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Tainui Group Holdings and its partner in a massive land development proposal north of Hamilton are a step closer to turning earth following a draft approval to re-designate 800 hectares around Ruakura from rural to use for employment and residential purposes.
TGH and Chedworth Properties are planning to spend around $3.3 billion over a 30 to 50 year development project that will create an industrial park, new housing and an "inland port" transport hub to marshall growing freight volumes between the country's busiest sea port, Tauranga, and its largest city, Auckland.
"The decision is very pleasing," said TGH chief executive Mike Pohio. The draft decision from a board of inquiry appointed by Environment Minister Amy Adams is expected to be finalised mid-September and can only be subject to minor changes of detail following the six week fast track process used to assess the major development proposal.
"The plans include a logistics hub that will make Hamilton and the Waikato a more prosperous and better place to live, with the potential to generate over 10,000 jobs, and better utilise rail to take up to 65,000 truck journeys off the road each year," said Pohio in a statement.