Everyone loves a good market and Rotorua will soon be spoilt for choice, with another to be launched in October.

According to Rotorua Lakes Council, the new Rotorua Farmers' Market on Sundays will be "different to the city's existing markets" - which include the Thursday night market and the Rotary Market in Kuirau Park on Saturdays.

This one - to be held on the former City Focus site - will have a focus on locally grown produce and pantry items "demonstrating the concept of manaakitanga (hospitality and sharing) and with a distinctly Rotorua flavour".

While in Hawke's Bay over the weekend I paid a visit to its farmers' market, held every Sunday morning at the Hastings A&P Showgrounds.


I was there a few years ago during summer and was keen to return - which shows markets are undoubtedly a lure for visitors. While the indoor winter version didn't have quite the same character as the stalls set among the trees I remembered, the market was top-class.

It had plenty of "pickles, jams and artisan breads", of the kind mooted for the Rotorua Farmers' Market, along with produce and ready-to-eat food, which we enjoyed while listening to local musicians.

It was jam-packed and was clearly a popular destination for both locals and visitors.

If done well and supported by quality vendors, Rotorua's new market could become just as popular as its Saturday and Thursday counterparts.

The plan has a couple more positives - other than just fancy jam and bread for those on their way home from church (or still on their way home from the night before!)

From my experience, Sundays are pretty dead in the central city. The increased foot traffic could be a bonus for nearby retailers.

And it's a good use for the City Focus, which has been left somewhat in limbo ahead of its big revamp next year.

Whether the market lives up to expectations and whether Rotorua can successfully sustain another one, only time will tell.