A morning karakia has marked the beginning of construction of a purpose-built area for Rotorua's Saturday Rotary Market.
A karakia by Rotorua Lakes Council Kaitiaki Ahurea Māori Monty Morrison was performed at the site this morning.
The new area will be used as a car park on weekdays.
The Rotary market, which celebrated its 30th birthday last July, will continue to run in its current location but the car park off Kuirau St and the basketball courts will be closed throughout construction.
Construction is likely to take 10 weeks to complete, weather permitting.
The council said in a statement that the new market space would be the first of the upgrades to be completed. It had been working alongside Rotary market director Garry Adlam to ensure the new space would meet its needs.
"The upgraded site will give us the opportunity to increase not only the number of stallholders but also our customer base; which will make it possible to generate additional funds to give back to our community. We look forward to the Kuirau Park Rotary Market being the place to be on Saturday," Adlam said.
The council said feedback had also highlighted that the basketball court was popular with young people. So the design of the new market space would now incorporate an adjacent upgraded court.
The existing court would be unusable while the work on the new market place took place.
Once the new market space was completed the council said it would continue with further upgrades which included planning and designing a geothermal water play space and adding interpretive signage and cultural elements.