Ruakura is a semi-rural suburb of Hamilton City, in the Waikato region of New Zealand. The University of Waikato is nearby. The area lies to the east of urban Hamilton and to the west of State Highway 1B (a variant of State Highway 1 which avoids the urban area).
Ruakura is synonymous with the Ruakura Agriculture Research Centre, the location of institutes such as AgResearch and Plant & Food Research. For over half a century, world-leading research has been conducted at Ruakura, and it is the leading agriculture and life sciences research centre in New Zealand. Areas of AgResearch's research at Ruakura include animal molecular biology (genomics and cloning), reproductive technologies, agricultural systems modelling, land management, dairy science, meat science, food processing technology and safety, and animal behaviour and welfare. Ruakura is also the site of AgResearch's head office. Plant & Food Research's site in Hamilton is home to its blueberry nursery, its Bioengineering Group and its Food and Biological Chemistry laboratory. Work is also carried out on biological control agents. The Waikato region is a major contributor to New Zealand's agricultural-based economy, and Ruakura has an important role in that industry.
The Waikato Regional Council included a majority of the land at Ruakura in the proposed Regional Policy Statement (PWRPS) as a future employment area. The Hamilton City Council Proposed District Plan gave effect to the PWRPS incorporating the Ruakura structure plan. The long term plan for Ruakura is that it will be New Zealand’s largest integrated commercial and lifestyle development anchored by a freight and logistics hub. The project provides an unrivaled opportunity to drive the growth for businesses, as local and global trade continues to grow at an increasing rate. The vision is to build a real community at Ruakura with an exciting mix of high-quality work, live and play elements.