« Back to members

Waikato Innovation Park

Waikato Innovation Park


member image


A Business Base in New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific Region

Waikato Innovation Park offers a superb location for technology companies with an agricultural, biotech or food focus doing business in the Asia-Pacific region. With free trade agreements in place and more in negotiation with a number of Asia-Pacific nations, NZ registered companies enjoy favorable access to many of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Waikato Innovation Park is New Zealand’s only science park and is delighted to be part of the UKSPA network. We welcome enquiries and interest around any aspect of NZ’s technology and research sectors – New Zealand’s small size means that we are well connected across the country.

History and Objectives

Waikato Innovation Park opened in 2004. It was established through a public/private partnership with a goal to enhance Waikato’s economic growth through strengthening innovation in our world-leading agriculture and agri – bio technology sectors.

The Park opened its first multi-occupancy building in late 2004, and Stage 2 of that building was delivered and fully tenanted by year end 2005. The TetraPak building opened in 2010 offering facilities for medium sized companies. Our site of 17 hectares on the eastern green belt of Hamilton allows for up to 16 buildings to be developed, and further land is earmarked for future development.

Waikato Innovation Park is in the process of bringing in an equity partner to facilitate further growth and investment into the Park’s development and commercial objectives.

New Zealand offers a creative and vibrant business culture

New Zealand is one of the world’s most efficient agricultural economies with strong trade in dairy beef, lamb and wool. We have built on our natural climatic advantages to become a leader in the agricultural technology industry, creating highly effective tools for farmers and land managers. NZ’s geographic isolation has helped maintain our animal disease-free status which is protected with a strict biosecurity regime.

NZ also has vibrant biotechnology, clean energy and manufacturing sectors, with strong industries in forestry, aviation, marine, and food and beverage.

New Zealand’s political, business, legal and fiscal environments are derived from the UK’s - and we drive on the left side of the road too. Our R&D facilities combine scientific excellence and manufacturing best practice. We have a ‘gold standard’ and efficient regulatory regime and conform to the highest international ethical standards.

With a sustainable, renewable energy sector, ultra-fast broadband infrastructure in progress, and sophisticated freight and logistics operations connecting us with the world, New Zealand provides an excellent base. We have a well-educated, flexible labour market and people with international experience.

New Zealand is a strong advocate for free trade and was the first developed country to enter into a free trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China. We also have free trade agreements with many other nations, including Singapore, Thailand, Australia, the ASEAN nations and Malaysia, and have begun negotiations with India. Australia and New Zealand have one of the most open economic and trade relationships between any two countries, effectively giving our exporters duty-free access to 25 million people.

Within New Zealand, the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Auckland regions are together regarded as ‘the golden triangle’ driving NZ’s economic growth. Waikato Innovation Park is an easy drive to Auckland and Tauranga, offering access to over half of New Zealand’s economic powerhouse – and to New Zealand’s beautiful coastline!

Waikato Innovation Park – Our Site, Facilities and Services

The Waikato region leads New Zealand’s science and research activity. Hamilton boasts one of the highest ratios of scientists per capita in the world, with approximately 1000 scientists resident here. Waikato Innovation Park neighbors the Ruakura Research Campus which is home to a number of NZ’s Crown Research Institutes, and also borders the University of Waikato.

The Park has over 40 tenant companies in the agricultural, bio technology and technology sectors. The Gallagher Core Facilities Building includes premium laboratory facilities alongside ‘A’ grade commercial office space for small to medium sized companies. The CRV Ambreed building, an eco-friendly design with a Green Star 4 standard, accommodates medium to larger scale entities. The Tetra Pak building accommodates the whole of its Oceania design team and mechanical testing and proving workshop. In all, we currently have fully tenanted space of 11,840m2.

A pilot-scale spray dryer facility opened in June 2015 and continues to offer flexible usage for development trials and for scale-up of manufacturing. The Park has completed preliminary design work for a further two buildings.

All tenants enjoy access to the following features of Waikato Innovation Park:

  • Green, park-like surrounds
  • Flexible leasing structure
  • Office and laboratory suites ranging from 20m2 to 1350m2
  • High speed broadband connectivity and infrastructure
  • On-site access to government funded researchers and development staff
  • On-site network of professional services to mobilise and support business
  • Full range of shared business services including financial and administrative processes
  • Free meeting room facilities and ‘The Street’ presentation space
  • Easy access and parking
  • Access to Ruakura Campus’ crèche, swimming, tennis and club facilities
  • Ready access to a network of world-leading expertise in the agritech, biotechnology, ICT, aerospace and precision engineering sectors
  • A ‘Kiwi’ culture of collaboration and innovation between researchers and entrepreneurs

An inland port, offering access to both the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga, and associated light industrial park is in development on the Park’s eastern border. The positive impact on the regional economy that has been attributed to Waikato Innovation Park has been noted by other regions. The Park is regularly invited to advise and contribute to similar developments around NZ.

