Rotorua Airport has unveiled the details of its upcoming site developments including the complete refurbishment of the original terminal and redevelopment of the fire station.

Passengers travelling to and from Rotorua Airport are set to arrive at a fully refurbished terminal that takes Mokoia Island as its inspiration incorporating wood, steel, concrete, and unique Maori designs.

Rotorua Airport Chairman Peter Stubbs said the $4.9 million redevelopment would create a facility that is not only fit for purpose and meets earthquake strengthening regulations, but provides an outstanding first impression for visitors to Rotorua.

"Stricter earthquake strengthening regulations introduced following the Christchurch earthquakes meant the airport's core buildings required significant work," he said.

"Various strengthening options were explored, however the cost was so significant that it made more sense to undertake a full site re-development. To ensure cost efficiencies, the airport terminal and fire station are being addressed as one project.

"Just as importantly, the necessary upgrades provide us with the opportunity to create an outstanding first impression for visitors to Rotorua, and an airport that our community can be proud of," he said.

Mr Stubbs said as tourism cemented itself as New Zealand's key export earner and Rotorua visitor numbers continued to rise, it was important that Rotorua Airport provided an appropriate and meaningful gateway to the city.

"The airport is often the first and last impression that many visitors will have of our region, and these developments will ensure it is a great one."


A comprehensive RFP process was undertaken from the first stage of site development planning, and Tim Mein Architects and GHD (architects in association) have been appointed as project architects.

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The design of the terminal takes inspiration from Rotorua's landscape, the surrounding lakes, and Mokoia Island. The shape of Mokoia Island is reflected throughout the design while large windows will frame Mokoia Island to make Rotorua the hero, rather than the building itself.

A combination of timber, concrete, and glass will be used across the developments, for a contemporary look that is true to Rotorua Lakes Council's 'Wood First' policy.

Mr Stubbs said the airport would fund the developments using existing financial facilities while continuing to pay off existing debt.

"Construction is due to begin at the fire station in the first half of 2017, with full completion of all site developments in late 2019," he said.

"During the construction period, the airport will do its best to minimise impact on Airport users and staff, and appropriate safety measures will be put in place."