Even though Rotorua District Council says there are no firm plans for the future development of Kuirau Park, it's great to hear it's on the agenda.

In its draft annual plan, the council says it has identified its aspiration of Rotorua becoming a major spa city and proposes a "master plan" for the park.

Mayor Steve Chadwick told the Rotorua Daily Post ahead of her visit to Beppu, Japan, this month, the council wanted to see "the unique natural geothermal attributes of our own at Kuirau Park substantially developed in the future so the park can become a focal point of Rotorua's geothermal experience".

"At present, Kuirau Park is not realising its potential. It's under-developed, under-utilised and falls short as a quality international visitor attraction, so this is a chance to look at ideas for transforming Kuirau Park into something special," she said.


Much has changed at the park since I was a lad (more years ago than I'm game to admit). Toot & Whistle has gone, as have the shop and aquarium, the playground has changed - its tank is long gone, there are now indoor pools at the Aquatic Centre, there are a few new geothermal holes in the ground and the bamboo has gone from around the pond. There's also a fantastic market on Saturday mornings.

But more can be done to polish this jewel in our city's crown. Like a geyser waiting to splurge forth, Kuirau Park has huge potential waiting to be brought to the surface. I can't wait to see what happens next.