The first stage of the Lakefront revitalisation is under way and the council is inviting children to have their say on what a new play space at the Lakefront might look like.

As part of the development, a new play space will replace the existing Volcanic Playground and the council is holding a series of workshops to allow children to be involved in its design.

The workshops will be led by play space landscape designers from Isthmus, the studio designing the space.

Landscape architect Zach Barker said it was important to work with young people to develop the designs so what they valued could be included in the space.

A conceptual design for the Rotorua Lakefront. Image / File
A conceptual design for the Rotorua Lakefront. Image / File

"The workshops will provide the opportunity for tamariki to get creative and share their ideas about play with us.

"In the past we have used these workshops to introduce a project to the community, uncover local stories, gather an understanding of the local identity, and learn what is most important to the project's end users."

The sessions will begin with the story Kapai's Thermal Adventure, a story about friends exploring Rotorua, before landscape designers speak about their jobs and what makes a good play space.

Then participants can choose between getting creative with mystery materials or working in a group with foam blocks to express their ideas about play.

Parents are also encouraged to attend and registration is not needed.

An artist's impression of the Lakefront redevelopment. Image / Supplied
An artist's impression of the Lakefront redevelopment. Image / Supplied

"We want the new play space to be fun, safe, and memorable, with activities that encourage exploration, discovery and connection to place. We're looking forward to seeing the creative and fresh ideas our tamariki come up with and working to include these concepts in our design plans," Barker said.

In its 2018-2028 Long-term Plan, Rotorua Lakes Council allocated $20 million over eight years to the redevelopment of the Lakefront.

The Government will contribute $19.9m to the project from the Provincial Growth Fund.


Work on the eastern area of the Lakefront began in December 2018 and when finished will include the continuation of the new walkway culminating in a boardwalk over the water, the continuation of the Te Ara Ahi cycle trail, a kayaking launching site and the removal of a through road with additional parking on Tutanekai St and Lake Rd.

The new play space will be in the central part of the Lakefront where work is due to begin in December this year. At its November meeting, the council allocated $1m for the playground.

Play space workshops
When: January 15, January 17 and January 24 from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
Where: Te Aka Mauri, Rotorua Library
Who: Best suited to children aged 6 and above.