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Te Arawa Lakes Trust development to boost local economy



Te Arawa Lakes Trust development to boost local economy

Artist impression of the Te Arawa Lakes Trust development on Lake Rd. Image/ Darryl Church Architecture

An innovative, future-focussed development overlooking the shores of Lake Rotorua is set to create employment for the region - with a pledge to use locals to build it.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust will build a $6 million, multi-storey, wood-first building on Lake Rd with aspirations for it to become a shared, central hub for iwi organisations.

There will also be significant benefits for Māori and the local economy, Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) chairman, Sir Toby Curtis says.

“This building is a result of the foresight Te Arawa Lakes Trust had to purchase this land 10 years ago and with patience and perseverance it will now be transformed into an asset for our iwi,” he says.

“It’s going to create employment because we want our local people to build it. We also want this development to provide opportunity for training so that our people can learn the skills required for the various trades,” he says.

Great consideration has been given to the design aspect which seeks to align with the Rotorua Lakes Council’s push to support local industry and use wood-first.

The structure will have a net lettable area that spans over three floors of approximately 1970 square metres. It will have 37 carparks. Designed by award winning, local firm, Darryl Church Architecture, there is a strong emphasis on having a minimal carbon footprint. Key features include solar panels, rainwater catchment and hydroponic plants lining the outside.

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Dr Tanira Kingi, chair of TALT’s asset holding company Te Arawa Management Limited, says the cost to build was enabled by the reallocation of funds into an investment that would return a social as well as a financial return.

“Applying these investments into a major infrastructure creates employment that has a positive economic multiplier effect,” he says.

Sir Toby says the excitement was evident with other key partners and local authorities keen to be a part of the new development.”

“The Bay of Plenty Regional Council is working with Te Arawa Lakes Trust to explore the opportunity to relocate from their current Arawa St premises to the new building once completed,” Sir Toby says.

It is a move that made business sense, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana chairman, Doug Leeder says.

I’m excited that we have signed with our partners, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, an MoU that outlines our requirements to both enable effective service delivery of regional council operations from this building as well as the efficiencies co-locating with Te Arawa will provide,” Mr Leeder says.

The development decision came after months of discussion held with the residents of Ohinemutu, koeke and the surrounding businesses.

Ngāti Whakaue kaumatua, Pihopa Kingi says it will be a valuable resource for the iwi.

“This building symbolises unity, growth and employment that will uplift and benefit Te Arawa in the years to come.”

Sir Toby acknowledges the hard work and determination of Te Arawa Lakes Trust former chief executive, now environment and freshwater strategic manager, Roku Mihinui and current chief executive, Gareth Jones for bringing this development to fruition.

Mr Jones has indicated that the project is subject to resource consent and securing tenants.

The Trust plans to break ground mid-2017 with the opening expected early 2018.


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