Earthworks to get underway at Ruakura inland port in Hamilton

The first stage of Hamilton's inland port will break ground this week.
Earthworks are set to begin on the 480 hectare property on the eastern boundary at Ruakura.

Tainui Group Holdings CEO Chris Jobin said in a statement that it was an exciting milestone after a number of years on the drawing board and in the planning rooms.

"As a long-term, staged development project likely to span 20-30 years Ruakura will deliver great benefits for the region's exporters and importers as well as opportunities for Waikato-Tainui people, and has the potential to support 6,000-12,000 jobs within the precinct once fully-built," Joblin said.

"Foundational earthworks will involve trucking crushed rock into the site to pre-load the area to be used for the container marshalling yard.  It will take around 12 months for the ground to settle before pavement layers, a rail siding, noise wall, screen planting and services can be completed."

Fulton Hogan won the contract to carry out the initial work for the first seven hectares on what will eventually be a 31 hectare inland port. 

Waikato Regional manager Kerry Watkins said Fulton Hogan was pleased to partner with a project of national significance.

"As we move into the initial works, keeping people safe on the roads and on the site is a top priority,"  Watkins said.

"Fulton Hogan has a zero harm policy and a commitment to safe public operations. Together with TGH, we will monitor feedback to ensure safe and courteous truck operations on public roads and seek to minimise impacts on neighbours."

Extra safety measures will include temporary traffic management warning signs, and speed restrictions. 

Tainui Group Holdings has been working on the 480 development for several years, and says it will likely be worth more than $3 billion at the end of its 50 year build.

Once completed, it will cover an area larger than than Auckland central business district. 

The site was blessed by Kiingi Tuheitia in a tribal ceremony attended by Waikato-Tainui leaders and tribal members in March.