A Board of Inquiry has reaffirmed its draft decision and granted consent to change the Hamilton city's district plan to allow for a large development by Tainui Group Holdings.
The commercial arm of Waikato-Tainui Iwi wants to build an inland freight port, housing and retail and commercial development on more than 800 hectares of land it owns at Ruakura on the eastern outskirts of Hamilton.
The final approval from the board means developers can now apply to the Hamilton City Council for resource consents.
The $3 billion development would take advantage of existing railway links and the planned Waikato Expressway.
Tainui Group Holdings said the development would create up to 11,000 jobs during the next 50 years bringing in nearly $5 billion of benefits to the economy.
Chief executive Mike Pohio said its first priority is to prepare further detailed project plans taking into account conditions set out in the board's comprehensive 500-page ruling.