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Investing in a Waikato Business
In a recently released report, business owners gave the Waikato district a score of 8.7 out of 10 as a place to do business. As one of the fastest growing districts in New Zealand, Waikato also has above average job growth and a high rate of new businesses. Its reputation as a great place to do business continues to grow and councils in the region are eager to attract and support new businesses.
Waikato is the third fastest growing region in New Zealand. The region’s population is expected to grow by 26 per cent in the next 15 years and it is supported by a growing economy. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose by 2.1 per cent in 2016, with employment and new businesses growing at a similar rate.
Waikato is also in the centre of the ‘Golden Triangle’ between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. This puts nearly 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population within 150km of Waikato, providing new businesses with an expanded customer base.
The GDP of the ‘Golden Triangle’ is expected to increase by 83 per cent by 2025 and that includes the Waikato district.
Waikato’s location in the middle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga has made it ripe for government investment. The New Zealand government’s wish to link Auckland with the Bay of Plenty has led to major investment in transport infrastructure. Additionally, Port of Auckland is building an inland freight hub at Northgate Business Park, prompting other businesses to build in the area.
Waikato Innovation Park, owned by Hamilton Council, is another space designed to grow business in the region. Already home to commercial business space, business support services and a specialist food and beverage team, Waikato will continue to grow in the future, bringing new creative and enterprising people together.
Waikato’s economy has grown around a number of key industries including agriculture, manufacturing, mining and electricity generation. With an abundance of natural resources in the area, forestry, dairy, agriculture and mining all play a large role. Businesses that can cater to these large industries have a strong chance of success.
With a growing population, businesses that cater to new residents are also in demand. This includes businesses in the healthcare, retail, property and construction industries.
Waikato has world-class surfing and fishing, numerous hiking and biking trails through the beautiful landscape and cultural and sports events that contribute to the $1.8 billion that visitors spend in the tourism sector every year. This equates to a 17 per cent growth in the tourism sector over 2016.
Waikato also produces one-third of the country’s non-renewable (non-thermal) electricity and investors interested in this growing and innovative industry will find like-minded businesses in the area.
With the Waikato District Council eager to bring businesses to the area, support and funding is available to new business owners and investors. A dedicated website, Open Waikato, provides information on investing, visiting and living in the district.
Waikato Innovation Park offers free advice and support to entrepreneurs and there is also funding available for some businesses. This is available both at the park and at other towns in the area.
The main criteria for assistance is a desire to grow, echoing the council’s push for expansion in the region. The Waikato District Council has also made access easier for new businesses, implementing an open-door policy to decision makers and creating council teams dedicated to helping businesses with navigating the bureaucracy of setting up business.
As a district rich in both natural resources and vital infrastructure, Waikato is an area ripe for business growth. With plenty of support from the government, it's clear why Waikato is considered one of the best places in New Zealand to start or grow a business.
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