The government said its Provincial Growth Fund will invest $27.4 million to support Rotorua’s plans to redevelop its lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest as part of an effort to bolster tourism and job growth in the region.
The remainder of the $55 million revamp of Rotorua Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest will be funded by the Rotorua Lakes Council, Fletcher Tabuteau, parliamentary under-secretary for regional economic development, said in a statement
The redevelopment of the lakefront will include building new boardwalks, walkways, cycleways, event infrastructure, more car parking, landscaping and an improved visual connection between the city and the lake, according to Tabuteau. An improved access road, a cycleway from the park to the city, and visitor centre will be created at Whakarewarewa Forest, he said.
“Once completed, redevelopment is expected to attract significant private and iwi investment in Rotorua’s high-value tourism and hospitality offerings, leading to the creation of hundreds of new jobs,” Tabuteau noted.
Earlier this year, Rotorua was named as one of the top places to see in the prestigious The New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2018 list. Rotorua, at number 45, was the only New Zealand destination to make the list.
The government established the fund to provide $3 billion over three years for regional development. More than 70 tourism, transport, energy and environmental projects have so far been granted more than $126 million. That figure excludes up to $137 million committed earlier this month for roading projects on the East Coast.