19 November 2020
A plan is underway for the redevelopment of one of the district’s most popular lakeside reserves.
Rotorua Lakes Council has worked together with Tūhourangi and Tarawera community partners to develop a concept plan for the upgrade and enhancement of Waitōharuru, also known as Tarawera Landing.
The concept plan is now being shared with the wider community prior to the final detailed design phase.
Rotorua Lakes Council Group Manager Operations Jocelyn Mikaere says that the upgrades will help to harmonise all the activities taking place on the reserve and make it a safer and more enjoyable experience for locals and visitors.
“A key focus is the promotion and conservation of the cultural significance of Waitōharuru and the adjacent Punaromia areas. That is something our staff have worked closely with Tūhourangi on and incorporated into the concept plan.”
The concept plan addresses a number of known issues including:
- Lack of general awareness, acknowledgement or understanding of the cultural and historical significance of the reserve.
- Damaged or aging infrastructure.
- Public toilet facilities are generally not fit for purpose and in need of renewal work to bring them up to the standard expected of a premier destination (this work is now underway).
- Access and protection of the Wāhi Tapu rock site needs to be maintained and enhanced.
- Safety of pedestrians in parking areas and swimmers near boats as they enter and exit the water.
Tūhourangi Tribal Authority Pouwhakahere Ngarepo Eparaima says “Tūhourangi are excited by the opportunity to be a part of the Waitōharuru Redevelopment Project that will allow us to restamp our mana whenua by having our cultural values acknowledged and being able to share our stories.”
“We would also like to acknowledge the Rotorua Lakes Council for the relationship that we have been able to forge and their efforts to listen and take into account our comments around the whenua, the wai and us the people.”
In 2019 Council secured investment from the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund to carry out work to upgrade infrastructure at the reserve. Part of that work is already underway with the public toilets on track to be complete prior to Christmas 2020.
Council has also worked with community partners such as Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Fish & Game, Tarawera Ratepayers Association and commercial operators such as Totally Tarawera, The Landing Café and Rotorua Duck Tours to develop the concept plan.
Click here view the concept plan and share your thoughts.
The next steps following sharing the concept plan with the community include completing the final detailed design and then applying for resource consent before any physical work can take place. Once a date has been set for work to start it will be shared with the community.
Click here to read about the upgrades underway on the toilet and change facilities at Waitōharuru.