What reserve sites are part of the proposal?

    • Lee Road Reserve 
    • Coulter Road Reserve (part only) 
    • Gallagher Road Reserve 
    • High Street Reserve (part only) 
    • Glenholme Reserve – 117 Clinkard Avenue (part only) 
    • Linton Park West – 16 Kamahi Road (part only)
    • Wrigley Road Reserve (part only) 
    • Turner Drive Reserve (part only)
    • Park Road Reserve (part only)
    • Steeles Lane Reserve (part only)

    See the Statement of Proposal for more information about each site.

    How and why were these sites identified?

    As part of implementation of the Open Space Level of Service Policy that was adopted in April 2021 following community consultation, an assessment was undertaken of all urban reserves against the objectives of the policy.

    The 10 sites – 2 full reserves and 8 parts of reserves – identified were assessed as not meeting the objectives of the open space policy.

    The assessment identified sites where one or more of the followed applied:

    • There are more reserves in the local area than required under the open space policy;
    • There is no clear purpose or function of the reserve;
    • The size of reserve is much greater than the minimum size identified in the policy and could be reduced without compromising recreation or open space values;
    • Having housing on part of the reserve would improve safety and use of the reserves;
    • There aren’t any other realistic options to improve the reserve to meet level of service standards.

    See the Statement of Proposal for more information about why each site is being considered as part of the proposal.

    Are any of these sites gifted reserve?

    None of the sites identified in the proposal were gifted reserves. However, Council has already been engaging with iwi and this will continue.

    There are a kindergarten and a kohanga reo on two of the sites – what will happen to them?

    The land on which these are located is not included in the proposal. Council has been engaging with both the kindergarten and the kohanga reo and both are supportive in principle of what is proposed.

    What type of housing is envisaged?

    A mix of housing types is envisaged including affordable housing, private development from market sales and public housing.

    Kāinga Ora has committed to supplying additional homes in Rotorua if appropriate sites are available and has expressed interest in six of the sites identified in the proposal.

    It is recommended some be sold directly to Kāinga Ora, conditional on certain stipulations being met, to help address a critical shortage of public housing in Rotorua. The average percentage of public housing across New Zealand is 4%, compared with 2% in Rotorua

    What is the Open Space Level of Service Policy?

    The policy outlines the approach to provision and development of the district’s open space network including setting minimum requirements for new development areas.

    The policy also provides a framework for assessing the suitability of existing open space.

    This means ensuring residents have access to quality open space that provides a variety of recreation experiences and ensuring the open space network is the result of good design and is highly valued by the community.

    What is the process if the proposal proceeds?

    Before any reserve or part of reserve can be sold the reserve status of the land must first be revoked.

    The standard process under the Reserves Act 1977 for revoking the classification of a reserve can take more than two years. It is therefore proposed that if the proposal proceeds, a Local Bill be used to revoke the reserve classification of sites as this would be a faster process, enabling housing to be built faster.

    Both processes involve a consultation process so either would provide the community with an additional opportunity to have a say prior to any final decision-making.

    Both processes would apply only to the sites specified. For example, if a Local Bill were used, it would apply only those sites specified in the Bill – additional sites could not be added.

     Once revocation was complete, Council would work with developers to sell the reserves in a way that would create a range of housing options for our community. It is proposed this would include exploring options with Kāinga Ora, the Fordlands Community Association (which is working with Council on its housing and wellbeing aspirations for the Fordlands community and has aspirations for housing on part of the Wrigley Road Reserve).

     Funds received from the sale of any reserve site would be used to either enhance the remaining reserves and facilities on these reserves or put towards enhancing others in that area or would potentially be used to purchase more open space where there is currently an undersupply.

    How will this proposal, if it proceeds, contribute to addressing Rotorua’s housing challenges?

    Housing is the most critical issue currently facing the Rotorua community and Council is working on multiple fronts to do what it can to enable more housing to be built to address the shortage.

    Disposal of the identified reserves in part or full could enable the development of additional housing and increased housing choice for our community.

    Council’s Housing and Business Capacity Assessment has identified a current deficit of approximately 1,500 homes in the Rotorua district. You can find out more on Council’s website.

    Across New Zealand, public housing equates to approximately 4% of all housing stock compared to only 2% in Rotorua. Approximately 750 additional public houses would be required to simply meet the national average.

     This does not recognise high levels of deprivation that exist in our community.

     Housing challenges are compounded by a shortage of other housing types including affordable rentals, homes for first home buyers, progressive home ownership models and market housing.

     Further, Rotorua has a disproportionate number of larger three and four bedroom homes and a limited supply of smaller dwellings. With the population of Rotorua aging and families getting smaller, significant demand for smaller household types (one and two bedrooms) is expected during the next 10 years.

     Council has worked closely with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MHUD) to identify the scale of the housing deficit and planning and infrastructure investment options to address housing supply in the medium to longer term. This work has resulted in the Rotorua Lakes Council being included with tier 1 Councils in adopting the national medium density residential standards and the successful inclusion of Rotorua’s stormwater infrastructure investment project for the western and central areas of the city, totalling $99m, in the final negotiation phase of the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF).

     This follows a previous funding allocation of $55m from the Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) Fund for roading and stormwater infrastructure to support residential development in the eastside of Rotorua.

     Recognition of Rotorua’s dire housing situation led to the formation of the Housing Taskforce in 2021 and the contracting (consenting process underway) of 13 motels for whānau needing emergency housing. The Te Pokapu hub which has recently opened as a result of the taskforce, provides direct processing and support to clients needing emergency housing.

     Housing Minister Megan Woods also encouraged Kāinga Ora to proceed as quickly as possible with the development of public homes in Rotorua and the Kāinga Ora pipeline is increasing. The Minister also asked Council to examine its own land holdings to determine whether any not needed for other purposes could provide opportunities for further public and affordable housing.

     The availability of public homes in Rotorua will directly impact on the requirements for using motels for emergency housing

    What feedback do you want and how will this be used?

    No decisions have yet been made.

    On 12 May 2022 the council’s Strategy, Policy & Finance Committee passed recommendations to consult the community on the proposal. You can find out more about that on Council’s website.

    On 26 May, the committee’s recommendations were considered and passed by the Full Council. You can find out more about that on Council’s website.

    Feedback from the community will be considered by elected members to help them make decisions about the proposal.

    What decisions have already been made?

    The only decision made to date has been to consult the community on the proposal that has been put to elected members for their consideration.

    Work has been done to develop a viable proposal but no decisions on whether or not to proceed, and how, have yet been made.

    Decisions still to be made include:

    • Whether or not to sell any reserve or part of any reserve;
    • The legal method for revocation of reserve status (ie Local Bill or Reserves Act process)
    • The reserves to be developed or improved with funds from any proceeds of sale;
    • Any conditions to be applied to housing development by any purchasers of sites.

    Why have you already spoken to Kāinga Ora?

    This was part of due diligence undertaken by council staff in developing a viable proposal to put to elected members for consideration.

     Council has been working with the Government’s agencies to address housing issues and challenges in Rotorua and when considering how we could use reserve sites that did not meet the objectives of our open space policy (see more about this above) we spoke to Kāinga Ora to understand whether there was potential to make some of these sites available for more public housing or Kiwi Build homes for Rotorua.

     In turn, Kāinga Ora had to do some due diligence on the identified sites to determine the suitability of these for its purposes and it considers six of the sites may be appropriate.