Skyline Rotorua


A secret council proposal to turn 10 Rotorua reserves into housing has been revealed in documents obtained by Local Democracy Reporting.

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The documents relate to a closed-door Rotorua Lakes Council “forum” on 15 February that reveals a proposal to pursue a local bill to allow the council to sell the reserves.

Under the proposal, five reserves would be sold to Kāinga Ora, three to private developers, and two would become pensioner housing owned by the council or philanthropic organisations, the documents suggest.

They claim Kāinga Ora has already created plans for the five sites: Lee Rd Reserve, Coulter Rd Reserve, High St Reserve, Steeles Ln Reserve, and part of Turner Drive Reserve.

Other sites potentially up for sale would be Ranginui St Reserve, Gallagher St Reserve, 117 Clinkard Ave, and Linton Park West at 16 Kamahi Pl.

Kāinga Ora confirmed its involvement in the proposal, which it said was in the “early stages”.

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The council and mayor Steve Chadwick said no decisions had been made.

The documents summarised what someone told elected members in the meeting.

“Made it clear it was pace versus local conversations. Can’t have both. If [the] council wants to drive a lot of local conversations it will take time to investigate to get people on board and need to weight [sic] up whether that is worthwhile,” the summary said.

“The more time that is taken, the longer we have motels for emergency housing. It is important to drive housing solutions and as quicky as possible. What is being presented is a distributed housing model.

“[Kāinga Ora is] now actively engaged with [the] council and have tagged five of the 10 reserves and created plans for each of the reserves. Minister has also put in the request to [the] council to stand up and be part of the solution – use reserves for public housing.”

There was a “proposal” to pursue a local bill called the Rotorua District Council Reserves (Revocation and Vesting) Bill.