Waikato Introduction


Welcome to the Waikato Region

A geographically and culturally diverse region, the Waikato has a range of activities and attractions to suit all ages and tastes – from our vibrant city hub of Hamilton to the rugged west coast, the underground wonders and middle-earth move magic.

Our Economy

The Waikato Region is important to the national economy, because of it’s scale and location, and it’s 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, 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.

Collaboration is required amongst a broad range of organisations for the country to benefit even more from the opportunities present in the Waikato region. A shared understanding of the region’s strengths and opportunities should lead to improved coordination of infrastructure development, regulatory processes, innovation and economic development activities. This will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of these activities and lead to improved economic outcomes.

Waikato Regional Council plays an important role in enabling regional development. For example, key infrastructure and productive land are protected through land use and water allocation decisions and flood protection and control works. Strategic and integrated planning through instruments like the Regional Policy Statement helps ensure that the productive capability of natural resources is protected. Collectively, these and other actions matter for the wellbeing of both the economy and the environment.

Waikato Education

Eduactional facilities in the Waikato cover every level, from early childhood education to ongoing education for adults. The main city Hamilton is home to the University of Waikato, rated in the top 1.1% of universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2017.

If your children are New Zealand residents, permanent residents or citizens, or they hold a student visa based on your temporary work visa, they can attend primary and secondary schools as domestic students. If they do not have any of these, check to see if they need visas.

Early childhood education
There are just over 460 options for early childhood education in the Waikato region.

There are many different types of early childhood services. A key difference between these services is how much involvement they expect of the child’s parents and family. The main types of early childhood education services are described on the Education Review Office website.

Early childhood education providers are listed on the Education Counts website. For more information about the kindergartens in this region, visit the Waikato Kindergarten Association.

Playgroups are informal sessions where caregivers and children aged 0-5 years meet together in a relaxed environment. In a playgroup, parents and caregivers stay to interact with the other adults and to play with the children.

Playgroups are usually set up and run by parents and caregivers, with children choosing from a range of activities. Activities at playgroup are either free or low cost, and may include music and singing, imaginative play, outdoor and free play, or arts and crafts.

Primary and Intermediate Schools
There are hundreds of primary schools across the Waikato Region, primary schools can range in role from less than 100 students in rural areas to over 500 in the cities. You can search for the schools in your area on the ‘Study’ <<>> section of the site.
High Schools
Each district in the Waikato Region has at least one high school. In New Zealand the Ministry of Education regulates schools, meaning the education recieved at one school will be uniformly high with any other. With this in mind you can feel assured which ever school you choose within the region your child will recieve a world class education. You can search for the schools in your area on the ‘Study’ <<>> section of the site.
Adult Community Education
There are several options for community education in the Waikato

A variety of adult education classes are available through local libraries across the Waikato Region, including a weekly English conversation class at the Celebrating Age Centre.

Waikato Pathways College’s Community Education offers access to the resources of the university for non-credit programmes and short courses.

To learn more about Adult community classes in your district please view the appropriate council’s page.


The Waikato region is a medium-sized economy with a strong primary production and agri-manufacturing focus.

Although the economy is based on dairy, meat and other foods along with forestry, agritech and geothermal energy, the biggest employers are the health and education, business and finance, and wholesale and retail trade sectors. The aviation industry is also growing.

Waikato contributed 8.4 per cent to national GDP (year ended March 2016), provides 8.6 per cent of national employment and is home to an estimated 9.6 per cent of the national population.


There are plenty of options when it comes to finding the home and lifestyle you’re looking for in Waikato. This includes everything from a good-sized modern city to smaller regional towns, along with rural and coastal areas

<<<< Please insert an box for additional info links, these will link to posts about relevant to national policies re: renting and home ownership – links so far (with more to be added later) include

Buying a house

LIM reports




Tennancy Agreements >>>

English Study

Waikato Learning English

The Waikato has several options for learning English, from qualifications to conversation groups. Find a provider in your area via the local council page.

