14 December 2018
Some of the old public facilities at Boyes Beach and Acacia Bay Reserve will be improved or replaced early next year.
Construction of new toilets at Boyes Beach and a new boat ramp and refurbished toilets at Acacia Bay will start in the New Year.
Rotorua Lakes Council has been working with Lake Ōkareka Community Association (LOCA) and Rotorua Lakes Community Board to gain funding to upgrade the popular recreation areas. In September this year the project was awarded $453,250 from the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund which meant the work could start much earlier than planned.
Lake Ōkareka Community Association chair Martyn Norrie says the organisation’s purpose is to enhance the experience of those living at or visiting the superb location.
“This project is a great example of what can be achieved when Council and a local community group work together in making a submission to Government.
“Together we can ensure that the facilities at the lake remain modern and fit-for-purpose.”
The plans for the upgrade were worked through with LOCA and other key organisations that use the area and Mr Norrie says the new facilities will be convenient for many users.
“The new ablution block [at Boyes Beach] will be positioned centrally in the reserve and will be close to day visitors, campers and the where the waka ama clubs train.
“The boat ramp at Acacia Bay is a busy and much used facility. The upgrading of the boat ramp and the refurbishment of the ramp and installation of a second jetty will alleviate congestion for boat users as they launch and retrieve their boats during the busy summer season,“ Mr Norrie says.
A tender process will begin early in 2019, after which a construction date and timeline will be finalised. While the upgrades take place Council will endeavour to keep the old facilities open – if that’s possible – to minimise any disruption for users.
Some minor remedial work has also been carried out on the boat ramps to keep them in working order until the full upgrade next year.
The work is likely to take two or three months once started but that will be dependent on weather and other factors that may affect timelines.
Council will continue to work closely with Lake Ōkareka Community Association, Rotorua Lakes Community Board, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Tūhourangi, Fish and Game, Rotorua Duck Tours, the water ski club and Te Waiariki Purea Trust which were all instrumental in finalising the upgrade designs.
The Lake Ōkareka reserve upgrades are part of Council’s $2 million works budget set out in the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan to enhance lakes infrastructure.
Why is Lake Ōkareka being upgraded first?
There are a number of reasons why Lake Ōkareka is the first lakeside community to see infrastructure upgrades as part of the work set out in the Long-term Plan:
This area was already scheduled for renewal as part of Council’s ongoing asset renewal programme.
Council has been working with the local community groups for some time on plans for upgrades. This meant we were business case ready when funding became available through the Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
This area was identified as a hot spot for locals and visitors meaning the infrastructure required upgrading to match demand.
How will the new boat ramp deal with changing lake levels?
The new boat ramp has been designed to mitigate the effects of changing water levels by extending the ramp further into the lake and raising the lowest level of the jetty.
Will I still be able to use the boat ramp while the work takes place?
Yes, Council plans to upgrade the boat ramp in sections so users can still launch their boat while construction is underway.
How long will the work take?
Dates have not been finalised but the construction is likely to take two to three months (all going well).
Who decided on the upgrade design?
Council consulted with Lake Ōkareka Community Association, Rotorua Lakes Community Board, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Tūhourangi, Fish and Game, water ski club and Te Waiariki Purea Trust. Feedback from the public was also sought via Council’s engagement hub website Let’s Talk.
The following information boards will be going up at both reserves during the next month.