Rotorua's council wants your thoughts on a new concept plan for the redevelopment of Waitōharuru - Tarawera Landing.
The Rotorua Lakes Council, with input from local iwi Tūhourangi and members of the Lake Tarawera community, have developed a concept plan for the popular reserve that includes new car parking, the realignment of the jetty and boat ramp as well as new walking tracks and the protection of culturally sensitive sites.
While final costs have yet to be confirmed a grant of $293,000 was awarded to the council by the Government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund with the remainder of the investment being made by the council.
Work is already underway to upgrade the existing toilet facilities and the concept plan for the rest of the reserve is now being shared with the wider community before the final detailed design phase.
Rotorua Lakes Council Operations Group manager, Jocelyn Mikaere says the upgrades will "help to harmonise all the activities taking place on the reserve and make it a safer and more enjoyable experience for locals and visitors".
“A key focus is the promotion and conservation of the cultural significance of Waitōharuru and the adjacent Punaromia areas.
"That is something our staff have worked closely with Tūhourangi on and incorporated into the concept plan,” she says.
Tūhourangi Tribal Authority Pouwhakahere, Ngarepo Eparaima says the iwi are excited by the opportunity to be a part of the Waitōharuru Redevelopment Project "that will allow us to restamp our mana whenua by having our cultural values acknowledged and being able to share our stories".
“We would also like to acknowledge the Rotorua Lakes Council for the relationship that we have been able to forge and their efforts to listen and take into account our comments around the whenua, the wai and us the people,” Eparaima says.
The council has also worked with community partners such as Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Fish & Game, Tarawera Ratepayers Association and commercial operators to develop the concept plan.
After public feedback on the design, the next steps will be to move into the final design phase followed by a Resource Consent and tender process before any physical work can take place.
Approximate start and finish dates, and costs will be shared with the community after the final design has been agreed upon.
The concept plan addresses issues including:
• Lack of general awareness, acknowledgement or understanding of the cultural and historical significance of the reserve.
• Damaged or ageing infrastructure.
• Public toilet facilities are not fit for purpose and in need of renewal.
• Access and protection of the Wāhi Tapu rock site needs to be maintained and enhanced.
• Safety of pedestrians in parking areas and swimmers near boats as they enter and exit the water.
Proposed redevelopment work:
• Realignment of the jetty and boat ramp to create a separation of space for boat movements in and out of the lake.
• Relocation and angling the jetty to separate swimmers from the boat ramp area.
• Optimise parking areas and define boat trailer and coach parking.
• A pedestrian-friendly zone to separate boat and coach parking and vehicles entering the reserve to park and visit for other types of activities.
• Information and signage to conserve and promote the cultural and heritage value of the reserve.
• Improve function and visual appearance of existing infrastructure.
To view the concept plan and give your feedback, visit www.rotorualakescouncil.nz.
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