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New Zealand Government announces $27.4 million for Rotorua projects

New Zealand Government announces $27.4 million for Rotorua projects
September 25, 2018

The New Zealand Government has announced that 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.

Backing a $55 million revamp of Rotorua Lakefront and Whakarewarewa Forest - the balance of which will be funded by the Rotorua Lakes Council - the redevelopment will include building new boardwalks, walkways, cycleways, play spaces, event infrastructure, more car parking, landscaping and an improved visual connection between the city and the lake, according to Tabuteau.

The project also includes an improved access road, a cycleway from the park to the city, and a visitor centre will be created at Whakarewarewa Forest.

Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, announced said in a statement “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.”

Rotorua Lakes Council Mayor Steve Chadwick expects that the funding will see hundreds of jobs could be created in Rotorua, and millions of dollars of private investment sparked, advising “Government’s support significantly helps Council and iwi to progress forward much faster, and confirms the robust business cases for the two projects.

 “With support from mana whenua, we have seized the opportunity to apply for Provincial Growth Funding by selecting projects that are ready to be worked on and match the putea (funding) criteria. “These projects will not only benefit the tourism industry and our economy, but make Rotorua a more attractive place to live for our people and open the door to private investment.”

The economic impact analysis found the lakefront development could create more than 470 jobs, with the potential to attract $305.7 million of private investment, increase tourism expenditure by $363 million and lift GDP by $214 million.

Council is currently seeking expressions of interest from companies to carry out the work, which is expected to start by the beginning of next year.

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 New Zealand Government established the Provincial Growth 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.

Images: Lake Rotorua (top), Whakarewarewa Forest (middle) and mountain biking in Whakarewarewa Forest (below).

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