Rotorua council agrees to return reserve land to Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara

2:59 pm on 4 October 2023
Rotorua Lakes Council

Photo: Google Maps / Supplied

Rotorua Lakes Council has agreed to begin the process of returning a section of reserve land to Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara.

Wednesday's council infrastructure and environment committee resolution begins the process of revoking the reserve status of the land, which will require consultation with the minister of conservation and the public to complete.

Council manager of active and engaged communities Rob Pitkethley said the land on Tarewa Street was part of last year's Heads of Agreement signed by Rotorua Lakes Council.

"The heads of agreement shares a commitment to working in partnership and identifies that the council will take all steps necessary to transfer the reserve as part of this partnership."

Pitkethley said a playground which was on the reserve was removed in 2021 after public consultation and the land has no open space value as a reserve.

The reserve was 437 square metres and across the road from the Kuirau Park which was used by most locals, he said.

Ngāti Kearoa Ngāti Tuara and Rotorua Lakes Council signed the Heads of Agreement that seeks to address past grievances in September last year.

Along with returning the reserve land, it was also establishing a new partnership approach for ongoing management of the Karamu Takina Springs, which supplies drinking water to Rotorua city.