Growth Strategies

Waikato District Development Strategy

The strategy identifies four key issues that will influence population and economic growth in the district which are:

  • -  the increasing growth pressure from outside the district
  • -  continued improvements to transport corridors
  • -  the economic influence of the ‘Golden Triangle’ (Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga)
  • -  the strength of key national assets in the north-south corridor.



The following Waikato District Social and Economic Profiles have been prepared for Waikato District Council by Market Economics Ltd.

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Awaroa ki Tuakau Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Eureka Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Hukanui-Waerenga Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Huntly Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Newcastle Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Ngaruawahia Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Onewhero Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Raglan Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Tamahere Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Whaingaroa Ward

Waikato District Social and Economic Profile - Whangamarino Ward

Future Proof

Waikato and Waipa District Councils, Hamilton City Council and Waikato Regional Council have developed a sub-regional growth strategy known as Future Proof. Tangata whenua and NZ Transport Agency are partners in this project. The Strategy provides a framework for co-operatively managing growth and setting goals for future implementation. This will allow the costs and resources required to fund and manage infrastructure, such as transport, wastewater, stormwater, recreation and cultural facilities, to be identified and provided for.

Visit the FutureProof website here.

Franklin District Growth Strategy

Franklin District Council produced this document in 2007, three years before amalgamation of the southern portion of the former Franklin district with the Waikato district in 2010. The long term vision for Franklin is of "a country lifestyle in harmony with our environment". It is a vision of "a diverse people living within defined, planned and serviced country towns and villages surrounded by countryside offering great living, working and recreational options, connected to cities by well-developed transport links".

Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (UNISA) Projects

Established in 2011, UNISA responds to and manages a range of inter-regional and inter-metropolitan issues. 

Members consists of Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty Regional Councils, Auckland Council, Whangarei District Council and Hamilton and Tauranga City Councils. Mayors and Chairs from the respective regions make up the alliance.

The Upper North Island is critical to the success of New Zealand. It supports 53 per cent of the national population and generates 52 per cent of the country’s GDP. Growth is increasing rapidly which has many benefits for the country, but brings with it a range of challenges that councils need to work together to solve.

The seven councils have an agreement in place which confirms their commitment to understanding and tackling these inter-regional challenges. The agreement was re-signed in March 2017.

Background papers

Opportunities to grow the economy  [PDF, 366 KB]

Opportunities for transport [PDF, 243 KB] 

Opportunities for port networks  [PDF, 94 KB]

Opportunities for tourism [PDF, 69 KB] 

Independent Port Study

On 6 March 2012, Auckland Council’s Auckland Plan Committee (the Committee) made resolutions about the long-term role of Auckland ports within the UNI freight network and about long-term strategic choices for the Auckland waterfront.

The UNISA  Mayors and Chairs endorsed work to investigate current and future freight demand and supply and scenarios to meet that demand, in the context of ports and port-related infrastructure for the UNI.  This work has taken the form of a joint technical study, produced by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), and sponsored by UNISA.  

The primary objective of the study was to develop a credible and consistent understanding of the upper North Island’s freight and port supply chain system.  It is a technical, evidence based demand and supply study conducted by an independent supplier, which has had regard to existing relevant studies, information or research previously undertaken.

You can read the report here. [PDF, 7.1 MB]

The Upper North Island Freight Story

The purpose of the Upper North Island Freight Story is to take a partnership approach within an upper North Island ‘freight lens’ to determine issues or areas that are limiting our ability to ‘reduce the cost to do business in New Zealand’.

The partner organisations have worked together, with NZTA, KiwiRail and Auckland Transport, industry and freight operators to decide on the key critical issues and opportunities where the collective partner focus could help deliver freight efficiencies, and to create a shared evidence base that will enable better future decision making.

The Story comprises two key documents:

Summary of Critical Issues [PDF, 8.5 MB] 

Shared Evidence Base for the Critical Issues [PDF, 5.2 MB]

You can also read the Story's highlights brochure [PDF, 685 KB].

Industrial Land Demand Study

The Freight Story identified approximately 13,000 hectares of industrial land being either currently available or planned for future provision in the Upper North Island until 2041. This report also identified that approximately 7000 ha of this was currently being used for industrial purposes.

This snapshot of industrial land supply only paints part of the industrial land picture, as it does not provide context as to whether the amount of available or signalled industrial land is excessive, is in the ‘right place’, meets specific industry requirements, or addresses other factors deemed important for meeting industrial land demands now and into the foreseeable future.

The Freight Story identified that a further piece of work was required to better refine the understanding of industrial land supply and to help better understand industrial land demand at the Upper North Island (UNI) scale. UNISA Councils agreed to commission further work on industrial land demand, including a recommendation on methodology suitable for use by all councils in the Upper North Island.

UNISA commissioned Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) to undertake this work,and  the Industrial Land Demand Study has been completed, with a number of key findings applicable to the Upper North Island. You can read the report below.

Upper North Industrial Land Demand - February 2015 (BERL) [PDF, 2.2 MB] 

UNISA Industrial Land Demand Study - summary of key findings [PDF, 3 MB] 

Upper North Island Key Sector Trends to 2015 and Labour Demand to 2020

Co-ordinated action is needed to ensure that the right amounts and kinds of workers are available to support growth in the key economic powerhouse of the Upper North Island, says a report on Upper North Island key sector trends to 2015 and labour demand to 2020.

