New $30m spa promises local jobs & money
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.’’
Artists impression of the planned new $30 million spa facility for Rotorua’s lakefront.
Pukeroa Oruwhata’s David Tapsell, Malcolm Short and Monty Morrison.