Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee updates



11 September 2020

Housing strategy framework finalised following consultation

Following recent consultation Council will be asked to approve the finalised Rotorua housing strategy framework with the support of the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee.

The committee yesterday resolved to recommend that the Full Council approves the finalised strategy framework when it meets later this month. The strategy is a partnership between Te Arawa, Rotorua Lakes Council and Central Government agencies.

The finalised strategy and a report on recent consultation on the draft strategy were presented to the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee yesterday [Thursday 10 September].

Development of a housing strategy was an action included in the Spatial Plan that was adopted by Council in 2018 following engagement and consultation. 

There has been ongoing engagement about increasing homelessness in Rotorua with the community and agencies including police, the ministries of Social Development (MSD) and Housing and Urban Development (MHUD), inner city stakeholders, Te Arawa groups, Housing First and other local service providers.

Engagement and consultation was undertaken in late 2019 to inform the development of a Housing Strategy, resulting in identification of a consistent vision and a range of action areas to address issues. Additional work taking place in the district has also informed the strategy development and the work is supported by Central Government data.

In February 2020, Minister of Housing Megan Woods confirmed the Government was working with Council and Te Arawa to better understand the housing and urban issues affecting the city. MHUD’s place-based approach starts with a collaborative, place-based assessment, through which joint action plans are developed to target central government and local action where it is most needed.

Council has worked closely with MHUD and other participants have included senior representatives from MSD, Kāinga Ora, Te Puni Kokiri and Lakes District Health Board.

An Establishment Leadership Group comprising Te Arawa Council and MHUD representatives has overseen the work to date. 

Development of the housing strategy framework was well underway when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred but that has not changed the issues the strategy seeks to address. Alongside the uncertainty and challenges relating to economic downturn that now present, it is considered there are also opportunities for new workforce development and construction work to assist with economic recovery.

There was a good level of interest and participation in community engagement and consultation undertaken from 22 June to 14 August 2020 to get feedback on the draft housing strategy framework and amendments have been made to the draft.

In general, there was strong and consistent support for wide aspects of the strategy, and a sense of urgency to get on with implementation. There was genuine concern about the problems Rotorua has with constrained housing supply and some of the resultant problems like rent increases, poor quality and the complex issues around homelessness.

There was consistent feedback regarding community safety and amendments have been made to the framework to reflect this. Another particular theme identified as needing more focussed attention was affordability. As a result a new workstream of affordability has been developed, identifying activities and attributes which contribute towards increasing affordability of housing.

See the finalised housing strategy framework HERE

See feedback received about the draft framework HERE

See feedback collation/analysis and resulting actions HERE

Go to THIS LINK to view the agenda report on the Rotorua housing strategy, He Papakāinga, He Hāpori Taurikura Te Poupou Rautaki - Rotorua Homes and Thriving Communities Strategic Framework 

Go to THIS LINK to view the presentation slides relating to this matter

Go to THIS LINK to go directly to the part of the meeting recording where this matter was presented and discussed.

Progress on Eastside Structure Wellness Plan

Progress on an Eastside Structure Wellness Plan to provide a framework for future development of Rotorua’s eastern suburbs was reported to the Committee yesterday.

A draft Eastside Structure Wellness Plan has been developed through a partnership between Eastside hapū, the Tatau Pounamu Collective and Council and has been released for community feedback.

The purpose of the Eastside Structure Wellness Plan is to provide a framework for future development and growth within Eastside Rotorua, reflecting the relevant communities’ vision for the future and the dreams and aspirations of those who live in this area to support a well-planned, connected and thriving community. The Plan sits alongside current and proposed work on the four wellbeings (social, economic, environmental, cultural) and wider locality planning to support and facilitate positive outcomes for the Eastside communities.

The Vision of the Eastside Structure Wellness Plan is to: Collectively nurture our future – Together we can, and do, make a difference.  Tātau tātau, We together.

Tatau Pounamu Collective representative Ralph Mosen told the Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee that the Collective took a consensus, community-led approach to decision-making and it was exciting to have Council partnering with the community.

He said he was looking forward to the plan being adopted and moving forward into the future.

A presentation to the committee outlined the background, purpose and process involved as part of the community-led plan.

The Committee heard today that the Tatau Pounamu Collective has been working with its Eastside communities for the past eight years to hear the voices and aspirations of residents, translating these into the development and implementation of the Tatau Pounamu Strategy. 

Rotorua Lakes Council’s Spatial Plan, adopted in 2018, also identified Eastside Rotorua as one the three early priority areas for new homes and increasing infrastructure capacity.  This focus is further supported by the district housing strategy framework with Eastside identified as one four areas for a locality planning approach.

Stakeholders like Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency, Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Ministry of Education have also fed into the draft Eastside Structure Wellness Plan.

A Deliberations Working Group will consider feedback on the draft plan, supported by a Technical Reference Group when required. Once the plan has been finalised an Eastside Structure Wellness Implementation Plan will be developed, outlining agreed actions, who will contribute and costs involved.

The Committee was asked to approve a Councillor representative to sit on the Deliberation Working Group that will consider feedback from current engagement. Mayor Steve Chadwick said she would like to see the recommendation changed to enable community board and Te Tatau o Te Arawa representatives to also be considered. The request for elected member representation will lie on the table to enable more time for consideration.

Go to THIS LINK to view the full report on the Draft Eastside Wellness Structure Plan and go to THIS LINK to view the presentation slides relating to this matter

Go to THIS LINK to go directly to the part of the meeting recording where this matter was presented and discussed.

Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre project update

The Committee received a verbal update on the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre project.

Operations Group Manager Jocelyn Mikaere said the update was another step to increase awareness and understanding, following a recent walk-through for elected members, ahead of seeking construction contract approval from Council at the end of this month.

When completed, the centre would have the only 1000-seat theatre in the Central North Island that would draw people from across New Zealand and eventually internationally, providing an opportunity to create a new major local industry that would provide economic benefit and growth, she said.

The centre’s performing arts director Cian Elyse White said during her 18 months in the role she had engaged with many stakeholders and drawn on key strategies to bring together the essence of the vision for the centre: To empower the Rotorua community through high quality arts experiences in a leading regional facility.

The project would move the facility from a venue-for-hire model to a leading regional arts service, acting local and thinking global, aligned with the Rotorua 2030 Vision goal for a vibrant arts sector as well as aligning with the recently adopted Te Arawa 2050 Vision, she told the committee.

Council’s Arts and Culture Manager Stewart Brown took the Committee through the key features of the approved centre upgrade. He said the vision outlined by Ms White could not be delivered by the building in its pre-closure state and without investment.

See the presentation slides relating to the SHMPAC update at THIS LINK

Go to THIS LINK to go directly to the part of the meeting recording where this matter was presented and discussed.

For more detail about key progress on this project go to THIS LINK


Go to THIS LINK to view the full meeting agenda

Today’s meeting was livestreamed and if you wish to view the whole meeting you can access the recording via THIS LINK on Council’s YouTube channel


Page reviewed: 11 Sep 2020 11:00am