14 November 2019

Media: Rotorua Daily Post/BOP Times 
Topic: Empty shops in CBD

Enquiry

I am doing a story on the empty shops in the CBD. I have spoken to commercial real estate agents and the Chamber of Commerce.

What is the council's vision for the CBD and what is the council doing to make the CBD more attractive for businesses to move in there?

Agents have suggested the council needs to be more lenient around laws in the upstair buildings that could be turned into apartments [They think it could be a good idea to make some apartments out of upstair buildings and are talking about consents and the things council would be able to fast track if possible] Is that something that has been raised and is that part of the vision for the CBD?

​And I understand there was talk of rates relief to help out landlords and businesses in the CBD - did this happen and what is the ongoing outcome of that?​

Response

From Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick:

"Our vision has always been for a vibrant and diverse inner city that attracts business, activity and people. A lot has been done but there will always be more to do and we won't stop working on it.

"To date we've improved intersections, installed art, increased CCTV and lighting, established inner city markets, revamped the CBD heart (Te Manawa) and Jean Batten Park, established Eat Streat, worked with others to have inner city entertainment and events and partnered with police around safety.

"What's next will be discussed as part of setting priorities for the triennium before the end of the year. Elected members visited the CBD as part of our induction programme to see what's happening and understand the challenges and factors to be considered in future decision-making.

"Opportunities for more inner city living is identified in our spatial plan and exploring ways to incentivise CBD development, building improvements and conversion to inner city living will be part of the Rotorua housing plan Council is developing alongside government agencies, iwi and others."

Link to info re approval to explore ways to incentivise CBD development etc is HERE

Link to spatial plan

From Council’s Building Services Manager Darrell Holder:

“Building legislation is about safety and when you change to a use that includes people sleeping in a building there are higher standards of safety required. While we do have some discretion, we have to ensure compliance with legislation and cannot be lenient about safety aspects.

“There are some misunderstandings about change of use requirements and we have undertaken to conduct some case studies with property owners and work with professionals and key stakeholders to provide additional guidance to help them better understand this complex piece of the legislation.”​

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Media: Rotorua Daily Post 
Topic: Wastewater treatment plant upgrade

Enquiry

I was just looking at the Let's Talk page and was wondering where things are at with the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant. It talks about Environment Court hearings, any idea if and when they're happening or have happened? Not sure if the page is out of date or not? https://letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotorua-wastewater-treatment-plant

Response

There is nothing new regarding this right now, the timeline on Let’s Talk is up to date and there is no date set yet for Environment Court hearing.

Page reviewed: 02 Dec 2019 4:38pm