Karakia marks opening of new lakefront boardwalk and terracing
9 July 2021
Karakia marks opening of new lakefront boardwalk and terracing as part of world-class lakefront redevelopment in Rotorua
Rotorua’s new lakefront boardwalk and terracing is officially open following a karakia this morning attended by iwi and partners involved in the development.
The ceremony was led by Ngāti Whakaue representative, Bryce Murray, with representatives from project partners Ngāti Whakaue, the Gifted Reserves Committee (Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust), Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Kānoa – REDIU, the New Zealand Government’s regional economic development and investment unit.
Staff and students from Rotorua Primary School, Te Rangihakahaka and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu also performed a hīmene. These schools have been part of a lakefront engagement programme which aims to involve students in the redevelopment project.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says the karakia signals the completion of another stage of this important project and acknowledges the joint effort of partners to redevelop the lakefront for the long-term benefit of the community.
“It’s wonderful to have reached this very exciting milestone and I can’t wait to see our community enjoying it over the school holidays and in years to come.
“From the beginning, this development has been about creating a world-class lakefront experience, a destination which enhances both the land and the lake, while sparking investment and creating new jobs for our people.
“Despite the challenges the pandemic has created, we never lost sight of this and have forged ahead with our place-shaping projects.
“I am very proud of what we are creating here. We are investing now, for the benefit of future generations, and this would not have been possible without our Te Arawa partnership, investment from Kānoa – REDIU, and the combined efforts of all those involved to date.”
Kānoa – REDIU was a major investor in the Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment, matching funding from Rotorua Lakes Council after recognising the project’s potential to support tourism and investment, and create jobs in the region during and after construction. The stage of the development opened today created over 81,000 hours of work with over 80% of these being from Rotorua locals.
Lakefront visitors can now access the new lake edge via three entry points located at; the lake end of Memorial Plaza, next to the lakefront operators, and at the Motutara Point end of the reserve, during the hours of 7.30am and 5pm. Disruption to international shipping by the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed installation of lighting but the lights are expected to be in place later this month, allowing the newly developed area to be open 24/7.
The new lake edge provides a fresh and innovative space for the community to spend time with friends and whanau or picnic on the new terracing. The terraces also provide protection from changing lake water levels and weather damage, and will reduce the risk of erosion.
HEB Construction has been working on this stage of the Lakefront Redevelopment since 2019, which has included the construction of a new boardwalk, new terracing, landscaping and a shared path. Work to extend the boardwalk to the western end of the reserve will begin later this year.
About this work, CEO of HEB Construction Mark Evans, says “This community asset has required some of our highest quality workmanship, and we are delighted and proud of the result that will contribute to the vibrancy of the area.”
Council and the local lakefront operators are also running a competition to encourage the community to explore their new lakefront boardwalk during the July school holidays. Locals and visitors are invited to get creative, take a photo during their visit and share it on social media to go in the draw to win over $1000 worth of prizes thanks to Volcanic Air, Lakeland Queen and Katoa Lake Rotorua. Further details about the competition and how to enter can be found HEREon Council’s website.
All stages of work currently underway at the lakefront will be complete by the end of 2021. This includes the new playground extension, a new toilet block, continuation of the new shared path towards the western end of the lakefront, grass terracing and landscaping.
Work on the western end of the lakefront, including the Whare Waka for the Te Arawa Waka Taua and space for commercial activities, is in the detailed design phase. The architectural services for the whare waka and potential commercial building space is also being worked on by local company DCA.
The Lakefront Redevelopment will be progressively opened to the public as each stage is completed so our community and visitors can enjoy sections of the lakefront as soon as the upgrades are finished.
For safety purposes, while there are still active construction sites within the Lakefront Reserve, the public are reminded not to enter any cordoned off construction sites.
Further information about the Lakefront Redevelopment is available HERE.
Background information on Lakefront Redevelopment
In 2018, a $19.9 million Government investment from Kānoa – REDIU was announced for the project. This funding, alongside $20.1 million from Council, aimed to transform this recreational, economic and cultural resource.
In July 2020, an additional $1 million investment from Kānoa - REDIU was announced to progress work on the cultural design foundation for the lakefront project. This will consist of artwork, interpretation and design, with local artists creating carved pou, and information panels that will tell the korero history of the area.
The lakefront design reflects the heritage and deep connection of Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa to the Rotorua Lakefront and the project has been made possible through the support of our partners, the Gifted Reserves Committee (Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust) and Te Arawa Lakes Trust.
Together, our vision is to develop the lakefront into an outstanding recreational area that will benefit locals, support tourism and encourage private investment. This in turn will create new jobs and benefit Rotorua’s community.