Kiwi Co-operative Dairies Limited Factory, Whareroa

Engineering Plant (eg railway, locomotive, car, plane)

This factory at Whareroa, 3 kilometres south of Hawera in South Taranaki, is the world's largest dairy processing complex on one site. With the 2001 merger of Kiwi and New Zealand Dairy Group, the factory is now owned by Fonterra, which is one of the world's largest dairy companies.

Operations began on the site in August 1973. Capacity more than doubled in 1984 with the merger of Kiwi and Taranaki co-operative dairy companies. Owned by 1500 dairy farmer shareholders, Kiwi Dairies could process 4.5 million litres of milk daily into milk powders, butters, cheeses and casein protein powders. In 1990 the factory processed 12 per cent of New Zealand's milk production.

Unique features of the complex, apart from its size, include the:
- rapid milk reception system
- centralised milk reception and standardising
- integrated energy system
- Allen-Bradley large system programmable logic control (PLC) network
- layout of site from milk reception to product load-out, including services with flexibility for future expansion.

Other New Zealand dairy companies have had to follow the Kiwi lead into large centralised, highly efficient milk-processing sites to remain competitive, and many of the features of the Kiwi plant and layout have been copied.

Kiwi was the major employer and economic player in its region, earning $300 million a year in overseas exports. During 1990 it hoped to pay out $250 million to supplying dairy farmers, plus $20 million in salaries and to service suppliers.

Architects: Laurenson, Robinson and Boon
Consulting Engineer: Donald Bruce-Smith
Plant design: National Dairy Association NZ Ltd
Building construction: Arthur Brown Construction Co Ltd

Heritage recognition
IPENZ “Engineering to 1990” project
This item of New Zealand’s engineering heritage was recognised as part of the IPENZ “Engineering to 1990” project which the Institution organised to help celebrate the country’s sesquicentenary in 1990. A plaque was unveiled to mark the significance of this dairy factory as part of the development of the nation.


No Attachments

Whareroa Road, Hawera


Access Info
The factory complex is not open to the public although there is an information centre on State Highway 3 outside the plant.

Nature of Engineering
Manufacturing and Industrial Processing


(Click image to enlarge )

Lat: -39.607523 Long: 174.302902