Why the Waikato?

Businesses are packing up in Auckland and relocating to the Waikato. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • A superb location - centered in the Golden Triangle between New Zealand's largest city Auckland, its fourth largest City Hamilton and the port city of Tauranga.
  • Exceptional road and rail access with the Waikato Expressway and State Highway 2 connections and the North Island Main Trunk railway line.
  • Lower running costs - Less time stuck in local traffic congestion.
  • A nationally significant juncture for freight and transport logistics.
  • Rich fertile soil attracting export-quality products.
  • Waikato district is one of the country's fastest growing places (the district grew at an average of 3.4 percent in 2017) - see Economic Profile.
  • Rich in natural resources and vital infrastructure, the Waikato generates significant exports - see Dairy.
  • A welcoming place. The district is open to new businesses, new investment, new people and new cultures.
  • Free business support services availble to Waikato district businesses.

The future of New Zealand's freight is efficient, productive and connected. You'll find all three in the Waikato district.

Waikato Freight Hub

Ports of Auckland recognise the opportunities in Waikato district and are developing a Waikato freight hub at Northgate Business Park just north of Hamilton, only minutes to Te Rapa Gateway Industrial Park.

Ports of Auckland’s decision to build a major freight hub in the Waikato has jump-started massive investor interest in his district says Waikato mayor Allan Sanson. Freight, logistics and manufacturing companies interested in moving to Te Rapa Gateway Industrial Park are also driving Northgate enquiries.

The port company announced in February it had bought 33 hectares of land at Northgate Business Park at Horotiu to establish a major inland freight hub.  The site just north of Hamilton was chosen because of its position next to the North Island main trunk rail line and Waikato Expressway.

Since then, three new businesses have invested in Northgate with more expressing interest.  Universal Precast, Speedwall Ltd and Waikato Chocolates have all purchased land and will join Northgate’s anchor tenant, Waikato Milking Systems on the 109 hectare site.


Northgate Developments managing director Graeme Lee said since the Ports’ announcement in February, “there has been a complete ramping up in enquiries.”
“The Port announcement was a real catalyst and I’m now getting solid enquiry from domestic investors and from overseas, especially now they know a rail siding is being established,” he said.
“I’m getting a lot of enquiry from Auckland.  It’s common to hear that costs in the Waikato are a lot lower and that it’s just getting too hard to get around in Auckland to do business.”
Sanson said freight from any seaport would have access to the Waikato-based freight and logistics hub, making Northgate particularly attractive.  His council was dealing with a noticeable increase in enquiries from potential investors, including through its business website, www.openwaikato.co.nz.
“Over the past six months, the number of consents we’ve issues for new dwellings has been higher than in Queenstown and that’s also reflected in business growth. The Waikato district is growing faster than most other parts of New Zealand and has been since 2013.”
Sanson also said Auckland-based companies were talking directly to his council about relocating south because of easy access to Auckland, the availability and cost of land and a strong local labour market.  Many were sold on Waikato’s location and existing infrastructure, plus the council’s positive approach to encouraging growth and development, he said.

Ports of Auckland Waikato Freight Hub

Click here to download the freight and logistics brochure

For information on opportunities for your business in the Waikato call Open Waikato on 0800 252 626.

Northgate - Te Rapa Business Park


Gateway Industrial Park


Better location means better business.



“New Zealand companies with an import/export focus will benefit from locating themselves in close proximity to the Waikato freight hub.

The hub has excellent road access and is on the main trunk line. This allows better use of empty containers and connects those businesses with Ports of Auckland via rail reducing cost, time and providing a sustainable supply chain.”

Reinhold Goeschl, General Manager Supply Chain

Ports of Auckland Limited


key facts

Waikato Freight Statistics

Click to enlarge

Golf Courses

There are a variety of welcoming, picturesque and challenging golf courses throughout the Waikato district for every skill of golfer.


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