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Newly announced Rotorua industrial park promises room for growth

Rotorua, a city known for its rapid growth, is set to welcome a new industrial park that spans an impressive area equivalent to 13 rugby fields.

Rotorua, a city known for its rapid growth, is set to welcome a new industrial park that spans an impressive area equivalent to 13 rugby fields. The Peka Lands Trust, which owns the 633-block Māori land, recently unveiled plans to develop a 13-hectare section located south of Rotorua. The project, slated to commence in 2023, marks a significant transformation from its previous state as forestry land.

Situated near the Waipā recreational bike hub off State Highway 5, the industrial park’s strategic positioning aims to bring industry to the city’s outskirts while accommodating its expanding needs. The Peka Lands Trust collaborated with the Rotorua Lakes Council and Waka Kotahi to create a master plan for the park’s development. To kick-start the initiative, they secured a $6 million loan from the Regional Strategic Partnership Fund.

The commencement of the project was marked by a ceremonial event, attended by Regional Development Minister Kiri Allan. After participating in the symbolic act of shoveling the first dirt, Allan expressed her enthusiasm, acknowledging that the size and design of the park were well-suited to the thriving city of Rotorua. She emphasized the pivotal role the park would play in fostering growth and attracting industries, emphasizing its importance for the region.

Helen Beckett, the chairwoman of the Peka Lands Trust, highlighted the significance of this long-awaited endeavor, which had been in the works for four decades. Now that the trees have been harvested, the trust is eager to proceed with the next phase of development. The estimated cost for the initial stage, which comprises 12 lots, amounts to $20 million. This includes the necessary infrastructure, such as road connections, stormwater management, and utilities like drinking water and wastewater networks. Stage two will involve extensive earthworks.

While Beckett declined to disclose specific parties that have expressed interest, she confirmed that multiple sectors, including biofuel, have shown enthusiasm for the project. Moreover, she anticipated interest from businesses currently located in Rotorua’s established industrial areas, as the new park offers ample space for growth. Should any areas become vacant as a result, they could potentially be rezoned for residential purposes. Beckett emphasized that the park’s development would prioritize green spaces, ensuring it does not become a concrete jungle.

Acting Rotorua Mayor Sandra Kai Fong spoke about the city’s Future Development Strategy during the announcement. She stressed the importance of securing sufficient industrial land to accommodate Rotorua’s projected growth in the coming decades. Kai Fong assured that the Peka Block is already designated as industrial land and that the council will support the necessary infrastructure development, including wastewater and water provisions, to propel the project forward. The funding for these endeavors will be partially covered by development contributions. As Rotorua aims to accommodate businesses over the next 30 years, including those in the industrial sector, additional land dedicated to industrial purposes is of utmost importance.

RotoruaNZ’s CEO, Andrew Wilson, expressed excitement about the development of the Peka Block, describing it as excellent news for the city. Wilson anticipates that the industrial park will facilitate business expansion, create employment opportunities, and significantly contribute to Rotorua’s overall economic development.

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