New $30m spa prom­ises lo­cal jobs & money

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BENN BATHGATE

The planned Wai Ariki spa and well­ness cen­tre for the lake­front will help at­tract high value tourists to Ro­torua and ce­ment our sta­tus as the spa cap­i­tal of the South Pa­cific.

That’s the view of Des­ti­na­tion Ro­torua chief ex­ec­u­tive Michelle Tem­pler.

Plans for the $30 mil­lion lux­ury spa were an­nounced on Fri­day, with de­vel­op­ers Pukeroa Oru­awhata Group say­ing it will pump tens of mil­lions into the lo­cal econ­omy each year.

‘‘Our re­search shows that spa and well­ness tourism is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity and is a key des­ti­na­tion driver for Ro­torua,’’ Tem­pler said.

‘‘It is fan­tas­tic to see the on­go­ing con­fi­dence and in­vest­ment that will at­tract more high value vis­i­tors by pro­vid­ing qual­ity and au­then­tic ex­pe­ri­ences that en­sures vis­i­tors be­come ad­vo­cates for our re­gion.’’

Wai Ariki is ex­pected to open its doors in late 2019 and aims to even­tu­ally em­ploy 80 staff.

Pukeroa Oru­awhata chair Mal­colm Short said Nga¯ti Whakaue, Te Arawa and Ma¯ori cul­ture would sit at the heart of the de­vel­op­ment, with the 650-year his­tory of the tribe and Ro­torua’s spa her­itage form­ing a key part of the de­vel­op­ment.

Speak­ing at the un­veil­ing of the pro­pos­als, Short said the de­vel­op­ment had been five years in the plan­ning and he was cer­tain it would prove suc­cess­ful.

‘‘We are con­fi­dent this de­vel­op­ment is some­thing which Ro­torua, and in fact New Zealand, has never seen be­fore,’’ he said.

Pukeroa Oru­awhata trus­tee Monty Mor­ri­son was equally bullish, say­ing the state of the art de­sign and Ro­torua’s tra­di­tions around tourism and spa cul­ture would com­bine to cre­ate a unique ex­pe­ri­ence for guests.

‘‘The warmth and the wel­come

‘‘We want to wel­come the World to this fa­cil­ity ’’

[for guests] we know is part of Ro­torua’s DNA. It’s about cap­tur­ing that DNA,’’ he said.

‘‘Not only in the de­sign, but in the way we wel­come our guests from around the world. We want to wel­come the world to this fa­cil­ity in the way only Nga¯ti Whakaue, Te Arawa and Ma¯ori can.’’

Pukeroa Oru­awhata di­rec­tor David Tapsell said the de­vel­op­ment would boost the lo­cal econ­omy, start­ing with the pre­lim­i­nary earth­works this year.

‘‘Two years of con­struc­tion jobs that weren’t there yes­ter­day.’’

SUP­PLIED

Artists im­pres­sion of the planned new $30 mil­lion spa fa­cil­ity for Ro­torua’s lake­front.

Pukeroa Oruwhata’s David Tapsell, Mal­colm Short and Monty Mor­ri­son.

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