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Waikato to the world: Major investment for Waikato exporters underway

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Ports of Auckland is building a major freight transport hub at Horotiu, just north of Hamilton, and is proud to announce that Open Country Dairy – New Zealand's second largest exporter of whole milk powder – will be its first freight customer.

"We are thrilled to have secured Open Country Diary (OCD) as our first major tenant. The hub's earthworks are now complete, and we've started building a facility for OCD that will be operational in 2019," says Ports of Auckland CEO Tony Gibson.

"The Waikato Freight Hub is a key part of Ports of Auckland's rail-connected North Island freight hub network which links Kiwi businesses with New Zealand and global markets.

"This new facility will give Waikato farmers a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to send their exports overseas, improving their competitiveness and sustainability.

"This is part of Ports of Auckland's strategy to support regional growth with freight hubs in South Auckland, Mount Maunganui, Manawatu and now Waikato. All are located next to rail and are in regions that generate significant volumes of exports that need to be efficiently transported to a major port.

"The freight hub network will contribute to lower freight costs, reduces carbon emissions, and offer a wider range of shipping services to North Island exporters and importers. The hub provides future customers with a unique opportunity. Businesses will be able to have their own sites with customised sized warehouse design and layout," says Mr Gibson.

Steve Koekemoer, Chief Executive Officer of Open Country Dairy agrees, noting the huge advantage of having their warehouse located between New Zealand's two dominant ports, Auckland and Tauranga. 

"Strategically the new Waikato hub will allow us to continue our export growth while lowering our costs and environmental footprint through greater use of rail," says Mr Koekemoer.

Waikato District Council Mayor Allan Sanson believes a strong freight and logistics sector is key to supporting the region's growth.

"Waikato is New Zealand's second fastest growing region after Auckland. It makes up the heart of the 'Golden Triangle' bounded by Auckland and the Bay of Plenty, and our region is a major contributor to national export earnings which continue to be dominated by our primary industries.

"This hub will support our existing export industries as well as providing an opportunity for more local businesses to grow and be successful on the international stage. We are also pleased that when fully complete, the freight hub is expected to generate around 300 jobs directly in our district and facilitate many more across the region by acting as an economic catalyst," says Sanson.

The Waikato Freight Hub is expected to become operational in mid-2019.

 

KEY FACTS

  • The Waikato Freight Hub is a 33 ha development, due to open in the first half of 2019 once the OCD facility and a new road connection have been built.

 

  • A rail connection is due to be built in the next few years.  Until it is built, freight will travel by road to Hamilton and then by rail to Ports of Auckland's Waitematā sea port.

 

  • POAL have received a lot of interest in the site and expect to announce more customers soon.  The hub provides future customers with a unique opportunity and businesses will be able to have their own sites with customised sized warehouse designs and layout.

 

  • By allowing greater use of rail, the new Waikato Freight Hub reduces costs and carbon miles for exporters, making them more competitive overseas.

     
  • Ports of Auckland's North Island freight hub network helps the company make the supply chain more efficient, reducing the distance containers travel and empty container moves.  This will also contribute to lower costs and fewer emissions.

     
  • The freight hub is ideally located in Waikato, New Zealand's fastest growing region. It is in the heart of the 'Golden Triangle' of Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty.

     
  • The hub provides an opportunity for local businesses to grow here in our backyard and be successful on the international stage. When fully complete, the freight hub is expected to generate around 300 jobs directly and facilitate many thousands more by acting as an economic catalyst.

     
  • Ports of Auckland's other freight hubs are located in Wiri, South Auckland, Mount Maunganui and Longburn, Manawatu. All are located next to rail and are in regions that generate significant volumes of exports that need to be efficiently transported to a major port.​

ENDS​

Matt Ball
Head of Communications
P: +649 348 5262
M: +6421 495 645
E: [email protected]