Who has been part of the project development? – Nā wai te hinonga i whakarite?

A partnership approach is essential to the development of the lakefront as the land is an important part of the Ngāti Whakaue gifting under the Fenton Agreement.

The links between the reserve and the lake are critical and Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT) are the owners of the lakebed. Te Arawa has a longstanding physical and spiritual connection to the Te Arawa lakes since settling in the rohe.

Sir Toby Curtis

“Our Te Arawa Lakes are indeed an attraction for locals and tourists alike and we are pleased that under the leadership of the Rotorua Lakes Council we will see developments that will showcase Lake Rotorua, our community, our natural habitats and our culture.”

Sir Toby Curtis, Te Arawa Lakes Trust

With our partners Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa Lakes Trust (TALT), the lakefront design was guided by both Rotorua Lakes Council’s steering group and a project advisory group and with support from Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust, the Gifted Reserves Committee and Te Kōmiti Nui o Ngāti Whakaue.

Two guiding principles have been developed by TALT to provide a ‘bridge’ between the conceptual components of Te Whakapapa o Te Wai and the tangible outcomes of the waterfront design.

Value the role that TALT and Te Arawa have to play regarding the Te Arawa Lakes
• Te Arawa are kaitiaki/hunga tiaki of the mauri of the Te Arawa lakes
• The project incorporates Mātauranga Māori

Value Te Ao Māori
• Reconnecting people to the Te Arawa lakes to instil a greater sense of collective responsibility
• Restoring connections and relationships
• Providing a place for healing, cleansing and inspiration
• Creating a place to swim, paddle and gather kai
• The development of tools and indicators to align or bridge Māori and western worldviews
• Connection with the beautiful historic settlement of Ōhinemutu and heritage sites in and around the reserve
• Historical accounts and associations with the lakes, as expressed through waiata (song), pepeha (tribal sayings), ngā ingoa (place names), pakiwaitara (stories) and whakataukī (proverbs).

The design team are testing and aligning the plans against these principles. There is particular awareness of the role of TALT as hunga tiaki for Lake Rotorua and the team has a clear understanding of the importance of the lake’s wellbeing for future generations. A specific cultural design and engagement process has been developed for the project. The cultural design process involves direct and open engagement with the identified hapū, iwi and representative groups who hold the mana whenua and/or mandated responsibility for the space where the development is occurring.