A $62 million boost for a range of Rotorua projects, creating hundreds of jobs, has been announced.

Investment for five projects in the city was announced today by Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau.

The current St John Ambulance site on Pererika St. Photo / File
The current St John Ambulance site on Pererika St. Photo / File

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa project, Tāheke Geothermal Power Station, a Rotorua Lakefront cultural overlay, and Waiteti Marae renovation will get $51m.

And $11m will go towards a new hub to be used by St John ambulance staff.

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The projects are being funded by a combination of loans and investments from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) and the Infrastructure Reference Group's (IRG) shovel-ready projects.

The Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa will receive $38m to
The Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa will receive $38m to "strengthen Rotorua's position as a health and wellness destination." Photo / File

A crowd of about 100 people cheered and clapped when Peters made the announcement in Rotorua this afternoon.

He said New Zealand had been winning the Covid-19 battle but "now we have got to win the economic battle".

"We are building on the strengths of the provinces and the people within them and giving them the government backing to survive."

In a press release this afternoon, Tabuteau said the investments would contribute to building on Rotorua's reputation as a "short break" visitor destination, supporting visitor numbers in all seasons, and create much-needed jobs for Rotorua, in the press release.

Where will the money go?

The Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa will get $38m to strengthen the city's position as a health and wellness destination and is expected to create 460 jobs.

The IRG funding will go towards building a 5000sq m spa complex on the Rotorua lakefront, Tabuteau said.

The Taheke Geothermal Power Station will get $11.9m, which will create 190 jobs while growing Eastland's renewable energy portfolio and opening opportunities for Taheke 8C and its Māori shareholders with ongoing revenue for their own development aspirations.

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The IRG funding will ensure they can get approval for and construct an exploratory geothermal well.

The well is also the first step to Taheke 8C and partner Eastland building a power station that will use geothermal resources beneath Taheke 8C's land.

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File
Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. Photo / File

The Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment will provide employment to local artists to create carved pou and information panels.

These will provide a cultural narrative and connect the development on Rotorua Lakefront, Rotorua Museum and Whakarewarewa Forest, Tabuteau said.

"Similarly PGF support for Waiteti Marae will enable significant renovations to be carried out with $372,420.

"This will include historical carving work on the Tupuna Whare in Ngongotahā and 20 jobs will be created to complete carvings, poupou, tukutuku and kowhaiwhai on the 110 year tupuna, Ngararanui."

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An $11m IRG support to developers will build a St John ambulance hub with modern facilities, including training areas, staff amenities and offices.

It will also create 120 new jobs.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo / File
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters. Photo / File

"These projects contribute to Rotorua attracting tourists that stay longer, spend more, and create jobs and economic benefits to the people of Rotorua."

$139.5m investment in Bay of Plenty

The Government has made $139.5m worth of investment announcements around the Bay of Plenty today.

It included $62m for Rotorua, $18m for Te Puke, $5m for Kaingaroa Village, $26m for Ōpōtiki, $5.5m for Kawerau and $23m for flood relief region-wide.

Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa project - $38m

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The largest of five investments into Rotorua, totalling $62m was $38m for the cost of building the 5000m2 Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa complex creating 460 jobs.

St John Ambulance - $11m

Funding from the Infrastructure Reference Group's shovel ready projects will build an $11m ambulance hub for St John with modern facilities, training areas, staff amenities, facilities and offices. It will also create 120 jobs.

Rotorua Lakefront cultural overlay - $1m
The Rotorua Lakefront Redevelopment will receive $1m for progress work on a cultural overlay that will provide employment to local artists to create carved pou and information panels.

Waiteti Marae renovation - $372,420
Provincial Growth Fund support of $372,420 for renovations at Waiteti Marae including historical carving work on their Tupuna Whare in Ngongotaha. This will create 20 jobs.

Taheke Geothermal Power Station - $11.9m
Another investment into Rotorua was $11.9m for the Taheke Geothermal Power Station at Okere Falls so it can get approval for and construct an exploratory geothermal well. It will create 190 jobs.

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Flood relief package - $23m
A $23m flood relief package from the Infrastructure Reference Group's shovel ready projects fund to create more than 130 jobs region-wide.

The six projects are: the final stage of the Rangitāiki Floodway project, implementing Ngongotahā stream independent review recommendations, Whakatāne River flood defence upgrade, Waioeka Estuary Restoration and Floodway Enhancement Project, Kaituna mole upgrade and surrounding amenity enhancements and Rangitāiki floodwall resilience mitigation.

Rangiuru Business Park - $18m

$18m PGF money will build an interchange connecting the industrial park with the Tauranga Eastern Link. Construction will create more than 200 jobs.

Ōpōtiki CBD Improvements - $11.9m
The PGF and the IRF money will go towards the Ōpōtiki CBD Improvement project including redevelopment of the library and digital hub and updated town signs and green space redevelopments.
Ōpōtiki Marina and Industrial Park - $8.8m
The money will go towards a wharf, basin and access road and other infrastructure need to safely moor vessels involved in the harbour development project.

Kaingaroa Village - $5m
$5 million for Kaingaroa Village from the infrastructure package in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund will help pay for a comprehensive upgrade of infrastructure, facilities and housing over two years. To create more than 100 jobs.

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Waiū Dairy, Kawerau - $4.9m
One of two Kawerau projects is a $4.9m commercial loan from the Provincial Growth Fund for Waiū Dairy Limited Partnership to expand its dairy plant.

Plateau Compost - $588k
The second of two Kawerau projects is a $588,000 commercial loan for Plateau Compost to expand its vermiculture (worm farming) operation.

Ōpōtiki clubs - $169,686
The Ōpōtiki Clubs Building Upgrade project gets $169,686 for renovations at the golf and rugby clubs. Funding will go towards refurbishments such as replacing toilet and shower facilities, adding storage and upgrading kitchens.

Mahi Ora Ōpōtiki - $100,000
The final of five investments into Ōpōtiki totalling $26m is $100k for the Mahi Ora Ōpōtiki programme to connect employers with potential employees. It will support development and implementation of a local workforce development strategy, providing an education to employment pipeline.

Whakatōhea Mussels - $5m
Whakatōhea Mussels Ōpōtiki Limited's gets $5m to expand the mussel farm and build a mussel processing facility. The funding will accelerate work and increase employment.