Almost $1m Of New Community Facilities Approved For Rotorua

Tuesday 23, November 2021 | News |

ROTORUA, 23 November 2021: Rotorua locals will soon benefit from almost $1m worth of new community facilities thanks to funding approved by BayTrust.

Whānau Āwhina Plunket and Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust will each receive $250,000 towards their new Rotorua headquarters. Ko Te Tuara Totara O Fordlands Inc Society will receive $40,800 towards a feasibility study for a new community centre, while Rotorua Museum will receive $450,000 spread over the next three years for the redevelopment of its exhibition space.

The grants have just been approved from BayTrust’s annual Community Amenities Fund, giving the four Rotorua organisations a much-needed financial boost. A total of $1.79m is being granted to projects across the entire Bay of Plenty region stretching from Tauranga to Whakatane and Taupo.

BayTrust Deputy Chair and Rotorua-based Trustee, Stephanie Northey says it’s wonderful to see Rotorua receive the majority of funding this year.

“It’s a tremendous boost for our local economy and recognises the fantastic work that organisations are doing here in Rotorua. The quality and size of our community facilities does have a direct impact on what non-profit organisations can achieve. So local residents are the real winners and will benefit hugely from these upgrades for many years to come.”

Plunket’s Viv Edwards, Regional Operations Manager Central Region, says the grant will cover about one quarter of the cost of Plunket’s new building on Pukuatua Street. The current site will be cleared and construction is due to start in mid-2022. “We are over the moon with the grant from BayTrust to contribute towards the new Rotorua clinics and community rooms,” Viv says.

“Our current Rotorua pēpi, tamariki and whānau deserve a future-proofed culturally appropriate venue and we need to plan for the expected increase in new babies over the coming years. To be able to create a new, larger building to give a 200% increase in Whānau Āwhina Plunket’s clinical activity is wonderful and exciting. We will also be able to develop our community services and parent education so that whānau feel supported, less isolated and know where to come for help. We are looking to start the build in July/August next year, so this grant gets us three quarters of the way there!”

Plunket intends to make the new facility available for other community groups in Rotorua in the evenings and weekends to host meetings, club nights and other events.

Meanwhile, the $450,000 multi-year funding grant for Rotorua Museum will go towards redeveloping its exhibition spaces and the addition of a 48m² Discovery Space for children. says Stewart Brown, Rotorua Lakes Council, Arts & Culture Manager. “The exhibitions will provide a place in which to display taonga and authentically reflect local and regional stories of the histories, sacrifices and successes of our people.

“We are delighted to receive this generous funding from BayTrust which will go towards the creation of innovative and world-class exhibitions inside this grade one listed heritage building. Receiving this exhibition funding has ensured this much-loved building will have relevance and sustainable purpose for future generations and the Museum will continue to be a much-loved part of the community fabric.” Brown says design work for the exhibition space will start next year and Rotorua Museum is due to re-open in 2025.

Other Bay of Plenty projects to receive funding this year include Kutaroa Marae Reserve Charitable Trust ($250,000 towards their new marae building on Matakana Island), Whare Manaakitia Trust ($300,000 towards a new Merivale Community centre), and Pukehina Surf Rescue Lifeguard Services ($250,000 for a clubroom rebuild).

BayTrust’s Community Amenities Fund is designed to support intergenerational assets that have broad community support. Each project must deliver on multiple BayTrust outcomes and attributes which can be found on BayTrust’s website. Successful projects must also have sufficient funding in place to complete the work and must have ongoing financial support to cover maintenance and operating costs.

“We expect these assets to be long-lasting and have an accessible, multi-use public component,” Stephanie Northey says. “We’re also looking to support amenities that reflect the interests of a high proportion of our community and where locals and volunteers will continue to be involved.

“Now funding has been approved for 2021, BayTrust is really looking forward to seeing these projects come to life.”