The Waikato region is important to the national economy because of its scale and location and its contribution to national export sectors and infrastructure.
Waikato is the fourth-largest regional economy in New Zealand. It accounts for approximately 10 per cent of land area and population and 8.5 per cent of gross domestic product.
Several sectors are part of national value chains, such as food, forestry and wood product manufacturing, manufacturing and services. The region is an important centre of primary production.
Waikato’s central location between the Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu-Whanganui and Taranaki regions makes it a nationally significant corridor for infrastructure such as road and rail transport, electricity and natural gas, telecommunications and data.
Waikato is the most important minerals producing region in New Zealand. Within the region there are important mineral exploration and development operations including coal, aggregates, and gold, sand and limestone.
Hamilton is the region’s “central business district” with concentrations of employment, research, tertiary education and manufacturing. Its industry strengths are inextricably linked to the primary production of the surrounding region, on which it also relies for labour and materials.