The report says that an extra 115,000 jobs are expected to be created across the UNISA area between mid-2016 and 2020. A further 245,000 jobs will need to be filled to replace workers who leave the labour market. For the next two financial years overall demand for labour is expected to exceed supply, with only a small surplus of labour in 2019-20. The report also identifies significant shortages in some occupations related to construction, freight and logistics, and tourism. Staff of UNISA councils are looking at how its recommendations will be implemented across the Upper North Island.

The report was prepared for UNISA by consultants MartinJenkins and Infometrics and comprises three documents:

Upper North Island Key Sector Trends to 2015 and Labour Demand to 2020: Summary Report [PDF, 1.4 MB] 

Upper North Island Key Sector Trends to 2015 and Labour Demand to 2020: Overview Report [PDF, 3.8 MB] 

Upper North Island Key Sector Trends to 2015 and Labour Demand to 2020: Sector Analysis and Forecasts [PDF, 6.2 MB] 


Waikato Economic Development Roadmap

The Waikato District Council Economic Development Summit in November 2011 provided a forum for business, education, energy sector and other stakeholder representatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the district and wider region. The Waikato Economic Development Roadmap was produced as a result of the Summit.

Regional Persectives Report: An Outlook for economic conditions in NZ's regions and industries.

This report provides an outlook for economic conditions in New Zealan's regions and industries over the nexst four years. The Waikato region is expected to perform well with job growth expected to exceed 2.0 per cent in coming years.
Click here to view the Regional Perspectives Report

Waikato Means Business: An Economic Development Strategy for the Waikato Region

Waikato Means Business is a 20 year Waikato economic development strategy which was initiated by the Waikato Mayoral Forum, consisting of the region’s mayors and the Waikato Regional Council chairperson. The development of the strategy has been overseen by a Governance Group (now known as the Waikato Means Business Steering Group), and created with input from regional business leaders.


The Waikato Means Business strategy’s aim is to guide regional economic development policy, investment and activities. The issues, challenges and opportunities facing the Waikato region are set out, and strategic priorities and areas of focus are identified.

Follow this link to read the strategy.

Visit the Waikato Means Business website here.

The Waikato Story

This project aims to drive growth in the Waikato region by consistently promoting the attributes that make the Waikato a unique place to live and thrive, work and succeed, visit and enjoy, and invest in for return. 

Visit The Waikato Story here.


Waikato District Council Long Term Plan (LTP)

Councils produce a long term plan every three years. An LTP sets the direction, priorities and funding for the next ten years. Select the link below to read Waikato District Council’s Long Term Plan for 2015 to 2025. For more information visit the Waikato District Council website.

Waikato District Council Annual Plan

An annual plan is produced for each year in between long term plans and provides an opportunity to refresh the information for the coming year and consult with the community on any changes that are proposed. Each year the council is required have a plan in place that outlines their prioritised activities and projects, intended service levels, funding information, and financial policies for the coming year. 

For more information visit the Waikato District Council website.

Waikato District Plan

The purpose of district plans under the Resource Management Act is to assist Councils to promote the sustainable management of natural and physical resources. District plans are used by the general public and businesses (who may be considering applying for a resource consent for the first time), developers, consultants, surveyors, architects, lawyers, judges, commissioners, and various environmental or business interest groups.

District plans cover issues related to the Council’s functions. These include things such as:

  • -  effects of land use
  • -  impacts of land use on natural hazards and the management of hazardous substances
  • -  noise
  • -  activities on the surfaces of rivers and lakes
  • -  impacts of land use on indigenous biological diversity

For more information visit the Waikato District Council website.

District Council Governance Statement

The Waikato District Council Governance Statement is a collection of information about the Council, its functions and how the community can interact with the Council and become involved in the Council’s processes. For more information vist the Waikato District Council website.

Documents of interest



Franklin Engineering Code of Practice for Subdivision and Development

Information fliers

‘Link’ newsletter - bi-monthly newsletter distributed to residents of Waikato district
North Waikato Integrated Growth Management Programme Business Case


-      Catchment Management Plans

-      Community Plans

-      Hamilton City Council Development Manual - the Development Manual sets out the processes and standards that are expected to be followed and met whenever any development project is undertaken in accordance with Waikato District Council’s District Plan

-      Reserve Management Plans

-      Structure Plans

-      Waste Management and Minimisation Plan


-      Annual Report

-      State of the Environment Report


-      Conservation Strategy

-      Walking and Cycling Strategy

-      3 Waters Strategy

-      Waikato District Heritage Strategy 2014

For more information visit the Waikato District Council website.

Further information

The following links provide further strategic information around economic growth, opportunities and key metrics, particularly as they relate to the Waikato district.

NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website (MBIE) - Business Growth Agenda

NZ Ministry for Primary Industries website (MPI)

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise website (NZTE)

New Zealand Treasury Economic website updates

Reserve Bank of New Zealand website



Leadership and governance

New Zealand is divided into 16 regions. The Waikato district sits within the greater Waikato Region. The Waikato Region includes the areas covered by 11 separate local territorial authorities.


Contact Us

Please enter name
Please enter your email
Please enter a subject
Please enter a message

External link

This data is stored on the WDC site, click here or wait 5secs. the page will open in a new tab so you can return to this site at any time

We are now redirecting you to an external site, we have no control over and are not responsible for