PGF invests $1 million in Lakefront cultural overlay



31 July 2020


Today the Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment received $1million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to progress work on a cultural overlay for the project.

The announcement was made by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau in Rotorua this afternoon. The funding is part of a $62million investment boost for Rotorua projects that will create jobs and opportunities for economic development to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says the investments will be a huge boost for the city.

“We are delighted to see the Government further investing in Rotorua and recognising the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our city.

“The creation of new jobs is invaluable at a time like this and will provide certainty and stability for many in our community.

“We are committed to building back better, and progressing these local projects will contribute to stabilising the economy and ensuring that Rotorua remains a desirable destination for domestic visitors now, and for international visitors, in the future.”

The additional investment from the PGF into the Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment will help to build on the cultural foundation that underpins the entire project. This PGF support will progress work on a cultural overlay that will provide employment to local artists who will create carved pou and information panels that will tell the pakiwaitara (stories) of mana whenua. These elements will express the cultural narrative and improve the connection between Rotorua Lakefront, Rotorua Museum and Whakarewarewa Forest for locals and manuhiri alike. The cultural overlay will consist of artwork, interpretation, and design.

About the investment in the cultural overlay for the lakefront redevelopment Mayor Chadwick says, “We are currently in the process of developing a world-class lakefront that will become a popular destination for locals and manuhiri. Investment in the cultural overlay for this project will help us further accentuate the unique cultural identity that we have here in Rotorua and incorporating the cultural narrative into the development provides an important opportunity for Te Arawa to share their stories about this special place.”

In 2018, Rotorua Lakes Council received a $19.9 million Provincial Growth Fund investment, which is being used alongside $20.1 million of co-funding from Council, to transform the Rotorua Lakefront. The lakefront design has been made possible through the support of our partners, the Gifted Reserves Committee (Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust) and Te Arawa Lakes Trust. The design reflects the heritage and ongoing contribution of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa to the Rotorua district. Together, our vision is to develop the lakefront into an outstanding recreational area that will benefit locals, support tourism, and encourage private investment, which will in turn create new jobs and benefit Rotorua’s community.

More information on this project is available at

Other projects included in funding announcement:

  • Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa project – $38 million
  • Taheke Geothermal Power Station – $11.9 million
  • St John Ambulance – $11 million
  • Waiteti Marae renovation – $372,420  

Page reviewed: 31 Jul 2020 5:00pm