no capacity” for new housing development due to constraints in wastewater capacity.

TGH’s plans provide for between 1100-1300 new medium density residential homes accommodating around 3000 residents, at different price points to create a community. The residential zone will provide for a range of housing including standalone houses, duplex dwellings, terrace houses, apartments and papakainga, to achieve an average density of 50 houses per hectare.

A proposed Tuumata Neighbourhood Centre will occupy 2ha of land on the corner of the Fifth Ave Extension and the main north-south collector road. It would have around 6,000 sqm of retail space, including provision for a supermarket, small tenancy retail, restaurants, cafes and licensed premises and food and beverage outlets. Childcare facilities, community centres, gyms and passenger transport facilities are also provided for in the zone.
If the plan change is approved, development at Tuumata is anticipated to be developed over a ten-year period and would need to be supported by an extension of Fifth Ave across Wairere Drive, connecting to a new Eastern Transport Corridor running through Ruakura to the east.

TGH CEO Chris Joblin says the area involved has been identified since 2016 in strategic planning documents for the city and region as being a priority for higher density residential development, and is well placed to be served by future frequent public transport links.

“We have taken care to fine tune the design and infrastructure to deliver a compact and environmentally superior development in a place that is close to the major employment hub Ruakura and well-serviced by existing and future transport connections,” says Mr Joblin.

The location between 5th Ave and Ag Research campus adjoins nearby residential suburbs and will support further improvement of public transport services close to the CBD, university and employment.

“We are planning a high level of connectivity within and beyond Tuumata, including through a new network of roads, cycleways and footpaths, new open spaces and well-designed buildings and public places offering attractive, useable and safe environments for future residents and visitors,” Mr Joblin says.

The Ruakura Inland Port and Logistics Hub to the east and south of the Tramway Block is projected to host 6,000 – 12,000 employees when fully complete. Also nearby, Waikato Innovation Park is home to more than 60 businesses, with a focus on agritech, information technology and added-value food. The University of Waikato has around 13,000 students and 1,500 staff. The Tuumata Block is only 2.5-3km to the west of the Hamilton CBD.

Over a third of the 68ha site is reserved for managing stormwater using a ‘sponge’ solution of swales and wetlands, along with neighbourhood reserves, green links/pocket parks, plus planted local and neighbourhood streets.

TGH has worked with the Tangata Whenua Working Group for Ruakura, to incorporate mana whenua values into future development including through the design and naming of public spaces and roads and other public linkages in a way that reflects and celebrates the history and whakapapa of tangata whenua of the area.

The Hamilton-Waikato metro area is the third fastest growing urban area in the country and the population is expected to double in the next 50-100 years. The city is also one of five Tier One growth areas in the National Policy Statement – Urban Development 2020, requiring significant capacity planning.

TGH is an experienced residential developer with a track record of delivering quality developments such as Huntington, Rotokauri Rise and Te Kaarearea over the past 20 years. The company manages around $1.7 billion of assets for Waikato-Tainui. Major projects currently include the development of the 490-hectare Ruakura Superhub, and two projects nearing completion: a new centre for ACC in central Hamilton and Te Arikinui Pullman Auckland Airport Hotel (with joint venture partner Auckland International Airport Ltd).