19 August 2020
Rotorua Primary School students learn about the Lakefront Redevelopment project
Today Rotorua Primary School students heard from some of the Lakefront Redevelopment project team about what’s happening at the lakefront reserve and how the project came to be.
This was the first session of several in an engagement programme with the school. Sessions with the school are scheduled to occur twice a term and will cover a range of different aspects of the Lakefront Redevelopment project.
Today was an introductory session and Year 5 and 6 students heard from representatives from Rotorua Lakes Council and HEB Construction. They heard about what the project was aiming to achieve, who was involved and were shown drone footage of the construction already underway as well as concept images of the completed product.
Kingi Biddle, Council’s Pūkenga Mātauranga Māori (Iwi Engagement Project Advisor), gave an overview of the cultural significance of the reserve and insight into some of the pakiwaitara (stories) of mana whenua that he would share with the students over the course of the programme.
Principal of Rotorua Primary School, Fred Whata, says “Our taonga (students) are privileged to participate in a unique localised learning opportunity of this magnitude. They will forever enjoy the learning experiences and share their memories with their own children, so it is right, to invest in the rangatahi of today who are our rangatira of tomorrow.”
Council’s Group Manager, Operations, Jocelyn Mikaere says engaging with local schools is an important opportunity to connect with Rotorua’s younger generation.
“There’s a lot going on at the Rotorua Lakefront, over a number of years, and I think engaging with students is an important opportunity to take Rotorua’s younger generation on the journey with us. Much of the planning and investment that has gone into the Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment has been about future proofing this special place and ensuring the development benefits the community for years to come.
“This is a great opportunity for these students to learn about all the different aspects of the project, from the history of the lakefront reserve, to how our contractors are building what we see in the architect’s concept images.”
Sessions for the rest of the year will include visits to some of the Lakefront worksites so students can see the work in action, as well as a more in-depth session about the cultural heritage of the Lakefront reserve. The sessions are being led by Rotorua Lakes Council and HEB Construction, who are working on lake edge section of the project, and will be supported by other project partners.
Council is also looking to extend the programme to Te Rangihakahaka Centre for Science and Technology and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu so the three main kura in the immediate vicinity of the Lakefront reserve can be involved in the project.
Lakefront Redevelopment background information
In 2018, a $19.9 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment was announced for the Lakefront Redevelopment project. This is being used alongside $20.1 million of co-funding from Council, to transform this recreational, economic and cultural resource. In July 2020, an additional $1 million PGF investment to progress work on a cultural overlay for the lakefront project was announced. 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.