24 April 2020
Long-term plan projects may be able to be brought forward to provide economic stimulus for Rotorua if Government funding applications for “shovel ready” works are successful.
To support economic recovery the Government has called for projects able to be started within six to 12 months to be submitted to Crown Infrastructure Partners Limited (CIP) for consideration for Government funding. Mayor Chadwick says it reflects the need to invest to provide stimulus as part of post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
“Bringing projects forward, where that is prudent and feasible, is part of the Rotorua Build Back Better economic recovery strategy that Council approved in response to COVID-19. Each project submitted by Rotorua Lakes Council would provide stimulus by providing work and jobs,” Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
“Our local economy has been devastated and there are many strands to the recovery plan, including bringing businesses from all sectors together to develop strategies. That work is underway. Government’s call for ‘shovel-ready’ projects provides an additional opportunity alongside the other work that will need to happen to help our economy recover.”
Rotorua Lakes Council has submitted seven projects – wastewater projects, Aquatic Centre redevelopments, roading and stormwater infrastructure projects to enable urban land development, already planned airport business park developments and added value aspects of the PGF-funded lakefront and forest developments, both already underway. [see further information below]
“The lakefront and forest redevelopments have already received Government funding but COVID-19 has put at risk anticipated private sector investment, and therefore economic benefits like jobs related to these, so further Government funding would enable us to still realise those benefits,” Mayor Chadwick says.
Council has also co-submitted, with Te Puni Kokiri, to add to work already committed for Kaingaroa Village to improve housing, infrastructure and community facilities.
Mayor Chadwick says there are further Rotorua projects submitted by Government agencies like NZTA so our district is well represented in submissions put forward.
“We’ve had to move fast on this but our submission reflects existing plans and partnerships with Te Arawa iwi and government agencies, and supports transformational change for our district and economy.
“Projects we’ve submitted total $210 million. Submitting doesn’t mean we’ll get all the funding of course, but we have been careful to ensure our projects meet the criteria and align with our Build Back Better economic recovery strategy to give Rotorua the best possible chance.”
The Government’s aim nationally is to create a pipeline of projects to help stimulate the economy by keeping construction and related supply sectors in business and people in jobs.
“Projects from around the Bay of Plenty region have been submitted and endorsed by the Bay of Plenty Mayoral Forum,” Mayor Chadwick says. “We recognise the region as a whole will require investment to aid recovery but acknowledge each district faces unique challenges that will require different responses.”
Rotorua Lakes Council split its CIP submissions into two broad categories:
Infrastructure to support housing and the development of new businesses /sectors:
- Infrastructure to enable urban land development - State Highway 30 (Te Ngae Rd) roading upgrades, stormwater infrastructure development and Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands capability investment.
- Rotorua wastewater treatment plant upgrade – significant upgrades and increased capacity for Rotorua city and lake water quality.
- Airport business park development - Land development investment to support planned airport/aeronautical business development.
- Rotoehu/Ngamotu reticulation - lake water quality improvements and reducing financial impact on local ratepayers
Leveraging existing tourism investment to create greater value and strengthen domestic visitation:
- Rotorua aquatic centre redevelopment - geothermally heated regional quality facility
- Whakarewarewa forest & trail development – forest hub development on Tarawera Road including core buildings, tree planting and track developments.
- Rotorua Lakefront - Development of new jetties for commercial operators and new building.
Read more about these projects HERE
About our local economic recovery plan to Build Back Better:
Council agreed to align its local response to that of the Government and adopted a set of high-level strategies to guide recovery planning:
- Build on Rotorua’s unique strengths;
- Create a confident business environment that encourages investment and the emergence of new sectors;
- Work with business leaders to craft innovative strategies for impacted sectors;
- Position Rotorua as leading the resurgence of tourism and wood processing;
- Leverage Central and Local Government investment to drive employment in both the short and longer-term;
- Implement locality plans to connect our communities and transform our city.