Raw Materials

The South Waikato is a source of many key raw materials which is reflected in a strong primary sector, accounting for 32% of the GDP for the District, more than four times the national average (7%). The South Waikato District has a location advantage for three key primary industries: forestry, dairy and water.



South Waikato is at the forefront of New Zealand’s commercial forestry plantations, with over a third of the Pinus radiata forests located in the central North Island.

The forestry sector contributed $155 million to the local economy last year with respected forestry companies based in the District including Hancock Forest Management (NZ) Limited and Waratah.

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Our strong dairy sector brought in over $260 million in GDP last year which was reflected in the record milk solid outputs achieved in the District (60 million kgs).

This industry has created both large and small scale business development in the South Waikato. This is reflected in the large dairy processing facilities including Fonterra’s Lichfield cheese factory (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere) and the ready access to quality raw materials is helping develop strong artisan food opportunities such as Over the Moon cheese.

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The water f rom the renowned Blue Spring accounts for 70% of New Zealand’s bottled drinking water production. There is further value added opportunities for companies to develop products utilising this pure resource in a sustainable way.


The South Waikato District sits between Hamilton and Taupo. Auckland, the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty (the powerhouse of the New Zealand economy and home to half the population of New Zealand) are on the District’s doorstep.

South Waikato is relatively flat, with State Highway 1 running north to south, making the movement of goods safe and cost efficient. The rail line links Putāruru an d Tokoroa to Ports of Tauranga and Auckland, ideal for importing
goods from overseas as well exporting finished product.

The Port of Tauranga is connected by road (one hour) and by direct rail link t o Putāruru (80km) and Kinleith (110km).

A container landing at midnight can be onsite by 6am the next morning, through the nearby Tokoroa Road Rail Terminal (a Private-Public Partnership between South Waikato District Council and RJ Lincoln Logistics) enabling the smooth import and exporting of goods overseas, minimising road freight volumes and associated environmental impacts.

*click to enlarge

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