It’s no wonder that historically, the Waikato was known as the food-bowl of New Zealand, with the Waikato River used for transporting food products grown by local Māori.

Today the Waikato continues to be a major source of agricultural production supplying both domestic and international markets. It boasts a diverse range of livestock. In addition to dairy cows, beef cattle, sheep, deer, pigs and goats are all farmed in the district alongside more exotic breeds like ostrich, emus, alpacas and lamas.

Poultry farming is a major industry, supplying both chicken meat and fresh eggs.

Crop growing and processing is a significant sector in the district’s economy. More than 20,000 tonnes of maize are harvested annually and more than 90,000 square metres of indoor vegetables, including herbs, cucumbers and lettuce are grown. The district has more than 4,000 hectares of land dedicated to growing outdoor fruit and vegetables. There is a significant Waikato-based mushroom growing industry.


In the Waikato district there are more than 55 primary/intermediate schools, four high schools and a number of tertiary education providers either in the district or closely accessible to, including Waikato University and Wintec (both based in nearby Hamilton).


The dairy industry, farming and processing, is the most economically significant industry in the Waikato district and a critical contributor to the regional and national economies.


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