Waikato-Tainui has gone into partnership with a Cargo company to help transform North Island Freight flows.The deal is expected to bring a significant economic return to the tribe.
A new partnership has been confirmed between Waikato-Tainui and international port operators, LINX Cargo Care Group.
Te Ara Taura Chair Rukumoana Schaafhause says, "The success of this development will survive this generation and the generations to come. It's critical because we've seen a 50-year plan of what that project can deliver in terms of not just employment but environmental sustainability, improving our social and health outcomes,"
The Ruakura inland port will be built on 10 hectares at a cost of $50mill. LINX subsidiary C3 will run the day-to-day operations. However, Waikato-Tainui own the land and will receive ground lease payments.
Tainui Group Holdings General Manager of the commercial arm Pierre Tohe says, "For a long time the land hasn't been utilised. Now we begin the pathway to using the land that was returned to us in our 1995 settlement, to benefit our beneficiaries."
In March King Tuheitia turned the first sod to signal the start of land redevelopment for the country's largest greenfield port, commercial and lifestyle development of its kind, on a total of 480ha. Over the past 10 months, a comprehensive RFP process attracted interest from seven potential port operators.
A core element of the tribe's vision for Ruakura is employment opportunities for their beneficiaries. The partnership is expected to create 6,000 - 12, 000 jobs once fully built.
LINX Cargo Care Group Chair Anthony Jones says, "It's a positive. We do it already through our C3 relationships now. Where we track those and we actively work with the tribal communities that we operate in. So we're very open."
Stage 1 of Ruakura is expected to be in operation in the first half of 2019.
Waikato Tainui begins build on Ruakura hub