Making the most of the summer sun



3 December 2019

It’s been a busy 12 months for Council’s Sports, Recreation and Environment team and the arrival of summer means the work is not slowing down.

Some projects are now complete, others are underway with work continuing during the next few months and others are being lined up to begin in the new year.

Rotorua Lakes Council provides and manages:

  • 800 hectares of reserve land (excluding the Tokorangi Forest),
  • 45 kilometres of walkways,
  • 72 playgrounds with 227 individual pieces of play equipment,
  • 50 hectares of sportsfield land.
  • 110 urban reserves used by residents and visitors
  • 69 public toilets

Where does the funding come from?

As part of the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan Council committed more than $24 million to upgrading various recreational spaces during the next 10 years.

Most of the funding comes from general rates however generous funding has been provided for specific projects by partners including Rotorua Lakes Community Board and various local lakeside community groups, as well as grants from the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund.  

Latest updates:

Matahi Spit, Lake Rotoma

The finishing touches are being applied to the new-look toilets at Matahi Spit – both the inside and outside of the facility got a facelift along with the new jetty that was upgraded at the end of winter.  The toilets will be open for use in the first weeks of December.

Smallbone carpark

The extra parking area at Smallbone Park is now finished and in use. This project included additional parking, drainage gardens, new line painting, removal of trees to improve visibility and widening the entrance from Devon Street.

Puketawhero Park

This project will see two new parking areas established at Puketawhero Park. The extra parking will help to ease pressure during weekend sports and tournaments. The additional lighting installed will make more fields usable during winter months.

The carpark on the Te Ngae Road side is almost complete. The kerbing, metal and landscaping are finished and all that is left to do is the sealing and line painting. A new median strip has also been installed on Te Ngae Road to stop cars crossing in front of oncoming traffic to enter the carpark.

The new larger carpark on the Vaughan Road side is progressing and on track to be finished before Christmas. The mini field next to the new carpark is being levelled and seeded as part of this project.

Boyes Beach, Lake Ōkareka

Work on the new amenity block is progressing however, delays due to soil conditions and wet weather in early Spring has pushed the completion date to the new year.

The precast concrete panels are up and the next stages involve the fit out of the interior and installation of the wastewater system.

The current toilet facility will remain open until the new amenity block is complete.

Kuirau Park

Construction of the main market area is almost complete and is likely to be open to the public in the coming weeks. The adjacent basketball court is on hold while a boundary fence for it is being manufactured. This area will remain fenced off until the court is fully complete.

Scheduled completion for this part of the projects is now February 2020. The Rotary market will continue in its current location until that time.

Market space and basketball court work still being completed:

  • Installation of fence posts
  • Basketball court surface
  • Rotary Market storage container installation
  • Seating
  • Cycle racks
  • Waste bins
  • Basketball fence
  • Lighting and electrical supply installation

The wider master plan for the Kuirau Park redevelopment project is progressing while the market space work is completed.

Testing of the geothermal supply will take place in the next couple of months. This work will indicate the capacity of the geothermal system underneath the ground within Kuirau Park and whether it can adequately supply the current facilities as well as the new geothermal play space.

Work is also underway with engineers reviewing what land strengthening measures will be required for the construction of the new Kuirau Park skate park.

Read more about the Kuirau Park revitalisation project HERE

Sanatorium Reserve

Summer is the busiest time for restoration work within the Sanatorium Reserve. We are now in year two of the five-year restoration project and the aim during the next few months is to continue with the removal of exotic plant species. The particularly difficult part of this removal is the bamboo spraying. Now that it has been cut back, it requires years of repetitive spraying to ensure that the plant is eradicated from the reserve.  

Wildlands Consultants will continue this work as well as removal of larger exotic plants and trees.

Other work within the reserve includes cultivation of native flora such as kānuka and turutu grass. Wildlands are also working alongside the Department of Conservation to trap pests (rats) and encourage nesting for the native birdlife. Keep an eye out for more about these important projects during the summer months.

Read more about the Sanatorium Reserve restoration project HERE

Crematorium upgrade

The new cremator building at the Rotorua Crematorium is now complete. The extension was constructed to house a new cremator that will arrive early in 2020.

The new cremator will help to improve what is very important community facility by providing a modern, safe and efficient service.

Read more HERE

Minor parks and reserves projects:

  • Lake Tarawera walkway marker renewal – underway and completed in early December
  • Lake Ohakuri reserve – retaining walk and hardstand renewal – tender awarded
  • Rangiuru Bay reserve – fencing and furniture renewal – underway and completed before Christmas
  • Elliot Park bridge – railing renewal and structure refurbishment – January
  • Kuirau Park lake boardwalk – currently closed – design and geotechnical testing in the new year
  • Gisborne Point boat ramp – application for Heritage New Zealand underway
  • New playground at Wrigley Road reserve - underway
  • 10 playground renewals – public feedback received and designs underway
  • Reeme Street reserve – new park seats installed
  • Devon Street west and Boyes Beach playground safety surface renewed

Page reviewed: 03 Dec 2019 10:00am