Developers behind a five-star hotel planned for central Rotorua say it will open by the end of this year, creating 75 new jobs.

And the hotel's managers have said locals will be targeted to fill the positions.

The Pullman Hotel, managed by Accor Hotels, is being constructed at the former Zen Centre on Arawa St and director of marketing Lucy Acott said she had already started the process of recruiting a general manager.

Once that person was appointed, she said every role from housekeepers to sales and events staff would be recruited to ensure the hotel ran smoothly.


"This will start with the key pre-opening positions appointed over the next few months with all the roles needed for the hotels opening in place in the weeks leading up."

She said it was their goal to recruit people for as many roles as possible from Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty region.

The hotel, which is costing more than $10 million to build, was consented in January last year and originally the developers, Chow Group Management Ltd, said it would open by the end of 2018.

Spokeswoman Vicki Chow told the Rotorua Daily Post construction was still going ahead.

When asked what the hold-up was, Chow said they had taken longer to ensure quality.

"When building to a five-star Pullman specification, quality is the key and both us as owners and Accor as operators are taking time to ensure those quality standards are met through the construction."

The former Zen Centre on Arawa St, Rotorua. Photo / File
The former Zen Centre on Arawa St, Rotorua. Photo / File

She said the core reconstruction elements were well under way and the mock-up rooms had been built and viewed by Accor. The completion date was scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year.

The hotel will have panoramic views of the city and lake area and feature an executive lounge, business lounge, chill-out lounge, restaurant and bar, gymnasium, car parking at the rear of the building as well as five meeting rooms catering for conferences and events.


Meanwhile, work on a $22 million retirement village began last week which has the potential to have employment opportunities for the next 15 to 20 years, according to trust member Rawiri Bhana.

He told the Rotorua Daily Post last week the first units were expected to be finished by the end of the year but they were looking at a site across the road to continue developments.

"One big thing for us as an iwi-lead project is beginning partnerships with Toi Ohomai. We want to not only create employment but also training opportunities.

"We want to have created at least 80 jobs in the first two years. That's jobs plus apprentice opportunities."

It was recently reported the number of people on Jobseeker Support benefits in Rotorua had increased but at a much slower rate than nationally.

Ministry of Social Development data in Rotorua's Quarterly Economic Monitor from Infometrics showed the number of recipients increased by 1.9 per cent, from 3365 to 3428. Nationally, it increased by 4.8 per cent, from 120,487 to 126,240.

Traditionally, Rotorua has had a much higher ratio of Jobseekers recipients than the national average; 7.6 per cent in the year to December 2018 compared with 4 per cent nationally.

Additional reporting by Leah Tebbutt.