Locals and visitors to Rotorua are making the most of the new lakefront boardwalk and terracing - lockdown permitting - following it’s official opening.
It’s the first of five stages to be completed as part of the Rotorua Lakefront Revitalisation.
Design studio Isthmus developed the bold masterplan, building on the 2012 Rotorua Lakefront Development Framework by Wraight & Associates.
As well as providing space for activities, the terraces protect the foreshore from changing lake water levels and weather damage and will reduce the risk of erosion.
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.
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.”
Staff and students from Rotorua Primary School, Te Rangihakahaka and Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Koutu also performed a hīmene. The schools have been part of a lakefront engagement programme which aims to involve students in the redevelopment project.
All stages of work currently underway at the lakefront will be complete by the end of this year. 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 Lakefront Redevelopment will be progressively opened to the public as each stage is completed.