Karakia marks beginning of lakefront development
15 October 2019
This morning a karakia was held to mark the beginning of earthworks at the lakefront and to recognise the partnerships that have been pivotal in seeing this development get underway.
Rotorua Lakes Council representatives and stakeholders gathered at the lakefront for the whakatau and karakia led by Monty Morrison and Rangitihi Pene on behalf of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa.
In the speeches following, Ngāti Whakaue was acknowledged for its gifting of the lakefront reserve and Te Arawa as custodian of the lakes.
Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick spoke of the history behind the lakefront development, acknowledging that while the beginning of physical works was being marked today, significant work has been ongoing for a number of years to get to this point.
“While the lakefront development has been talked about since 2006, it wasn’t until approximately three years ago when new commitments to working in partnership with mana whenua created a genuine opportunity to move the lakefront development forward.
“Thanks to the generosity of our partners, in sharing their histories, the development of this taonga is very much reflective of the geographical changes of our waterfront over time and the impact of the people who have lived here.
“As well as acknowledging the past, the project is symbolic of going forward,” she said.
Mayor Chadwick also acknowledged Central Government’s contribution to the development. Through Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, Council will receive match funding to complete the project in recognition of its potential to deliver economic development and create new jobs in the region.
“Along with the renovation of the Museum and the investment in the forest, it is affirming of our Vision and of Government’s confidence to invest in Rotorua and in working in partnership with us,” she said.
Construction of the entire lakefront development will be completed in stages to ensure parts of the lakefront reserve are always accessible. Entertainment and activities will continue to feature at the lakefront to ensure the reserve is still an enjoyable place to be even throughout construction.
The first stage of the lakefront development will involve the construction of a new boardwalk along the lake edge from the eastern area by the existing footbridge to the existing commercial jetty, as well as terracing along the lake edge which will provide space by the water to sit and relax.
The next stage of development will involve preparing the ground for the construction of the new playground and a new toilet block facility. Council is currently in the process of finalising the contract for this work.
Fencing and site setup is scheduled to start on Tuesday 29 October with some soil sampling taking place later this week. During the soil sampling some areas will be fenced off temporarily.
While this stage of construction is underway access to the lake edge and Oruawhata Drive will be restricted but access through Memorial Drive and Lakefront Drive will remain open. Access to Memorial Drive will be restricted early next year when work on Stage 4 begins. More information about access to the lakefront will be provided once the worksite boundaries have been finalised.
In partnership with Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, Rotorua Lakes Council is managing an investment of $40 million ($19.9m from the Provincial Growth Fund, $20.1m from Council) between now and 2021 to transform this recreational, economic and cultural resource. The lakefront design has been made possible through the support of our partners, the Gifted Reserves Committee (Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust) and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. The design reflects the heritage and ongoing contribution of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa to the Rotorua district. Together, our vision is to develop the lakefront into an outstanding recreational area that will benefit locals, support tourism, and encourage private investment, which will in turn create new jobs and benefit Rotorua’s community.
Learn more about this project at rotorualakescouncil.nz/lakefrontdevelopment.