But­ter­milk set to be the new cream

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Four hun­dred plus jobs will be cre­ated with the new mega-agri­cul­tural cen­tre But­ter­milk in Pu­taruru close to con­struc­tion.

But­ter­milk part owner Sam Wulff is one of a Tau­ranga trio who saw ‘‘prom­ise’’ in the old Pu­taruru Carter Holt Harvey site on Princess St where the new com­plex will go.

‘‘It is sit­u­ated off State High­way 1 and is cen­tral. It’s an hour’s drive from Tau­ranga, Taupo and Hamil­ton. It is a strong pos­i­tive com­mu­nity and has close to 10,000 cars pass through it daily. These are only a few rea­sons why we chose the site in Pu­taruru,’’ Mr Wulff said.

The ex­cit­ing new com­plex will in­cor­po­rate four dif­fer­ent themes or parks.

The most unique of which, the Agri Park, will be the driver for the en­tire site.

Mr Wulff said the Agri Park would have an in­ter­ac­tive his­tory of farm­ing mu­seum, year-round Fiel­d­ays’ style dis­play area, ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion and con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties, and trac­tor and large ma­chin­ery dis­plays.

Other parks in­clude a Re­tail Park which will house a new su­per­mar­ket, out­let shop­ping, mini box re­tail­ers, bou­tique, home dec­o­rat­ing, fam­ily restau­rants and en­ter­tain­ment, a pro­posed new med­i­cal cen­tre and a farm­ers mar­ket.

The Auto Park will have an un-manned fuel sta­tion, self-ser­vice car wash and valet, ve­hi­cles and farm ma­chin­ery ser­vic­ing, new car and com­mer­cial deal­er­ship, au­to­mo­tive re­tail out­let and a cam­per­van park-over.

The Trade Park will have stock feed sup­pli­ers, ma­chin­ery and plant man­u­fac­tur­ers, ru­ral ser­vic­ing, lo­gis­tics and trans­port com­pa­nies, and ware­hous­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion.

‘‘As the ru­ral sec­tor is the key driv­ing com­po­nent of the site, it is ben­e­fi­cial to us that we sit at the heart of over 16,000 ru­ral prop­er­ties, pro­duc­ing a di­verse range of com­modi­ties. We feel that this is a strong fac­tor in achiev­ing our aim of But­ter­milk not only be­ing a New Zealand first but quite pos­si­bly a world first. We know that traf­fic flow in­creases dur­ing pub­lic hol­i­days and large events, and we be­lieve that this will as­sist us in our aim of achiev­ing a strong do­mes­tic visi­tor rate.’’ Mr Wulff said.

The three Tau­ranga en­trepreneurs Mr Wulff, Paul Washer and Dave Mac­far­lane chose the name But­ter­milk be­cause, ‘‘it’s what is left af­ter the big boys have flogged the cream and we are go­ing to make some­thing sweet with it’’. A tongue in cheek jibe at ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions that have come and gone from the district.

Build­ing the fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to start within the next 12 months.

Mr Wulff and his part­ners have trans­formed small com­mu­ni­ties in the past.

‘‘We pur­chased a sim­i­lar site in Waiuku close to Auck­land. The re­sults of that have been great, more jobs in the area but more im­por­tantly the com­mu­nity spirit has lifted. We know the ef­fects of this com­plex will change the South Waikato so­cially.’’

Mr Wulff said a strength was the ‘‘close prox­im­ity to But­ter­milk’s pri­vate rail sid­ing and its di­rect ac­cess to the Port of Tau­ranga, mak­ing it an ob­vi­ous choice for ware­hous­ing, dis­tri­bu­tion, im­port and ex­port. But­ter­milk is also at the heart of Waikato’s road net­work – north, south, east and west, there­fore strate­gi­cally sit­u­ated for all as­pects of dis­tri­bu­tion.’’

South Waikato Mayor Neil Sin­clair said the in­ter­est from out­side in­vestors has been ‘‘phe­nom­e­nal’’.

‘‘Busi­ness peo­ple are se­ri­ously look­ing at set­ting up busi­ness in our district. We have prospec­tive busi­nesses look­ing at set­ting up base on Brown­ing St in Toko­roa. We have Ara­puni Milk and now we have this ex­cit­ing new ven­ture But­ter­milk. Ev­ery­thing is look­ing up for our district. It is very ex­cit­ing times.’’

Photo: BELLA CRE­ATIVE

TAU­RANGA TRIO: Tau­ranga busi­ness part­ners Paul Washer, Dave Mac­far­lane and Sam Wulff pur­chased the for­mer Carter Holt Harvey site on Princess St to transform it into But­ter­milk.

BUT­TER­MILK: This is what the But­ter­milk Com­plex will look like once it is com­pleted. Photo sup­plied.

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