First large-scale distribution facility announced for Ruakura Superhub

16 February 2022

Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) has today announced that refrigerated freight network operator Big Chill Distribution has selected Ruakura Superhub as the location for its new state-of-the art 13,000m2 cold store facility.

Big Chill is the first mover for the 35ha industrial precinct in the overall 92ha stage 1 of Ruakura Superhub. Previously announced tenancies at Ruakura have been in the logistics hub and service centre areas. More large distribution facility announcements are expected over coming months.

“Ruakura Superhub is an ideal location for a distribution operation like Big Chill and we are excited to welcome the company as our first mover large-scale industrial tenant,” says Tainui Group Holdings Chair and Te Arataura representative Hinerangi Raumati-Tu’ua.

“This announcement continues the excellent momentum of the Superhub’s development, which is creating a high level of excitement and anticipation as we head towards an official opening later this year,” she says.

Chris Joblin, Chief Executive of TGH, says Big Chill will add their cold supply-chain speciality to the range of speciality logistics providers and distributors that will cluster around Ruakura Inland Port.

“This tenancy with one of the country’s leading third-party logistics providers is a key agreement for Ruakura Superhub. It is a very strong endorsement of Ruakura and effectively anchors stage one’s industrial zone with a nationally recognised brand in a high-profile location. Importantly, it will increase cold supply chain resilience and optionality for the central North Island,” he says.

The two parties have signed a long term lease with rights of renewal. Big Chill Chief Executive, Michael Roberts, says the new facility in the Waikato will strengthen the company’s network and take its nationwide roster of depots to an even 10.

“Our new Waikato facility will play an important role in the network, anchoring one corner of the golden triangle and acting as a pivot point for distribution to and from the west coast, central North Island and east coast. We also want to set a new benchmark for the environmental performance of this new facility – achieving at least a four-star green building rating, which we understand has not been achieved in a New Zealand cold store before,” says Mr Roberts.

Around 50 people will be directly employed at the new Big Chill facility.

Mr Joblin said confirmation of the new cold store added to the momentum around Ruakura Superhub. The 92-hectare first stage is on track for opening in the third-quarter of this year.

Previously confirmed partners and tenants include the Port of Tauranga (in a JV to develop the inland port), PBT Express Freight Network (new regional distribution centre) and Waitomo Group (flagship service centre including a fuel stop with alternative energy options).

At 490ha, Ruakura Superhub, which is recognised by the NZ Government as a project of national significance, is one of New Zealand’s largest developments. It spans logistics, industrial, retail and residential development areas. Located at an emerging ‘sweet spot’ for New Zealand’s supply chain, it will be anchored by a 30-hectare inland port, with the first 17-hectares of this also set to open later this year.

See here for a brief current video overview of Ruakura Superhub.