Pukeroa Oruawhata Holdings Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bay of Plenty Iwi, Ngati Whakaue, approached RCG in the early 1990s with an ambitious request: to turn a 13 hectare abandoned railway yard into a regional shopping destination. Rotorua was already a popular tourist destination but had no major shopping centre. The Iwi owners wanted to boost employment and bring in more retailers to a town with poor consumer demographics. Pukeroa and RCG worked together and built the first major shopping centre in Rotorua.
It was a challenging opportunity and we began the process with extensive research on how to unlock the visitor and residential spending potential in the region. We undertook a significant review of current and future retail sales expectations for the region, and the potential demand for retail space as a result. We then worked with Pukeroa to develop an innovative master planning approach which created benefits for not only a diverse mix of CBD retailers, but also locals and the site’s owners.
RCG has worked with Pukeroa and managed the development process for more than 20 years and also designed the centre throughout its various development phases. Importantly we have achieved the objective of attracting a range of national retailers to the centre and enabled Rotorua residents to shop locally. With increased number of retailers and room to expand, employment opportunities in both retail and construction have grown.