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Government funding a huge boost for Rotorua projects

Government funding a huge boost for Rotorua projects

Hundreds of jobs could be created in Rotorua, and millions of dollars of private investment sparked, following a multi-million dollar cash injection from the Government.

The Government today announced the city will receive $27.4 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It has set aside:

• $19.9m for the lakefront to match the $20m allocated by Council; and

• Up to $7.5m to go towards the Whakarewarewa Forest with the same amount confirmed from Council

Mayor Steve Chadwick says these projects, signalled in the Council’s 2018 – 2028 Long-Term Plan, will enhance what the district already has and provides the community with the infrastructure it deserves.

“Government’s support significantly helps Council and iwi to progress forward much faster, and confirms the robust business cases for the two projects.

“Mā te mahi tahi, ka tutuki – Working together, we will succeed and this philosophy supports Council’s vision, Tatau Tatau – We together.

“With support from mana whenua, we have seized the opportunity to apply for Provincial Growth Funding by selecting projects that are ready to be worked on and match the pūtea (funding) criteria,” says Mayor Chadwick.

Council is currently seeking expressions of interest from companies to carry out the work, which is expected to start by the beginning of next year.

“These projects will not only benefit the tourism industry and our economy, but make Rotorua a more attractive place to live for our people and open the door to private investment,” she says.

“Without strong partnerships with Government and mana whenua, the projects wouldn’t be possible,” says Mayor Chadwick.

Lakefront development could create almost 500 jobs

The $19.9m grant for the Rotorua Lakefront will help fund several developments including a play area, new boardwalk, car parking, a new wharewaka, concrete and grass terraces and a café and restaurant space.

The economic impact analysis found the lakefront development could create more than 470 jobs, with the potential to attract $305.7m of private investment, increase tourism expenditure by $363 million and lift GDP by $214 million.

Mayor Chadwick acknowledges the expertise of two Te Arawa entities which have helped develop the plan.

Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust chair, Malcolm Short, welcomes the government funding and acknowledges the collaborative approach to the redevelopment plan.

“We have the opportunity to create a world-class space, which provides an opportunity for us to showcase the history and stories of Ngāti Whakaue, as well as some of the history of Te Arawa which is unique to Rotorua. These developments also potentially provide training opportunities including for rangatahi Māori (Māori youth).”

Te Arawa Lakes Trust Chairman, Sir Toby Curtis, says the partnership approach is future-thinking and means that both the community and landscape will prosper.

“We have been working closely with Council to ensure any mahi (work) that’s carried out upholds the mauri (life force) of the environment, including the lake. We are pleased the Government has set aside pūtea that will enhance Rotorua for our community and our tamariki mokopuna (future generations).”

Whakarewarewa Forest to become more accessible

The redevelopment of Tokorangi Forest (Redwoods side of Whakarewarewa Forest) will mean better accessibility for a variety of users and improvements to public spaces including:

• Long Mile Road

• Visitor Centre

• Car parking; and

• A new entrance and forest hub

Mayor Chadwick says CNI, Te Komiti Nui o Ngāti Whakaue and Tūhourangi have shaped the proposed plan for the forest and captured the essence of ‘the Rotorua Way’ – with economic impact analysis suggesting the project could create more than 130 jobs and potentially attract $68 million of private investment.

CNI chairman, Bronco Carson, is excited the redevelopment of the forest will create new opportunity for jobs, particularly for Māori youth, which is vital for Rotorua.

“To have the ability to offer new employment options and training opportunities to locals, including to rangatahi Māori, is imperative. Improvements to the forest provide an endless number of possibilities and the ability to offer locals, like our rangatahi, opportunities on our own front door step.”

Te Komiti Nui o Ngāti Whakaue chair, Pauline Tangohau, says it is exciting to see iwi working together with Council to support the aspirations of mana whenua.

“This is about developing and enhancing Tokorangi and Whakarewarewa for our people, communities, long term users and future visitors to Rotorua. Collaboration weaves the vision of two worlds and enables visitors and locals who use this space to connect to the history of the area.”

Tūhourangi Tribal Authority chairman, Alan Skipwith, welcomes the Government funding, saying it shows confidence in the district’s growth.

“Rotorua is growing and it’s exciting to know the Government supports our district’s ambition to redevelop the forest and create new possibilities for the community.”


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