A new multimillion-dollar health facility is just one year away with construction due to start in the new year, creating more than 30 jobs while under way.
All going to plan, QE Health's $14.5 million, 3000sq m, state-of-the-art building will be complete by the end of October next year, chief executive Dr Aaron Randell said.
The new site next door to the current facilities will continue QE Health's 78-year history on the shore of Lake Rotorua.
The first facilities near the intersection of Whakaue and Hinemaru Sts were commissioned by the New Zealand government in 1942, as rehabilitation facilities for soldiers returning from World War II.
By the 1960s the hospital had specialised in treating arthritis and rheumatism and offering spa treatments.
Nowadays, QE Health employs about 70 staff offering rheumatology, physiotherapy, psychology, orthotics, dietetics, occupational therapy, osteopathy, appearance medicine, gym services, rehabilitation therapy and spa treatments.
It also offers student and intern placements for health specialists and is involved with research projects.
Randell said the upcoming move to the new building was allowing QE Health to expand into occupational health services, offering pre-employment health checks, drug and alcohol testing, hearing tests and annual employee health checks.
All services remain fully operational in the current facilities until the move to the new building.
Randell said the detailed design for the new building would be complete this month and submitted for consent from the Rotorua Lakes Council.
Hawkins has completed initial earthworks at the site with pre-load now in place to ensure the land is stable to build on.
The construction is expected to employ between 30 and 50 people.
QE Health, a not-for-profit, leases the lakefront land from Pukeroa Ōruawhata Trust.
Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust has committed a $1m grant to the construction project, along with a loan of $2m.
The Provincial Growth Fund is providing a grant of $1.5m, in addition to an $8m loan.
When the funding was confirmed earlier this year, Randall said: "There was simply no way we could have funded it ourselves."
He expects the new QE Health facilities will complement those of the Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa being built next door.
Pukeroa deputy chairman David Tapsell said earlier this year the new QE Health facility would allow the overall site "to be promoted as a health and wellness precinct".