Kuirau Park revitalisation
Kuirau Park is an iconic family-friendly inner city park that is also a must-see geothermal destination for tourists. Numerous walkways wind their way through the geothermal setting, offering exciting views of mud pools, boiling lakes and geothermic wonders. Kuirau Park is also home to the Rotorua Aquatic Centre and the popular Saturday morning Rotary Markets. Kuirau Park was gifted to the city by Ngāti Whakaue in the late 19th Century.
What is being proposed?
He aha e marohitia ana?
There have been many developments to Kuirau Park over recent years, progressively adding more value for the community.
With the success of the Rotary Market and the need for expansion, a new market space was constructed at the corner of Kuirau Park where it meets Pukuatua Street. The new space helps to enable more stallholders to be included and provide space for entertainment while the market is operating. As part of this development a new basketball court was also installed next to the new market space. Bio-retention gardens were installed to filter stormwater/run-off through a layer of vegetation. As the stormwater filters through, pollutants (such as nitrogen and Phosphorus) are filtered out and absorbed by the garden beds and plants
Features considered within the wider long term plan include the construction of a new children’s water play area, a new outdoor community gathering area next to the water play area and new toilets and changing room facilities. Work will also be done to improve the visitor experience of the geothermal features and cultural history of the Park through the addition of signage and story-telling.
All improvements will be accompanied by progressive improvements to the Park’s existing facilities, gardens, lighting and planting.
Rotorua skate park development
During the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan consultation Council signaled to the community that the inner city skate park could be incorporated into the overall design for Kuirau Park upgrades. Kuirau Park was identified as an ideal location for a new skate park due to its proximity to the CBD and the provision of facilities to support the space (i.e. toilets and parking areas) already established within the Park.
Once approved, the Plan provided funding of $750,000 to further investigate the location and design of the new skate facility within Kuirau Park. Part of that funding was used to enable a series of geotechnical tests which have provided assurance that Kuirau Park will be suitable to construct the new skate park.
Read more about the new Kuirau Park skate park here
Why is this project important?
He aha te tino take o te hinonga?
Kuirau Park has always been a hot spot for locals and visitors, primarily because of its geothermal activity. It is the only geothermal inner-city park in the country and provides a safe, no cost, environment for all to enjoy.
Alongside the plans to refresh the Aquatic Centre, Rotorua Lakes Council also sees it as important to enhance the three main central park areas (Kuirau, The Lakefront and The Government Gardens) to further improve the appeal of the inner city.
Who has been part of the project development?
Nā wai te hinonga i whakarite?
Rotorua Lakes Council has worked with the Rotary Club of Rotorua North to ensure the new space meets the needs of its growing market. Feedback from the community has also highlighted the value of the basketball courts in Kuirau Park.
For the skate park, Council has also worked with an advisory group to understand what features will be constructed as part of the new skate park development. Once finalised, the community will have further opportunity to feedback on proposed designs for the new facility.
How is this being funded?
I ahu mai te pūtea i hea?
A commitment of $5.5 million from Rotorua Lakes Council has been identified towards the enhancement and has been scheduled across the following years:
Year 1 = $1.5 million
Year 3 = $1.0 million
Year 5 = $1.5 million
Year 6 = $1.5 million
*The 2018-2028 Long-term Plan also provided funding of $750,000 to further investigate the location and design of the new skate facility within Kuirau Park.
Construction of the new market space began in July 2019. The main market space/car park area was finished and opened to the public at the end of 2019. The adjacent basketball court was completed in February 2020 with minor and cosmetic improvements such as fencing, lighting, painting, landscaping and artwork was subsequently installed during 2020.
Rotary Rotorua North will moved into their new space on 1 August 2020.
Council is continuing to investigate and plan for further developments to the wider Kuirau Park area.
• Picnic tables
• Public toilets
• Foot pools
• Paddling pool
Kuirau Park is located on the corner of Ranolf Street and Lake Road and walking distance from the city centre.
Yes the park is an active geothermal park. The most recent geothermal eruption occurred in 2006 when steam pressure under a mud pool broke through the surface and sent mud flying 15 metres high over a 30m radius, singeing trees and grass and coating the area in geothermal mud. Nearby, in January 2001, a major eruption left a crater more than 12m wide. It destroyed trees and spewed mud and ash up the side of Hospital Hill across the road. The geothermal features at Kuirau Park can be unpredictable at times so it is important to stick to the tracks provided and refrain from climbing on any rock features.