Lakefront Revitalisation
project breakdown
​​​​​​​Why are we doing this?
To create a destination that meets and enhances where land meets lake.  
A plan is emerging to develop spaces for recreation, 4-5 star tourism accommodation, cultural experiences and entertainment zones. This development will celebrate our culture and community – it will be uniquely Rotorua and distinctly different to any other lakefront in the world. The initial stage is to lay out the area and get prepared for future development within an environment that is interwoven with elements of natural landscapes, art and culture.  The plan includes removal of the Soundshell, enhanced landscaping, an interactive sculptural park, lake edge improvements including a boulevard style pathway, roading changes and upgraded public toilets. The plan also includes a building site/s where investors could establish restaurants, cafes, kiosks and ticketing offices.
​​​​​​​What is proposed?
The Rotorua Lakefront is a special place, with a rich history, that is enjoyed by our community and visitors to the city.
Developing the lakefront contributes to Council's Vision 2030 - The Rotorua Way and aims to:
○  Support a vibrant city with an easy lifestyle and offer diverse opportunities
○  Ensure it reflects the city and district's strong identity, Te Arawa connection and the community spirit of Rotorua
○  It focuses on being an enjoyable family-friendly destination for both locals and visitors
The development of the Rotorua Lakefront will bind the lake with the land, the past with the present and the physical with the unseen. It will pay tribute to our collective histories and honour the intrinsic beauty of our place – Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe.  The lakefront development also provides a platform for connecting communities and welcoming manuhiri (visitors).
Central Area - This site marks the hub of the lakefront development. It will be the centre of the lakefront walkway and home to terraces and visually-striking tukutuku bridges. It will also be a major player in linking the lakefront with the city centre.
Eastern Area - This eastern end of the lakefront is being celebrated as a more contemplative space and development plans recognise this ambience. Pukeroa Oruawhata’s Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa is a neighbour at this end of the lake.
Western Area - The new boardwalk will begin its journey from this western end of the lakefront stretching to the eastern end, and on completion it will be 600m long. There will be a focus on action at this end of the lakefront with facilities for the likes of waka ama, boating, water sports, cycling and tour-buses.
​​​​​​​Council has allocated $20 million to the Rotorua Lakefront development and has received matching funds from Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund to enable the project to be completed over the next three years.
​​​​​​​How much Government funding has been announced?
The Government has announced it will give $19.9 million for the lakefront development.
When will work on the project start?
The design work undertaken during development of the business case phase means we can start almost immediately. We’ve already sought expressions of interests from companies wanting to tender for this project.  We hope to complete the tender process and appoint a contractor in the coming months with physical works able to start by early 2019.
How long will it take to complete?
The project is being carried out in stages, with the first stage expected to be finished in late 2019. We hope to have most capital works completed in three to four years.
What is involved?
The redevelopment of the Rotorua Lakefront opens significant opportunities for the city, as well as benefits for tourism nationally, and will spark millions of dollars of investment and create new jobs.  Several developments are planned for the lakefront, including creating amenities and spaces that celebrate Rotorua’s unique environment and culture.
How was the project selected?
The opportunity to kick-start this project sooner than anticipated has arisen through the development of Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund. With support from mana whenua, we have seized the opportunity to apply for the fund by selecting projects that are ready to be worked on and match the pūtea (funding) criteria.  The fund aims to lift productivity potential in the provinces, create jobs and enhance community benefits.
What does the lakefront development specifically include?
The development of Rotorua’s Lakefront is split over five stages. Some of the earlier work will include the removal of the vacant Soundshell, and Scout Den, which will proceed alongside stage one of the Lakefront development.  The development of Rotorua’s Lakefront is split over five stages. Some of the earlier work will include the removal of the vacant Soundshell, and Scout Den, which will proceed alongside stage one of the Lakefront development.  The development also includes a new Rotorua-unique play space, and removal of the road from Memorial Drive through to Government Gardens. This will be transformed into a natural public space with access on to the boardwalk. 
Who is involved?
The project is a collaborative effort. We are working with the Lakefront Development Advisory Committee, which also involves iwi representatives.  As we progress, we will be working with wider stakeholders to consider how they would like to be involved and opportunities for them.
Hasn’t this project already received funding?
Yes, the Lakefront development was one of two projects that received more than $811,000 of funding in June 2018 to allow Council to complete the designs and final business cases.  These business cases were crucial in securing this further PGF funding.
Does the public get the chance to have their say on the project?
This project was part of the Long-Term Plan consultation process which attracted hundreds of submissions. As work progresses, Council will continue to keep our partners, stakeholders and the wider community informed in a variety of ways including through our e-pānui.
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