Facilities at Lake Ōkareka are getting an upgrade in the latest round of funding from the Government's tourism infrastructure fund.

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis announced the allocation of $19.3 million nationwide today, with much of the funding going to wastewater and sewage schemes and public toilets.

Rotorua Lakes Council will get $453,250 to fund an upgrade of toilets, ramps and jetties at Boyes Beach Reserve and Acacia Rd Lakefront Reserve.

Also $554,700 is going to a multi-purpose cycling hub at the Wairakei Tourist Park near Taupō and $136,500 for the provision of toilet facilities at Pikowai Campground near Matatā.


Lake Ōkareka Community Association chairman Martyn Norrie said the money would help with toilets at Boyes Beach, with the upgrade of launching facilities and toilets at Acacia Rd and with track maintenance around the lake.

"It's a good time for Ōkareka getting this and we are very appreciative of the assistance from council in putting together the proposal and submitting it on our behalf."

Norrie said the fund would help service the existing tourism numbers and locals using the area.

He hoped the projects would be complete in 2019.

Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey said the announcement was a win-win for iwi, whānau, industry and tourists.

"Local Māori tourism operators feel they've been running a three-legged race for the last decade, hampered by an unacceptable lack of quality carparks, visitor toilets and infrastructure.

"I will be advocating strongly for Rotorua to capitalise on this opportunity with Minister Davis, so that we can grow our local economy and create sustainable jobs."

The rest of the funding was spread across 31 councils and community organisations.


Davis said he funding was on top of the $8.5m the Government committed last month to help communities manage freedom camping in their areas during the upcoming summer season.

"The extraordinary growth in visitor numbers we've seen over the past few years will likely continue for the foreseeable future, and these investments are essential to improving the quality of our tourism infrastructure to help manage that growth."

"Managed well, tourism growth can significantly boost our economy, bring wealth to the regions and improve New Zealanders' quality of life by creating more vibrant communities."

Davis said he was also looking at ways the Government could step up to its ''stewardship role'' in bringing the industry together to create a more productive and sustainable sector.

The Government was also imposing an international visitor levy to provide sustainable funding for infrastructure and conservation.

Under the proposal, most international visitors (except those from Australia and the Pacific) entering New Zealand for 12 months or less will be charged a levy of $25 to $35.

Davis said the Government was also funding attractions through the Provincial Growth Fund that would help provide year-round jobs in the regions.

For full information on funding recipients for round two, click here.