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The Waikato Region’s Agriculture Sector

Berry Picking

Waikato is home to a strong, diverse farming sector that powers both the local and national economy.

Agriculture in the Waikato

Waikato is the dairy production powerhouse of New Zealand, producing more than 25% of New Zealand’s milk supply. Waikato land is highly productive and fertile, and our expertise in pasture-based management systems is world renowned.

Waikato is also home to annual agricultural show Fieldays, the largest agricultural trade and technology event in the southern hemisphere. Held over four days in Hamilton’s Mystery Creek Events Centre, the event is a platform for cutting edge technology and innovation, bringing together exhibitors and visitors from all over the globe. 

Thoroughbred horse breeding and training, forestry, aquaculture (particularly mussel farming) and other livestock farming also contribute to agriculture in the Waikato. Many of New Zealand’s leading agri-science research facilities are based here, with the electric fence and aerial top dressing two of the many innovations to come from the region.

Why Waikato?

Waikato has ideal climate conditions that support a variety of agricultural sub-sectors. It also has the advantage of geographical location, with easy access to some of New Zealand’s biggest cities, main transport links and manufacturing and logistics facilities. 

Our people have a long history of farming successfully in the region. We’re building on this generational knowledge base every day, with award-winning innovations that make agriculture more efficient and sustainable. The region’s strong manufacturing sector provides a raft of value-add opportunities that further strengthen our food products.

AgriSeminar 2023
Fiona Carrick speaking at 'Stronger Together' Primary Sector Event 2023

Te Waka and Agriculture

Te Waka plays an active role in supporting all forms of local agriculture to solve its biggest challenges and capitalise on its greatest opportunities.  

We recognise the region’s biggest movers and shakers, support cutting edge innovators, host events and help to enable diversification that expands and enriches New Zealand agriculture as a whole.

The insights from the Waikato Business Sentiment Survey play a crucial role in shaping our strategic focus and advocacy efforts and enable our team to understand and support business owners, employees and investors at sector and district levels.


Workforce & Training

Get in touch with the training providers below that offer specialised training for the Agriculture industry. Explore opportunities to upskill your staff and connect with students to build your talent pipeline.

Local Training Providers

Sector Initiatives

  • Gateway programmes are for secondary school students who want to explore job options while studying towards NCEA. They facilitate work-based learning opportunities for students, offering a vocational education pathway by providing hands-on experience in a real-world setting.

  • Smart Waikato partners with local businesses to deliver a range of practical and innovative initiatives that support rangatahi transitioning from education to employment. 
  • Food and Fibre CoVE supports innovation and excellence in vocational education. They do this by strengthening links with industry and communities.


Agriculture and Dairy

The backbone of the Waikato’s agriculture industry is dairy – find out more about its place in our premium producing region below.

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