Types of courses

Academic English will help you with your studies. Some academic programmes have requirements for English language ability, and these courses will help you reach these standards.

Business English will help you with speaking English in the workplace.

General English will help you with having conversations in English, and with completing everyday tasks.

English Language training (ESOL)

English language training in New Zealand is often called ESOL training (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Courses can specialise in everyday English, academic English or business English. They are available from many different organisations and may be full-time or part-time.

Prepaid English for Migrants

If you paid for English tuition as part of your visa application, ask the provider about options for English for Migrants courses.

If you are having trouble finding a course, call the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) on 0800 601 601.

Community English Courses

A range of English class providers, both professional and casual, can be found in the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) directory. There is also a regular, 30 minute radio programme to help you improve your English language skills on Planet FM.


Toastmasters is a programme where you can improve your leadership and communication skills in a safe, supportive club environment. Anyone can join, and there is a balance of women and men and a range of age groups, cultures and occupations.

View their website here

Waikato Healthcare

Excellent quality health services are available throughout the Waikato region. In fact, Waikato Hospital in Hamilton is one of New Zealand’s largest single-site hospitals. If you live in some of the more remote areas of the Waikato you may need to travel to access certain health services.

Public Hospitals

There are six hospitals in the Waikato region. The largest is the Waikato hospital in Hamilton. There are also hospitals in Taupo, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui. Use the council pages to find the nearest hospital to you


All dentists are registered with the Dental Council of New Zealand. Use the following link to find a dentist near you. Use the council pages to find the nearest dentist to you.

Local Health Centres and doctors (GPs)

General practitioners (GPs) are fully trained medical doctors who can advise you on your health and refer you for further tests or specialist treatment if needed. GPs are registered with a Primary Health Organisation (PHO).

Enrolling with your local doctor will save you money and help keep you and your family healthy.

Use the following links to find a PHO and GPs in the Waikato region.

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‘enrolling with your local doctor”>>>>

Mental Health Services

The mental healthcare services in the Waikato region are provided by Waikato DHB, you can contact them on 07 839 8899.For urgent assistance after hours 7 days a week: 0800 50 50 50, or ring Healthline 0800 611 116.

After hours clinics

If you are feeling unwell or need some urgent medical advice, Healthline offers a 24 hour health service over the phone. You can call them on 0800 611 116.

Anglesea Clinic is the delegated after hours service for almost all of the GPs in the Hamilton, Cambridge, Morrinsville, Te Awamutu, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, and Raglan areas.For more information please call: (07) 858 0800

After hours pharmacies

The doctor or health practitioner who writes your prescription will probably know the pharmacy closest to you.

Anglesea Clinic Pharmacy is the delegated after hours service for almost all of the GPs in the Hamilton, Cambridge, Morrinsville, Te Awamutu, Huntly, Te Kauwhata, and Raglan areas. For more information please call: (07) 858 0800


The Plunket Society (Plunket) offers information, support and developmental assessments of children at varying stages between birth and five years. They also organise car seat education services, parenting education and parenting groups. See the links below for services in your area. Plunket also offers a free parent helpline and advice service available to all families and caregivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 0800 933 922 for parenting help.

<<< Please add info box link to the following page: https://www.plunket.org.nz/plunket-near-you/area-pages/waikato >>>

Having a baby

There are various options available for giving birth in the Waikato region. Use the Ministry of Health link below to see what is available in your area.

<<< Please add info box link to the following page: https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/pregnancy-and-kids/services-and-support-during-pregnancy/where-give-birth/find-maternity-facilities-your-area/waikato-maternity-facilities >>>

Senior line

Senior Line is a phone service and online portal with information for older people and their carers who are making decisions about staying at home, retirement villages, day care options and rest homes. Call 0800 725 463 or visit the website.

<<< Please add info box link to the following page: https://www.seniorline.org.nz/ >>>


Hospice is specialist care given to those with life-limiting illness. Hospice Waikato provides hospice care in the region free of charge and in the setting of their choice.

<<< Please add info box link to the following page: https://www.hospicewaikato.org.nz/>>>

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