Traffic congestion and parking issues will be eased shortly for boaties using the Gisborne Point East boat ramp to access Lake Rotoiti.
Work began last week to construct an additional concrete boat ramp and jetty, replacing the current unformed gravel launching area at the western ramp at Komuhumuhu, Gisborne Point Reserve.
In 2015 the Rotoiti community asked the Rotorua Lakes Council via a petition to improve facilities in the area.
After various consultations and community engagement activities, consent processes and work with Heritage New Zealand, it is time to break ground and start physical works.
Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairperson Phill Thomass says the work will improve access to the lake for boat users and help to create a more family-friendly environment on the reserve.
“It will be a real improvement to the amenities across the whole area," says Phill.
"The formalised parking, bollards and the added park furniture will help to preserve the grass, making it more usable for families.
“It’s often over-crowded with limited parking at the one ramp, so getting a second ramp upgraded will help ease these problems. A lot of homes at Komuhumuhu aren’t on the lakefront, so we need good launching facilities.
“A lot of people using our lakes are locals and the investment into our lakeside reserves is for our people. It’s fantastic to see the upgrades and to see our community using these spaces,” says Phill.
In the past few years, Council, together with the Lakes Community Board has put funding into projects at Lake Ōkareka, Hamurana Reserve and Matahi Spit.
The board has also recently put its focus into improving lakeside public toilet facilities, which started with the upgrade at Matahi Spit earlier this year.
Rotorua Lakes Council Operations Group manager Jocelyn Mikaere says this project is another example of investment into our communities.
“It’s a positive experience for our teams to be able to work alongside the community and deliver valuable assets that will enable locals to access and enjoy our district more.
"For a relatively simple construction project, the planning to get to this point has been considerably more complex than other similar projects.
"Council worked closely with the community, the Lake Rotoiti Community Association, Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Fish and Game and with Ngati Pikiao Koeke and Ngāti Te Rangiunuora hapū," says Jocelyn.
Gisborne Point is historically a pa site known as Komuhumuhu and is also a known heritage site, which means once the resource consents were approved by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Heritage New Zealand had to provide authorisation to modify the area.
The project is expected to take approximately eight to ten weeks.
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