In early 1972, the then Rotorua County Council (RCC) produced an updated Rotorua Town and Country Plan which detailed an intension to create rail reserves for new marshalling yards and a line through Mourea and Okere Falls as part of a governmental proposal to extend services to Paengaroa which would then link with the railhead at Mt Maunganui. The scheme would involve significant encumbrances upon private land holdings and have major impacts on tourism and the lake and resident environs due to the planned multiple highway crossings and bridge across the Okere Arm en route.
The ensuing public outcry prompted a hitherto informal resident group to inaugurate the West Rotoiti Ratepayers and Residents Association. An initial public meeting was called and a steering committee formed to make contact with relevant authorities and consolidate proposed courses of action. A second public meeting called to advance the issue attracted over 100 paying members and resulted in the Association being formally constituted. Objections raised with RCC, the local MP and Government ministers resulted in further investigations being undertaken at a ministerial level to consider cost/benefits along with environmental evaluations. Following these and concurrent objections and counter-objections from many Rotorua urban residents, the scheme was eventually dropped by NZ Railways in 1973 and never re-visited.
A similar organisation representing east Rotoiti had gone into recess, and in 1992, WRRRA decided to change its name to Lake Rotoiti Ratepayers and Residents Association to reflect the fact that it had now attracted many financial members from all localities around the lake and had undertaken to support and assist in progressing issues pertaining to the whole Lake Rotoiti catchment area.
In 2006 LRRRA became registered under the Incorporated Societies Act including a name change to Lake Rotoiti Community Association Incorporated. At the same time the Association was granted charitable status and our constitution was amended to define our aims as:-
- To promote, preserve, conserve and advance for the public benefit the interests and welfare of the Community at Lake Rotoiti
- To promote, preserve, conserve and advance the environmental natural features, and physical amenities of Lake Rotoiti for the public benefit
- To foster for the public benefit a harmonious relationship with the Community of Lake Rotoiti.
Until the establishment of the elected Rotorua Lakes Community Board, LRCA was the main organisational conduit between residents, local Councils and other government agencies. The Association continues to provide strong local representation for its members and communities.
Our archived newsletters provide detailed information on all matters in which the Association has been involved and more.