What we're doing
Council is working with urgency on many fronts to enable more housing in Rotorua. Together with partners such as Te Arawa, central Government agencies and local housing providers, a coordinated approach is underway to achieve a better Rotorua with more housing choices and thriving communities.
Like much of Aotearoa New Zealand, Rotorua is facing a housing crisis. There are a significant number of local people living in, or on the brink of, serious housing distress.
2021-2031 Long-term Plan
Council has committed to a target of enabling construction and development of 6,000 new homes by 2030, with additional development potential of more than 10,000 residential sections.
Snapshot of key LTP Targets:
- Enabling the build and development of 6000 homes by 2030 and additional land development potential of 10,000 residential sections.
- Developing the inner-city, including two inner-city apartment buildings.
- Developing a Community Safety Plan including CCTV network expansion, increasing patrols across the district and supporting positive community activities and programmes.
- Partnering with iwi and landowners to unlock 25ha of greenfield industrial and business parkland.
- Completion of place-making projects such as the Rotorua Museum, Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, Rotorua Lakefront.
- Significant investment ($22.3 million in 2021/2022) to support economic recovery projects.
- Deliver more than $420 million in capital infrastructure investment (water supplies, stormwater, roading and sewerage) to meet current and future demand on services.
Rotorua Homes and Thriving Communities Strategy
The strategy was developed in partnership with Te Arawa and central Government agencies and aims to deliver short, medium and long-term housing solutions. The strategy covers the spectrum of housing needs from emergency and transitional housing all the way to market rentals and full home ownership.
30-year Infrastructure Strategy
This strategy was adopted alongside the 2021-2031 LTP and outlines $424 million worth of investment into core infrastructure (roading, stormwater, sewerage and water supplies) across the next 10 years to ensure safe, reliable infrastructure that is able to meet current demand and support future housing development.
Pukehangi Heights Plan Change
A District Plan change was approved by the Minister for the Environment for a streamlined plan change process to fast-track rezoning of privately-owned land along Pukehangi Road. The area is now zoned for residential housing and Council continues to work with the landowners to support the progression of their housing developments, which would enable an estimated 790 dwellings.
Intensification Plan Change
Rotorua has been identified as a Tier 2 urban environment through the Government’s National Policy Statement for Urban Design (NPS-UD). This means Council must amend the District Plan to give effect to the provision of the NPS-UD as soon as practicable. Intensification will enable more housing, a greater mix of types of housing, and in appropriate locations. The composition of household sizes and types in Rotorua is starting to change. There will be a need for smaller, low-maintenance type homes in medium to high density. The proposed changes mean residents will have more choice about where they choose to live and the types of homes they live in.
Improvements to consenting processes
While the Government is leading changes to national policy to enable faster residential development, Council is looking at ways to improve and streamline consenting processes across the board and in connection with the proposed intensification plan change and within statutory requirements, for development of medium to high density residential builds such as duplexes and terraced homes.
Government funding opportunities
Council is working alongside various partners to attract Government funding to enable housing development in Rotorua. In 2020, the Government provided Waka Kotahi and Rotorua Lakes Council with $55 million to support and enable housing in the city’s Eastside area of Wharenui.
- Read more about Government investment in Eastside housing
- Read more about Council’s applications to the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund
Priority Development Area – CBD and central city residential growth
Council and Rotorua Economic Development (RED) are working together on key pieces of work to revitalise the inner city including enabling more residential living within the CBD. This includes working with mana whenua and Te Arawa on cultural foundations, development of an inner city design guide, working on an incentives policy to encourage residential and commercial development, and opportunities to support potential landowners and developers to undertake projects that support inner city living.
Rotorua Housing Taskforce
A Taskforce of government agencies, iwi and council was established in March 2021 to provide better support and outcomes for people living in emergency housing or at risk of homelessness. MHUD has contracted 13 motels that now provide dedicated housing for more than 200 whānau. A community-led housing hub – Te Pokapū – has been established to support and place people in need of housing, and Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is working urgently to deliver about 190 homes by 2024. It is expected that around 50 of those will have been completed by mid-2022.