Project update
Why are we doing this?
Kuirau Park – an iconic family-friendly inner city park for locals that doubles as a must-do recreational, cultural and geothermal destination for tourists.  Alongside the revived Aquatic Centre the enhanced park will strengthen our connectedness to environment, culture and lifestyle.  Council also sees it as important to enhance the three main park areas (Kuirau, Lakefront and Government gardens) to further improve the appeal of the inner city and to encourage more accommodation and apartment development on the edge of the CBD facing these parks.
Kuirau Park has always been a drawcard for both locals and visitors, primarily because of its geothermal activity.  It is the only geothermal inner-city park in the country and provides a safe, no cost, environment for locals and tourists to enjoy.  
What is proposed?
There have been many development plans over the years for Kuirau Park.  Enhancements made to date have progressively lifted the park’s value to our community.  The investment proposed now is the next step in truly lifting the whole offering to our district and to our families.  The timeline for this development is seen as timely, in conjunction with the proposed development of the Aquatic Centre.
Features that appear within the overall plan include construction of a geothermally-heated children’s water play area, the relocation of the carpark and the Saturday Market to better utilise the park for the needs of the market and for future development, create a new outdoor community gathering area adjacent to the water play area and develop new toilets and changing room facilities.  
A commitment of $5.5 million has been identified towards the enhancement and has been scheduled across the following years:  
○  Year 1 = $1.5 million
○  Year 3 = $1.0 million
○  Year 5 = $1.5 million
○  Year 6 = $1.5 million
What is currently available at Kuirau Park?
Kuirau Park with an abundance of geothermal activity, sporting facilities and other exciting features.   Numerous walkways wind their way through the geothermal setting, offering exciting views of mud pools, boiling lakes and geothermic wonders.  Kuirau Park is home to the Rotorua Aquatic Centre and the popular Saturday morning Rotary Markets.  Available facilities include:
○  BBQs
○  Picnic tables
○  Playground
○  Public toilets
○  Foot pools
○  Paddling pool
Where is Kuirau Park?
Kuirau Park is located on the corner of Ranolf Street and Lake Road and walking distance from the city centre. 
What is the history of Kuirau Park?
Kuirau Park was gifted to the city by Ngati Whakaue late in the 19th Century.  Much of the work to develop it as a reserve was done during the Depression of the 1930s. Most of the area reverted to scrub during the Second World War but work resumed in the 1950s and the area became popular with locals and visitors.  Early Maori named the lake near Lake Road Taokahu, renaming it Kuirau in honour of a beautiful woman taken by a taniwha who lived in the once cooler lake. Legend has it the gods were so angry they used their powers to make the lake boil to destroy the taniwha which, unfortunately, also killed the beautiful maiden so the lake was renamed in her honour.
Is Kuirau Park an active geothermal park? 
Yes the park remains active. The most recent geothermal explosion occurred in 2006 when steam pressure under a mud pool broke through the surface and sent mud flying 15 metres high over a 30m radius, singeing trees and grass and coating the area in geothermal mud.  Nearby, in January 2001, a major eruption left a crater more than 12m wide. It destroyed trees and spewed mud and ash up the side of Hospital Hill across the road.  The features at Kuirau Park can be unpredictable at times so it is important to stick to the tracks.
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