The Rotorua Museum rebuild and Whakarewarewa development works will be accelerated with more than $2 million in additional funding.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters joined Rotorua-based MP and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau, to announce the funding in Rotorua this afternoon.

The $2 million for Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa Rotorua Museum will be used to replace the roof and another $90,000 will bring forward work on a new visitor centre at Whakarewarewa.

Concept design for new Whakarewarewa / Tokorangi visitor centre in Rotorua. Image / Supplied
Concept design for new Whakarewarewa / Tokorangi visitor centre in Rotorua. Image / Supplied
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"Investing in local people, regional jobs and local assets is more important than ever in this Covid-19 environment," Peters said.

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"Helping these projects progress quickly will provide immediate employment opportunities for local people, and provide more confidence for additional private and iwi investment in the region," Tabuteau added.

The Rotorua Museum, a category one heritage building, was closed in 2016 following a seismic assessment made after the Kaikoura earthquake.

View of the Rotorua Museum from above in 2017. Photo / File
View of the Rotorua Museum from above in 2017. Photo / File

The Rotorua Lakes Council then began developing plans and raising money for a $55 million project to bring the building up to the required standard and complete the first stage of an international scale exhibition and conference centre.

The council had committed $15m, the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust $10m and the Lottery's significant projects fund $6m, leaving a $24m funding gap until August last year, when the Government committed $15m from the Provincial Growth Fund and $5m from the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund.

This wider project was expected to create 371 additional jobs in the region, according to modelling carried out by the council last year.

It is expected to reopen in 2022.

In September 2018, $7m of PGF funding was announced for the Whakarewarewa / Tokorangi Forest project.

The project involves a Long Mile Rd upgrade to improve the entranceway to the forest, a new visitor centre, a second forest hub for mountain biking, and Te Ara Ahi Cycleway improvements.

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The development is projected to create 133 jobs and $68.35 million in private investment is expected to be created from the 13 development sites around the forest.