Waikato: North Hamilton
Thu 24 Nov 2016 by Gareth Kiernan in Regional Hotspots

This article is part of the Regional Hotspots report. To find out more about the report and other hotspots, click here


  • Population growth 2013-2023: 70% (10,980 people)
  • Improved facilities and the spill-over from Auckland’s strong population growth and housing affordability has made Northern Hamilton a popular area.
  • Completion of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway will make Auckland more accessible and will increase North Hamilton’s attractiveness.
  • The prospect of the inland port at Ruakura is likely to provide considerable employment opportunities, helping drive further growth on North Hamilton.
  • The more affluent, younger age profile of people in the area indicates the area is set for strong business growth and development over the coming decade.

The choice of this hotspot reflects the ongoing trend of the growth in Hamilton’s metropolitan area towards the north. Although there are also longer-term plans for expansion of the city southwards towards the airport, growth in the shorter-term will be focused on the fringes around Flagstaff, Rototuna North, and Huntington.

The northern fringes of Hamilton have been favoured by developers and property buyers as they are comparatively well serviced by improved facilities over recent years. The massive development of The Base at Te Rapa has made the northern part of the city the premiere retail destination within Hamilton. Access from the northern suburbs on the eastern side of the Waikato River towards the south has also been vastly improved by the construction of Wairere Drive through to link up with State Highway 1 at Hillcrest.

Additionally, the exodus of people out of Auckland in recent years due to the city’s high house prices will also tend to favour development on the northern side of Hamilton. For some of these people, proximity to Auckland will still be of some importance given family and/or employment links with the city. Being located in North Hamilton already knocks time off the journey to Auckland compared with some other parts of Hamilton. Furthermore, once construction of the Hamilton section of the Waikato Expressway is completed by 2020, these north-eastern suburbs will benefit from being even closer to the main road transport link connecting the city with Auckland. A final factor encouraging development on the eastern side of the city is the prospect of the inland port at Ruakura. The establishment of the first stage of this facility by 2021 is likely to provide considerable employment opportunities, both directly and indirectly, helping to drive further growth in economic activity and population in key areas of Hamilton, including thenorthern part of the city.

Although population growth in North Hamilton over the last three years has failed to live up to Statistics NZ’s projections, we expect an acceleration in the rate of development given the improvements in employment opportunities and infrastructure taking place in surrounding locations. The spill-over effects of Auckland’s strong population growth and housing affordability issues will also positive affect demand for housing in North Hamilton.

Recognising the area’s expanding population, the government has constructed new junior and senior high schools in Rototuna, opening in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Rototuna Town Centre will be developed at the intersection of Resolution Drive and Borman Road, including a mix of retail, commercial, and community facilities to complement existing urban centres in the CBD, Chartwell, and The Base.

The strength of house prices in the northern parts of Hamilton indicates that the area’s population is well-off, while the demographic breakdown shows that the age profile is relatively young. From the point of view of business growth, these factors enhance the attractiveness of the area’s expected development over the coming decade.

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