The Waikato is known for its rolling plains, fertile land and the mighty Waikato River. The region is the fourth largest regional economy in New Zealand, with a strong focus on primary production and associated manufacturing.

Some of the major industries in Waikato include dairy farming, forestry and wood, higher education, manufacturing, and health and community services. But there's a lot more to the region than that: Waikato, and especially the city of Hamilton, is developing a solid reputation for its growing digital economy.

There's a strong focus on projects to support its fast-growing population, address gaps in skills and labour, grow its global reach, and build on its advantageous location at the heart of the North Island.

The Waikato region published its 20-year economic development strategy, Waikato Means Business, in 2014.

Fast facts

  • Population: 460,100
  • Average household income: $99,200
  • GDP per capita: $49,513

More Waikato facts on the Regional Economic Activity Report

Funding announcements

Note: PGF funding is approved in principle and announced, after which contracts are negotiated. Some funding may depend on completion of business cases. Payments are made once agreed milestones are met. These are set as part of contract negotiations, and differ from project to project.

See more details about announcements on the Beehive's Regional Economic Development page.

Region Programme Organisation Amount Date
Waikato Waharoa Industrial Hub Matamata-Piako District Council $ 800,000 4 October 2018
Waikato Te Aroha Tourism Precinct Matamata-Piako District Council $ 900,000 4 October 2018
Waikato Sugarloaf Wharf feasibility Coromandel Marine Farmers Association Inc $ 558,000 17 December 2018
Waikato Coromandel Marine Gateway feasibility Pita Street Developments Limited $ 93,850 17 December 2018
Waikato Kopu Marine Precinct feasibility Thames-Coromandel District Council $ 270,000 17 December 2018
Waikato Programme Manager for Implementation of strategy Waikato Regional Council $ 74,000 7 January 2019
Waikato Waikato Economic Development Summit Waikato Regional Council $ 74,000 7 January 2019