A state-of-the-art ablution block is now officially open at Boyes Beach, Lake Ōkareka and ready to use during the long weekend.

A small gathering was held this week to officially open the facility with a karakia from John Tapiauta (Ngāti Tūhourangi) to bless the site.

Rotorua Lakes Council said the new ablution block was one of a number of projects that had been underway at Lake Ōkareka to improve community facilities beside the lake.

A partnership between the council and Lake Ōkareka Community Association resulted in a successful funding application, which together with other investment, enabled the work to go ahead.

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A small gathering was held this week to officially open the facility. Photo / Supplied
A small gathering was held this week to officially open the facility. Photo / Supplied

Lake Ōkareka Community Association chairwoman Kim Lorigan said the group was fully supportive of the new complex and it looked wonderful on the reserve.

"There has been many years of work and volunteer effort put into this complex from previous Lake Ōkareka committees, chaired by long term visionaries. This includes Geoff Palmer, Martyn Norrie, and Mike Vincent.

"Our investment has been significant for a small community group but it's been a privilege to be part of something that will add real value in our community," she said.

Lorigan said they saw it as an asset not only for the Lake Ōkareka residents, but for the wider public that use this area throughout the year, including local waka ama groups, ultra marathon and the wider Rotorua community.

The new block replaces the old public toilets and adds family rooms, indoor and outdoor showers, dishwashing facilities and wash down pads for cleaning sports equipment to protect the biodiversity of the lake.

New ablution block at Boyes Beach. Photo / Supplied
New ablution block at Boyes Beach. Photo / Supplied

It will also ensure protection of the lake with a large holding tank and connection to the council sewer line.

The new facilities are now open and ready to be used for the coming long weekend. The last step in the project will be to remove the old toilet block on the opposite side of the reserve.

Further work at Lake Ōkareka is underway at Acacia Rd to improve the carpark area next to the newly constructed boat ramp jetties.

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