Around the globe, there is growing realisation of the real potential of geothermal energy
Rotorua has this natural resource in abundance, and while we know that our geothermal activity is a huge tourism draw card and fosters a thriving spa and wellness industry, we also know it has so much more potential.
With 17% of New Zealand’s electricity generated from geothermal energy, and 10 geothermal areas identiﬁed in the Rotorua district, there is a significant opportunity for growth in this area.
Destination Rotorua is working to identify alternative uses and values for these areas, and develop a strategy based on available resources, opportunities and economics for utilising geothermal in direct-heat applications, with standards, stability and monitoring in place to utilise the resource sustainably and safely.
While Rotorua has successfully leveraged its geothermal resources for recreational and tourism purposes, there remains significant potential to build on this.
Our district has a national and global competitive advantage in energy resources. The development of geothermal energy for heating, electricity generation, and integration of geothermal energy into emerging bio-fuel and bio-refinery processes, is expected to have a significant and positive impact on the Rotorua economy.
The health and wellness industry is estimated at US$1.9 trillion and with global changes in the ageing population, demographics and health costs, this industry will continue to grow.
Recent clinical research points to the ongoing health benefits of a type of geothermal spa therapy called balneotherapy that provides health benefits.
Opportunities exist to develop specialist facilities, particularly with strong cultural influences, to target wider market segments and establish Rotorua as a globally recognised destination for health and wellness for domestic and international visitors alike.
The opportunities for iwi are considerable through land ownership, resource access, capital investment, business ownership and job creation across many levels.