New Memorial Plaza at Lakefront now complete
1 April 2021
New Memorial Plaza at Rotorua Lakefront now complete
The new Memorial Plaza at the Rotorua Lakefront is now complete.
What was once just a thoroughfare (previously Memorial Drive) has been transformed into a brand new plaza providing a larger variety of parking options for lakefront visitors and space for events and markets.
Seventy-seven new parking spaces have been created, as well as new footpaths, kerbing, landscaping and seating. Infrastructure has also been upgraded to improve the management of storm water in the area.
Local company Campbell Infrastructure began work on this section of the Lakefront Redevelopment in September 2020 and the completed plaza was blessed this morning by Kingi Biddle on behalf of Ngāti Whakaue.
Council's Operations Group Manager Jocelyn Mikaere says, It's fantastic to see this stage of the Lakefront Redevelopment complete. Memorial Plaza will now become one of the main lakefront meeting places and car parks. It is the first of a number of stages that will be finished at the lakefront throughout this year. The project is really starting to take shape and it's exciting to see the vision for this special place come to life.
The new lakefront design aims to provide more space for people to gather, play, exercise and relax. A key part of this was reconnecting the land and the water, as well as creating spaces for recreation that are uninterrupted by roads and vehicles. The existing road along the lake edge will eventually be removed to prioritise pedestrian and cycle movement. To balance the need for parking, a car park will also be constructed on the other side of the lakefront, off Lake Road, further down the track.
When visiting Memorial Plaza, people are asked to please stay off the newly planted grass to give it a chance to grow.
Campbell Infrastructure will now begin work on the new playground extension. This will initially be in the area west of the existing playground. This new part of the playground will include brand new play equipment including a flying fox, a custom climbing tower with a slide, loop tracks, and a half basketball court. Campbell Infrastructure will also be installing toddler-specific play equipment later in the year. Once complete, the lakefront playground will be almost three times as big as the existing playground.
A brand new toilet block will also be built within the vicinity of the new playground. Both the new playground and toilet block are scheduled to be complete by the end of this year.
Work on the lake edge continues. HEB Construction are building a new boardwalk and upgrading the lake edge with new terracing to improve access to the lake. This work is scheduled to be complete later this year.
Work on the western end of the lakefront, including space for commercial activities, has moved into the detailed design phase. Procurement for architectural services for the wharewaka and potential commercial space is complete and local company DCA Architects will be carrying out this work. Construction in this area will begin later this year.
Background information on Lakefront Redevelopment
In 2018, a $19.9 million Government investment managed by the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) was announced for the project. This is being used alongside $20.1 million of Council funding to transform this recreational, economic and cultural resource. In July 2020, an additional $1 million investment managed by the PDU was announced to progress work on the cultural design foundation for the lakefront project. The cultural foundation will consist of artwork, interpretation and design, with local artists creating carved pou, and information panels that will tell the pakiwaitara (stories) of mana whenua. 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.