Our list of tenants can be viewed on


Notably, TetraPak is the centre of excellence for cheese and dairy powder processing. CRV Ambreed is the service hub for the southern hemisphere, and utilise a combination of the commercial providers and researchers on the campus.

AgBio NZ Cluster

This group of agriculture and biotechnology companies formed in 2005 and Waikato Innovation Park continues to serve as the main conduit for the Cluster. With membership of around 90 of New Zealand’s key players in these sectors, the AgBio NZ Cluster is a crucial facilitator driving collaboration to achieve export growth.

Regional Business Partner Waikato

Waikato Innovation Park is the Regional Business Partner for Waikato-wide businesses. The Regional Business Partner offers business growth services and funding on behalf of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation and Business Mentors New Zealand. We effectively act as a ‘first port of call’ to any business looking to grow and to export. We’ve assisted hundreds of Waikato businesses to access funding for R&D or for management skills coaching, and we’ve offered advice, connections and sign posting for many hundreds more.

Our Business Growth Advisors work with companies across the Waikato, offering:

  • a free business assessment service to determine the priority needs of the business;
  • planning support for innovation and growth;
  • signposting to other providers of technical and business skills;
  • funding support for eligible businesses;
  • access to Business Mentors in New Zealand

FoodWaikato and NZ Food Innovation Network

As one of four food innovation hubs in NZ, FoodWaikato operates a spray dryer facility. This serves NZ food producers as an independent, dairy processing facility for development, pilot and scale-up manufacturing.

The plant has successfully operated since May 2012, with cornerstone client Dairy Goat Co-operative the major user in the first year. Other customer interest is being shown from unique milk products, formulated products, non-dairy such as vegetable powders, processing and technology providers and nutraceutical formulators.  Additional wet-side capability has been installed and enables an extension of the range of services.

The New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) is an accessible, national network of science and technology resources created to support the growth and development of New Zealand food & beverage businesses of all sizes by providing facilities and the expertise needed to develop new products and process from idea to commercial success. FoodWaikato is closely connected with the other three hubs – FoodBowl (Auckland), FoodPilot (Palmerston North, linked to Massey University) and FoodSouth (Christchurch).

The FoodBowl is a state-of –the-art commercial food pilot plant, located close to Auckland Airport. It supports the growth of food and beverage businesses by providing both facilities and expertise – offering a cost-effective and low risk way to develop and prove intiatives through commercial pre-production.

The FoodPilot replicates much of the technology held in FoodWaikato and the FoodBowl, but on a smaller scale, with around 5-25% of the throughput. This facility can help businesses or research organisations develop new products or processes. It is well suited to making a large number of variants of new products in a short time, using similar equipment to that used in full-scale manufacturing.

FoodSouth has strengths in path-to-market and feasibility of new products, and will be building two food halls with a wide range of processing equipment in 2013, located at Lincoln University.

Soft Landing Support

The Waikato region is a great base for overseas companies wishing to do business in NZ and the Asia-Pacific region. Waikato Innovation Park can break down the regulatory, logistical and financial challenges of establishing a new business here. From company compliance, importing equipment, relocating staff and hiring local personnel, to financial administration and marketing, the Park can provide the assistance and knowhow required.

Connections and Partnerships

NZ’s small size and population base (just over 4.5 million) mean that Waikato Innovation Park has connections with all the major research institutions, universities and government and business agencies involved in the innovation sector. Physically, tenants of the Park are walking distance or a very short drive to:

  • Ruakura Research Campus hosting two crown research institutes – ‘AgResearch’ and ‘Plant and Food’
  • University of Waikato
  • National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA), a crown research institute
  • Landcare, a crown research institute
  • Wintec – the Waikato Polytechnic
  • Dairy NZ – the farmers’ dairy research organisation
  • Livestock Improvement Corporation – genetics provider and holder of the national herd database
  • Hamilton’s central business district.

Regionally, Waikato Innovation Park is a key player in the economic development activity of both the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. We work with economic development agencies across the region to facilitate the growth activities for the businesses.




Waikato Innovation Park
Ruakura Lane
New Zealand

Contact:   Craig Purcell
Job title:   Business Growth Manager
Tel:   +64 7 857 05036
Email:   craig.purcell@wipltd.co.nz
Website:   www.wipltd.co.nz

News Posts