FAQs – Pātai putuputu

Does the public get the chance to have their say on the project?
This project was part of the Long-Term Plan consultation process which attracted hundreds of submissions. As work progresses, Council will continue to keep our partners, stakeholders and the wider community informed in a variety of ways including through our e-pānui.

How was the project selected?
The opportunity to kick-start this project sooner than anticipated arose through the development of Central Government’s Provincial Growth Fund (Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit). With support from the landowners and mana whenua, we seized the opportunity to apply for the fund by selecting projects that were ready to be worked on and match the pūtea (funding) criteria. The fund aims to lift productivity potential in the provinces, create jobs and enhance community benefits.

What are the roles of the Council and CNI when it comes to the forest?
The Tokorangi and Whakarewarewa forest lands are owned by Central North Island Iwi Holdings Ltd, following its 2008 settlement with Government. Council is responsible for the management of the Tokorangi Forest block under the terms of the Crown Forestry Licence (CFL). Council also manages recreation in the Whakarewarewa Forest under a management agreement with CNI and Timberlands who hold the CFL for the Whakarewarewa Forest block. Both CFLs expire in 2043 when full management and ownership will be returned to mana whenua iwi. Council is in the process of formalising a co-governance group for the Whakarewarewa Forest to support ongoing, sustainable recreational use, management and development in the forest. This group includes Rotorua Lakes Council, Te Komiti Nui O Ngāti Whakaue, Tuhourangi Tribal Authority, CNI and Timberlands.

Hasn’t this project already received funding?
Yes, the Whakarewarewa Forest development was one of two projects that received more than $811,000 of funding in June 2018 to allow Council to complete the designs and final business cases. These business cases were crucial in securing this further Provincial Growth Fund funding. The $14.5 million investment is on top of the $811,000.