The backers of a planned business and residential development at Ruakura on the outskirts of Hamilton say it will benefit the local economy by about $5 billion once it is fully developed.
Tainui Group Holdings wants to build an inland port freight hub, industrial centre and residential area on the site.
A Board of Inquiry opened a hearing into the development on Tuesday.
Tainui owns all of the land and wants to start the $3 billion development to benefit the Iwi but also the local and national economy.
It says the proposal will create up to 11,000 jobs during the next 50 years.
The site of the inland port straddles the new Waikato Expressway and rail links.
The backers require approval from the board to allow a change to the district plan so they can apply for resource consents.