Rotorua is a city of diverse opportunities
Rotorua offers a vibrant and culturally rich community, compelling business opportunities, exceptional infrastructure and a great standard of living. The people who make this place their home are innovative and creative and are running thriving businesses in primary industries, manufacturing, health and social services, construction, tourism, creative and cultural fields.
There is still so much more that Rotorua offers and a big part of our focus is to identify more ways of bringing more people, resources, infrastructure and ideas together to create even more diverse investments and development opportunities for our district.
Partnerships and investments are thriving
Long-term partnerships and investments with central government, local iwi, businesses, and the philanthropic sector have allowed Rotorua to grow and transform into a vibrant, productive city.
The year 2020 started on a surge of consumer confidence with the Bay of Plenty recording the highest level of optimism of any New Zealand region in the quarterly Westpac-McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey.
A pipeline of investment projects is now complete or well underway, starting with the opening of the new five-star Pullman Hotel in late 2019, and the completion of stage one of the forest redevelopment project. Redevelopment of the lakefront is progressing well, demolition has just been completed to allow construction to begin on the Rotoma No 1 inner city development, and a new commercial building at the lake end of Fenton Street is nearing completion.
While providing high-impact outcomes for our community and visitors, these projects are also strong indicators of a vibrant, growing local economy, which helps to build business confidence and attract new investment.
Government support recognises valued products
Rotorua has attracted nearly $65 million from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund for a range of projects:
- $17 million for Wai Ora/QE Health developments
- $15 million for Rotorua Museum (plus $5m from the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund)
- $27.4 million for lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest developments
These commitments are clear signs of the Government’s confidence in the long term future of the city and recognition that now is the right time for quality development projects that strengthen our destination.
Job creation and talent attraction
In addition to acting as a catalyst for significant iwi and private investment, these investments contribute to the creation of hundreds of new jobs and unlock Rotorua’s potential as a world-class city. These investments are a reflection of the extensive effort of the local community and their willingness to work in partnership to support an exciting future for Rotorua and its people.
Projects currently underway
Rotorua lakefront redevelopment
With a constant succession of events such as markets, concerts, national and international sporting event hubs and so much more, the Village Green at Lake Rotorua is vital to Rotorua’s sense of community and cohesion.
A four-year $40 million redevelopment of the Rotorua lakefront is underway, funded through a 50:50 partnership of the Provincial Growth Fund and Rotorua Lakes Council. The project will include new boardwalks, cycleways, walkways, playgrounds and landscaping, all working to improve the connection between the city and Lake Rotorua.
Enhancement of this area, right down to the shores of Lake Rotorua will not only increase cultural and civic pride, but private and iwi landholders around the lakefront have begun investing millions into accommodation and attractions.
Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings is building the $30 million Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa. This will be the first major purpose-built spa since the original, now iconic, Rotorua Bathhouse was built more than 120 years ago. The luxury spa centre is positioned at the lakefront adjacent to the Village Green.
Next door, investment is also planned for the 77-year-old Queen Elizabeth Health centre which is being rebuilt to an estimated $23 million.
Whakarewarewa Forest redevelopment
The iconic Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi forests are much loved by many, and are popular playgrounds for local and visiting mountain bikers, runners and walkers. They also play host to numerous world-class competitions, particularly mountain biking events and marathons, attracting thousands of athletes, crews and supporters, and inject millions of dollars into the local economy.
Thanks to funding from the Provincial Growth Fund, and in partnership with iwi forest owners, Rotorua Lakes Council is currently managing an investment of $14.5 million to enhance the forest amenity and improve the experience for all users. The redevelopment of the forest will create significant opportunities for the city, as well as benefits for tourism.
Rotorua Museum redevelopment
The $51 million redevelopment of Rotorua Museum has been made possible by a strong funding partnership of local and central government, local charitable trusts, and private philanthropic donors.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted on her visit in 2019 – on the 111th birthday of the opening of the historic Bath House, in fact – that “this iconic New Zealand landmark in the Government Gardens cultural quarter is one of New Zealand's most photographed buildings and has immense heritage value. The treasures the museum now holds are important for both the region and the whole country. It has been and will be again, a major tourism attraction for the city.”